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Applying for an extension of the residence permit for the reunification of other family members with a German citizen

If you wish to continue to reside in Germany as a third-country national family member of a German in order to avoid exceptional hardship, you must apply for an extension of your residence permit in good time before it expires.

For the extension of the residence permit, the same requirements must be fulfilled and the same documents must be presented as for the initial issuance of the residence permit

The residence permit is a temporary residence title and is usually extended for at least one year.

Process flow

  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have a special application form.
  • If you have not yet reached the age of 18, you are not allowed to apply yourself, but you will need a representative (as a rule, the application is made by the parents with custody).
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of an online application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to make an appointment.
  • If you have not yet reached the age of 18, you must be accompanied by at least one representative during the personal interview. If the custodial parents are unable to appear in person, a written power of attorney for the application must be provided.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, preferably in the original, to the appointment).
  • If your application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit in the form of a new electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions the production of the eAT card from the Federal Printing Office. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card from the responsible office. The eAT card must always be picked up in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

Who should I contact?

The immigration authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence will process the application.


In principle, the same requirements must be met for the extension of the residence permit as for the initial issuance of the residence permit. That is:

  • You have the citizenship of a state outside the EU or the EEA.
  • The person you are joining has German citizenship and usually resides in Germany.
  • You still belong to the group of other family members of a German, i.e. you are neither his spouse nor a minor unmarried child. Other family members include, for example, adult unmarried children, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, foster children. Fathers of natural German children who are not married to the mother are also eligible.
  • Furthermore, there is a special case of hardship, for example, because your German family member is dependent on your help due to illness, disability or need for care.
    Please note: Unfavorable conditions in your home country do not constitute a case of hardship.
  • Your subsequent immigration still serves the purpose of establishing a family community with the German (e.g. shared apartment). In the case of a spatial separation only due to work and education or a support or care community due to accommodation in a care facility, a family life community can also be affirmed if you maintain regular contact with the German, which goes beyond a mere visit.
  • You can continue to secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage without claiming public benefits.
    Please note: In the case of family members who are minors, this requirement does not have to be met.
  • There is no interest in deportation against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany

Which documents are required?

  • Recognized and valid identity document (for example passport or passport substitute)
  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of livelihood (for example, from own assets, payment of a security deposit into a blocked account, bank guarantee, letter of commitment)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (for example, confirmation of health insurance coverage or insurance policy).
  • For minors: Consent of all persons entitled to custody to the planned stay (declaration of consent); if the parents entitled to custody cannot submit the application jointly for their child, a written power of attorney of the absent parent is required; if only one parent is entitled to custody, the signature of this parent is sufficient.

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Aliens Department may require less or further proof.

If necessary, you will have to provide the Aliens' Registration Office with further proof of the family relationship as well as a justification of the exceptional case of hardship.

What are the fees?

  • 96,00 Euro for a further stay of up to three months for applicants of full age
  • 48,00 Euro for a further stay of up to three months for underage applicants
  • 93,00 Euro for a further stay of more than three months for applicants of full age
  • 46,50 Euro for a further stay of more than three months for applicants who are minors.


Additional fees may apply for the issuance of a new residence permit in the form of the electronic residence permit (eAT card), which can also be used as electronic proof of identity.

The timing as well as the form of fee collection and payment vary depending on the authority.

In certain cases, fee reductions or exemptions may be considered (for example, for persons entitled to asylum or recognized refugees). Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application Deadline: 6 - 8 Weeks
The extension of the residence permit must be applied for before the validity of the current residence permit ends. The application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office no later than six to eight weeks before the expiry of the residence permit.

Period of Validity: 1 Year
In case of extension, the residence permit will be issued for at least one year

Processing duration

(for span): approx. 6 week to 8 weeks.

Note for further information on processing time:

The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the Bundesdruckerei to produce the electronic residence permit.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: Yes


  • An appeal against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection notice.

What else should I know?

  • When extending the residence permit, the foreigners authority may waive the requirement of "securing subsistence" in the case of family members of full age.
  • The residence permit entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment.
  • They are not entitled to an extension of the residence permit. The foreigners authority has a discretion (a margin of judgment) whether to grant family reunification.
  • The procedure at the Foreigners Authority is usually conducted in German.
  • All information given to the Aliens' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be disadvantageous for the person concerned. In a serious case, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Aliens Department may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, a prison sentence of up to three years, or expulsion from the Federal territory.
  • Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)