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Residence permit for family reasons Issue for family reunification of a foreign parent to a minor German

You can join your German, minor, unmarried child if you come from a country outside the EU or the EEA, have personal custody of the German child and intend to exercise it.

Personal care includes the right and at the same time the duty to care, educate, supervise and determine the child's residence. A minor is a child who has not yet reached the age of 18. A person who is not married and has not yet been single is unmarried; even those who live in a registered civil partnership are not single

If these requirements are met, you must be granted a residence permit.

You can also join your child if you do not have personal custody. The prerequisite is that you already have a family partnership in Germany with your child. A family cohabitation is to be assumed if the relatives maintain regular contact with each other, which goes beyond mere visits. If the conditions are met, the authority decides on the granting of the residence permit by means of discretion.

Under certain circumstances, the Foreigners' Registration Office may oblige you to attend an integration course. This will then be noted on your residence permit.

The residence permit is a temporary residence permit and is issued for at least one year.

Process flow

The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the immigration authority and concerns, it may be possible to apply via the Internet. Find out whether your immigration authority offers the electronic application for a residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be received and your supporting documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment). Your fingerprints will be taken for the production of an electronic residence permit (eAT).
  • In the event of an electronic application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of your online application in order to make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your certificates will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the eAT.
  • If your application is granted, the Foreigners' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the eAT at the Foreigners' Registration Office.

The eAT must always be picked up in person.

Who should I contact?

You can also get free advice on the topics of entry, residence and work from the "Hotline Working and Living in Germany" of the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.

Phone: 030 1815-1111

Service hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


  • You have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute and, if required for entry - an appropriate visa.
  • Your child is a minor, single and has German citizenship.
  • You have personal custody of your child and want to exercise this right or already have a family relationship with the child in Germany as a non-custodial parent.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.

Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany

Which documents are required?

  • Valid passport or passport substitute
  • Current biometric photo
  • Visa, if this was required for entry
  • Your child's birth certificate
  • Proof of custody, if applicable
  • If applicable, proof of the management of the family community
  • Current registration certificate

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may request further documents.

What are the fees?

Issue of residence permit: EUR 100.00

Under certain conditions, a fee reduction or exemption may be considered.


  • Additional fees may apply for the issuance of the residence permit in the form of an electronic residence permit, which can also be used as an electronic proof of identity.
  • The timing and form of charging and payment vary depending on the authority.

Fee: 100,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The residence permit should be applied for at least eight weeks before the expiry of your valid visa or current residence permit or – if you are legally staying in Germany without a visa – within 90 days of entry.
  • Time limit for bringing an action: 1 month

Processing duration

about six to eight weeks.

Legal basis

Section 28 (1) sentence 1 no. 3 and sentence 4 of the Residence Act

Section 28 (1) sentence 1 no. 3 and sentence 4 of the Residence Act

Applications / forms

  • Online procedures possible in some cases
  • Written form required
  • Personal appearance required


An action may be brought before the competent administrative court against a negative decision of the immigration authority.

A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.

Detailed information can be found in the rejection decision.

Portal of the BAMF:



Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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