Can I bring my parents to Germany permanently?

“Can I bring my parents to Germany permanently” is one of the deciding factors especially for Indians when it comes to moving and settling in Germany.

Update 29.06.2023 – With the new Immigration law in Germany, Skilled workers can bring their parents and parents-in-law to Germany.

Continue reading this post for the current situation. The new immigration law will be effective soon.

Before you start reading this post, I would like to make a few things clear:

  1. Through this post, I am not trying to make any judgment about the existing law or the rules.
  2. Everything I write below is from the resources available online (both official and unofficial)

In general, it is almost next to impossible to bring your parents to Germany permanently and you might have already read a lot of articles about it.

My intention in this article is to provide you with information about how and under what circumstances you can try to bring your parents to Germany permanently.

Ok, so let’s get started.

You are a foreigner (most probably an Indian national) who is working in Germany and your parents are living in another country (India) and you want to move them to Germany.

Does this sound like you?

If yes, then this post is for you and you can thank me later 🙂

So, I did some research for the last couple of days and came across some reliable sources of Information and some unofficial articles as well that helped me understand the whole scenario around this topic of family re-union visas for parents.

1. Family re-union for parents if the child is a German citizen

I came across this official checklist which indicates that you can apply for the family reunion visa for your parents if you are a German citizen

Can I bring my parents to Germany permanently checklist
Link to the original (official) checklist

Looking at this official checklist, one can infer that there is a possibility to apply for a family reunion visa for your parents if you are a German citizen.

Here is a quora post that I found regarding this checklist.

quora post about family reunion visa for parents
Link to the original Quora post

Seems like Mr. Ram was already holding German citizenship before he applied for a family reunion visa for his mother.

I am not sure how genuine the quora post is. But, as far as the official checklist is concerned, it appears that there is a provision to bring your parents to Germany if you are a German citizen.

Even though the checklist and the Quora post looks promising, there are few questions that are unanswered:

  1. Am I eligible to bring my parents permanently to Germany If I give up my Indian citizenship and then accept the German citizenship?
  2. Is this applicable only if the child (German citizen) is under 18 years of age?
  3. Is this applicable even if there is no special case of hardship for the parents while staying alone in India?
  4. Is this applicable even if both the parents are alive and are applying for a family re-union visa for parents?

These are some of the questions that are still unanswered and maybe the best way is to discuss your case with the German embassy/consulate near your city in India.

Also, even if everything else is true and in your favor, you still have to remember that you are eligible to apply for German citizenship only after you stay for a period of 8 years in Germany.

2. Family reunion for parents in case of hardship

It has been stated officially that there exists a law according to which, you are eligible to bring your parents to Germany if there exists a special case of hardship.

Even though this law exists, it seems like the process of getting this visa approved is really hard, and only in exceptional cases, you might get a family reunion visa for your parents.

Here is a screenshot of the paragraph that particularly talks about this provision

parents and other relatives family reunion
Link to the official article

You might be wondering why we are looking at a section that says “Other relatives”. This is because the rule for parents is applicable only till the child who is living in Germany is below 18 years of age.

And since you are already above 18, the rule of “other relatives” applies to you and your parents.

Let’s have a look at the English translation of “Section 36” which talks about the family reunion for parents.

section 36 family reunion for parents
Link to the official article

It clearly says that if there is no parent in Germany who can take care of the child who is below 18 years of age, then the parents can apply for a family reunion visa.

In your case, the above rule will not be applicable as you are above 18. Hence only the second part of section 36 will apply.

According to this, your parents will be permitted to come to Germany (On a long-term visa) only if there is a special case of exceptional hardship.

Official reference with example

I came across an official website where you can read through immigration and visa-related real cases that happened in the past.

I will suggest you enable the auto-translation on your chrome browser and read through the case I am going to discuss below. It is really interesting.

On this website, there is this case (In German) where a lady (X) from the country of Peru wanted to join her daughter in Germany.

Her daughter (Y) got married to a German national in 2009.

On September 16, 2010, the applicant applied for a visa at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lima. 

She enclosed a letter from her son-in-law (Z), stating that the only close relative in Peru was her 85-year-old sister. 

The letter also had the following information:

Her only child moved to Germany after the marriage. 

X has serious health problems. 

Y and Z are prepared to bear all costs that would arise from the X’s stay in Germany. It is possible for her to take out health insurance in Germany. 

In addition, she submitted a declaration of commitment from Z dated August 16, 2010, in her favor, as well as a health and long-term care insurance offer from HUK-Coburg for an annual premium of 7,280 euros. 

Furthermore, X submitted a medical certificate from Dr. S …, a medical officer of the embassy, ​​dated September 13, 2010, according to which she suffered from asthma, high blood pressure, and circulatory disorders. 

She needs supervision and care by her daughter, an improvement of the condition is not to be expected due to her old age and a progressive course, she is fit to fly with an accompanying person. 

According to the medical certificate from the same doctor dated November 9, 2010, X is now in need of care: She needs help with daily personal hygiene, providing and taking medication, preparing meals, shopping for groceries, cleaning the apartment, and with of locomotion. 

The immigration authorities refused to give their consent to the issuing of a visa, considering that nursing staff and care facilities were available at X’s place of residence so that care was possible in her home country.

X took this matter to the court and challenged the decision of the immigration authority.

Finally, the court gave a judgment in the favour of X.

I will definitely recommend and request you to go through the whole interesting milestones in this case as quoted here.

As suggested earlier, use google chrome’s translation feature to read this in English.


Getting a long-term family reunion visa for your parents is not that easy.

There should be a strong and valid reason e.g – exceptional hardship if you plan to apply for this visa.

I hope this article gave you a short glimpse of the possibilities around getting a family reunion visa for your parent to bring them to Germany (permanently).

Please consult a professional immigration consultant/lawyer before you jump into the process of applying for this visa for your parents.

I wish you good luck and feel free to post your feedback, comment, and experience regarding this topic in the comments section below.

33 thoughts on “Can I bring my parents to Germany permanently?”

  1. Hi Nair,

    Thanks for the details.
    Do you have any suggestions on immigration lawyers whom we can consult in Munich area for this scenario, I am holding a german citizenship and would like to give it a try as well. One more question, do you know which Eu countries allow parents easily ? I hope with German passport we can work in any Eu country right ?


  2. Hi Suma

    Unfortunately, I do not have any suggestions regarding an immigration lawyer.
    For the EU countries that allow parents, I would suggest you check with an immigration lawyer in your city for more information on this topic.


  3. ok lets suppose a normal visa is just like my parent’s can come to Germany and stay for 3 months, after that can i again apply for a visa then again 3 month , … and so on??

  4. Hi Sundrea

    Your parents are required to travel back to the home country after 3 months and after a cooling period of X months, they are eligible to apply for a visa again.

    Please check with the German embassy in your home country to know more about the cooling period.

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