Indians can get lucrative jobs in Germany. However, family ties are important, and many Indians wish to have their close family members in Germany.
For this reason, Germany issues Family Reunion visas for spouses, children, or parents. Let us have a look at the different types and how to apply for each of them.
Germany Family Reunion Visa for Spouse
If you are an Indian national whose spouse works in Germany, you can go live with them using this visa.
One of the main requirements is that your spouse should be eligible to act as a sponsor for you. For this, they should hold one of the following:
- Possession of a settlement permit,
- An EU long-term residence permit,
- A residence permit or
- An EU Blue Card.
Along with this, they should have the financial capability to support you as well as sufficient living space and security.
Documents Required for Germany Family Reunion Visa for Spouse
Here is a checklist for the Family Reunion visa if you wish to join your spouse in Germany.
1. Valid Passport
You need to have a valid Indian passport that has been issued within the last 10 years. It also needs to be valid for at least another year from the visa application date.
However, it is better to make sure your passport is valid for more than a year from the visa application date. In addition, your passport must have at least two empty pages.
2. Application, Declarations, and Contact Information Forms
You will have to fill in three forms in addition to sending your documents for the Family Reunion Visa.
The first one is the Application Form for the National Visa (Family Reunion comes under this). In this, you are required to fill out your basic details.
It is recommended to fill it out online for faster processing. Otherwise, you can print it out, fill it, sign it, and then send it along with the rest of your documents. Here is the PDF version of the Application Form.
The second form you need to fill out and sign is the Declarations Form, which certifies that you have given complete and true information about yourself. Here is the PDF version of the Declarations Form.
The third form is the straightforward Contact Information Form, where you fill in your contact details. Here is the PDF link.
3. Personal Covering Letter for Family Reunion Visa
A cover letter should explain the exact purpose and duration of your stay in Germany. It should contain travel details that lend weight to the information filled out in your application form.
It acts as an overview of your application and is the first thing a visa consulate officer looks at before going over your documents. For this reason, cover letters are extremely important.
4. Copy of All Pages of Your Passport and your Spouse’s Passport
You are required to submit a copy of all pages of your passport. Your spouse will need to submit this too. Importantly, you will have to make sure these copies are printed on A4 size paper.
5. Certificate of Residence of Spouse in Germany (“Meldebescheinigung”)
A residence permit is a document or card that allows a foreign national to reside in a country for a fixed or indefinite length of time.
Your spouse will have to show this Certificate of Residence, or Meldebescheinigung, to serve as their address proof in Germany.
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6. Proof of Marriage
You need to show proof of marriage, using certificates and possibly photographs of the marriage function. The full requirements for proof of different types of marriage are given in detail in this checklist.
These include marriages that come under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Shariat Law, the Special Marriage Act, and the Christian Marriage Act.
If the marriage did not happen in Germany or India, you will have to show an appropriate legal certificate as proof.
Please make sure that the marriage certificate is in English or else you will have to get it translated and apostilled.
7. Birth Certificate
You will be required to provide your Birth Certificate issued according to the “Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1969”.
Make sure this document is also in English or follow the same process of translation and apostille the document.
8. School Certificate
You need to submit a school certificate, which can be any one of the following:
- A matriculation certificate
- A middle school board certificate
- A school leaving certificate including the date of birth
If you have an academic degree, you will have to submit a copy of that as well.
9. Proof of Residence in India
To show proof of your residence in India, you can use any one of the following:
- Aadhar Card
- Ration Card covering the last 4 years
- Voter’s ID
10. Proof of German Knowledge (A1 Level)
For the family reunion visa for spouses, you would have to show basic knowledge of the German language, which is an A1 certificate no older than 12 months.
The German Missions only accept German language certificates issued by language institutes fulfilling ALTE-Standard, i.e., Goethe Institute (Max Mueller Bhavan) or Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch (ÖSD).
Here is more information on the German language requirement for spouses.
In general, if your spouse is eligible for a blue card or is a Blue card holder, you are not required to have German language knowledge as a dependent.
11. Passport Pictures
You need to have passport size pictures of yourself as per the biometric specifications, which are not older than six months.
4 passport pictures are required for the visa application, but it is a good idea to keep a few more with you in case you need them for other applications.
12. Fee for Verification of Documents for Family Reunion Visa
You will have to pay a fee for the verification of your documents. The visa fee comes to EUR 75 (INR 6,600) for adults and EUR 37,50 (INR 3,300) for minors aged 0-17.
The verification procedure will be initiated and carried out by the Embassy or the locally
competent Consulate. As mentioned earlier, the process takes around 8 to 12 weeks.
Additional Documents for Family Reunion Visa
In certain cases, you might need to submit additional documents for the Family reuninon visa application. Some of these documents are:
- Copy of Spouse’s Residence Permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”)
- Divorce Judgement and Decree of all Former Marriages (If applicable)
- Certificate of Death of Former Spouse (If applicable)
Documents needed for Family Reunion Visa if Spouse is an EU Citizen (except German Citizen)
1. Employment Contract and Salary Slips
You will need a copy of the valid employment contract and salary slips of the last 3 months of your spouse living in Germany. You will require this only if your spouse is an EU citizen (except a German citizen).
2. Lease Agreement
You will require a copy of the lease agreement for accommodation in Germany of your spouse. You need this document only if your spouse is an EU citizen (except a German citizen).
Germany Family Reunion Visa for Children
The checklist for a Family Reunion visa for a child to join their parent(s) living in Germany, is nearly the same as the Family Reunion visa for a spouse.
For visa appointments, minors have to be accompanied by their legal guardian or third person duly authorized by the legal guardian.
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The few different documents needed are mainly concerned with proving the child’s identity and parentage. Additional documents needed in different cases are mentioned below.
1. Proof of German Knowledge (C1 Level)
If a minor is aged 16 and above, they will require to have German proficiency of at least C1 level. This is different than the German knowledge requirement for spouses, which is A1.
This requirement is only for minors who apply for a family reunion visa with a non-German/non-EU national.
2. Employment Contract and Salary Slips
A copy of the valid employment contract and salary slips of the last three months of the parent living in Germany is required. These are mandatory if the parent is an EU citizen (except a German citizen)
In case of a family reunion with a non-German parent in Germany
Sometimes the child’s parent is living in Germany while the other parent continues to reside permanently in India. In this case, the parent in Germany needs to prove sole custody in case the child’s parents are divorced.
On the other hand, if the parents are still married, a declaration of consent needs to be signed by the parent
remaining in India in person at the German Mission.
Germany Family Reunion Visa Processing Time
According to the German Missions in India, your visa will take at least three months to process. This is regardless of the type of Family Reunion Visa that you apply for.
The verification procedure is initiated and carried out by the German Embassy or the locally competent Consulate. This process of verification easily takes between 8 to 12 weeks.
You will have to be patient while waiting for this visa. As said on the official website, “regular status inquiries during the first three months after submission of your application will not be answered”.
Document Submission for Family Reunion Visa
One important thing is health insurance, and you need to get appropriate cover before applying for any German visa.
You will have to book an appointment at an appropriate German Mission. It is important to make sure all your papers and documents are in order before taking them to the appointment.
Prepare two identical application sets consisting of copies of the above-mentioned documents and take all your original certificates along. Do not staple any documents, take them in a folder instead.
In case a document is not set up in German or English, you will have to submit it together with a notary attested English translation.
German Missions may ask for additional documents or, in rare cases, further investigations of certificates. Additional fees would be charged in these cases.
Further information regarding documents is given at the end of the Family Reunion checklist for spouses and children. Here are instructions to book an interview appointment once you have all your documents ready.