Family asylum in Germany
All Information in this blog is collected from BAMF Website which is an official Government Website.
Spouses and registered partners, parents and minor, unmarried children may migrate to Germany in order to join their family members in order to protect the institution of marriage and the family.
As a matter of principle, the conditions vary according to whether you wish to come to Germany to join
- a German national,
- an EU citizen or
- a third-country national.
Family members coming to Germany for the purpose of family reunification are allowed to work in Germany.
The legal basis
- Section 27 et seqq. of the Residence Act
- Section 3 of the EU Freedom of Movement Act (FreizügG/EU)
Members of an EU national’s family are fundamentally entitled to immigrate to Germany.
Family asylum applies to members of a family. What this means is that, if a “principal person entitled” has been recognized as entitled to asylum, his or her family members who are in Germany are also granted asylum on application. Spouses and registered partners, minor, unmarried children, the parents of a minor, unmarried person for the purpose of care and custody, another adult who has personal custody of a minor, unmarried person, as well as the minor, unmarried siblings of a minor, are regarded as family members for the purposes of family asylum.
This arrangement also applies to persons entitled to protection to whom refugee protection or subsidiary protection has been granted. Persons are excluded with regard to whom a national ban on deportation has been determined.
Spouses or registered partners
If your spouse or registered partner is an EU national, you can immigrate to Germany to join them. If your partner is not working (because they are a student or pensioner, for example), only adequate health insurance cover and an adequate livelihood is required. These resources do not need to originate from the EU national – they may equally be provided by the partner immigrating to Germany, or may originate from another source.
Spousal reunification is additionally subject to the following conditions:
- Both spouses must be at least 18 years of age.
- As a general rule, as a spouse coming to Germany for the purposes of family reunification, you must be able to make yourself understood in everyday German on a simple level. You can learn the language in Germany in exceptional cases.
- Adequate accommodation must be available.
- Your livelihood must be ensured. This means that the person who is already in Germany must have sufficient income so that the couple will not need to apply for any social welfare benefits if the person coming to Germany does not yet have a job.
You are also entitled to take up work if you come to Germany for the purposes of family reunification.
Spousal reunification naturally also applies to same-sex civil partnerships.
Parents or other family members
Other family members can only immigrate to Germany in exceptional hardship cases.
Family members of persons with long-term resident status
If you are a spouse or life partner of a person who holds long-term resident status in another EU Member State, you can also immigrate to Germany for the purposes of family reunification even if you do not have a basic knowledge of German. This is conditional on the marriage or civil union having already existed in the first Member State.
Relaxation of the rules for the family members of recognised refugees
If you are a spouse, life partner or minor-aged, unmarried child of recognised refugees, a person entitled to asylum or a resettled refugee, you can immigrate to Germany even if your livelihood is not ensured and adequate accommodation is not available. The sole condition here is that the application for family reunification must be submitted no later than three months after completion of the asylum process. Where recognition of asylum status results from a court ruling (following a court action against rejection of the asylum application, for example), this period does not apply until the date of the new, positive notice from the Federal Office.
Family reunification is also possible after expiry of the three-month period. In this case, however, the recognised refugee who is already living in Germany must prove that they are seeking work and an apartment of their own.
Restrictions on family reunification
If your family member holds one of the following residence titles, you may only immigrate to Germany in exceptional cases:
- persons entitled to subsidiary protection (section 25 subsection (2), sentence 1, second alternative of the Residence Act),
- persons to whom a deportation ban applies (section 25 subsection (3) of the Residence Act),
- persons who hold a residence title as victims of human trafficking (section 25 subsection (4a) of the Residence Act),
- juveniles whose deportation has been suspended and who have subsequently received a residence permit on account of their good integration (section 25a subsection (1) of the Residence Act),
- juveniles whose deportation has been suspended and who have received a residence title on account of their sustained integration (section 25b subsection (1) of the Residence Act),
- persons who have been admitted from abroad (section 22 of the Residence Act),
- persons who have received their residence title due to a ruling by supreme Land or Federal authorities (section 23 subsections (1) and (2) of the Residence Act).
Family reunification is ruled out as a matter of principle for persons with one of the following residence titles:
- persons whose deportation has been suspended and who have received a residence permit for a temporary stay (section 25 subsection (4) of the Residence Act),
- persons with a residence title for victims of a criminal offence in accordance with the Act to Combat Clandestine Employment or in accordance with the Act on Temporary Employment Businesses (section 25 (4b) of the Residence Act),
- persons whose deportation has been suspended due to obstacles to departure for which they are not responsible (section 25 subsection (5) of the Residence Act),
- persons who have received a residence permit as parents of well-integrated juveniles (section 25a subsection (2) of the Residence Act),
- persons who have received a residence permit as family members of well-integrated juveniles (section 25b subsection (4) of the Residence Act),
- persons who have received a residence permit on the basis of an arrangement on existing cases in accordance with section 104a subsection (1), sentence 1, or 105b of the Residence Act.
If you are a child of EU nationals living in Germany, you can live in Germany as a matter of principle. A number of provisions must be complied with here:
- If the EU national is gainfully employed in Germany or seeking employment, you can immigrate to Germany to join them without any further preconditions, provided that you are under 21. If you are aged 21 or older, you can immigrate to Germany for the purposes of family reunification if the EU national (or their life partner) provides for your maintenance.
- If the EU national is studying in Germany, you can accompany them as a child if your maintenance is provided for.
- As a child of EU nationals who are not gainfully employed, you can immigrate to Germany to join them if adequate health insurance cover and an adequate livelihood are ensured.
Good to know!
These arrangements also apply to family members of German nationals who have exercised their right to freedom of movement in Europe.
This is the case when the German national has previously worked in another EU country or lived there for a prolonged period before returning to Germany. In this case, the more favourable conditions pertaining to subsequent immigration to join EU citizens apply, rather than the provisions governing subsequent immigration to join German nationals.
If you are a grandchild of an EU national or their partner, you can immigrate to Germany under the following conditions:
- if the EU national is not a student,
- provided that you are under 21, you can immigrate to Germany to join them without needing to meet any further preconditions. If you are aged 21 or older, you can immigrate to Germany if the EU national (or their life partner) can provide for your maintenance.
If you are a parent or grandparent of an EU national or their partner, you can immigrate to Germany to join them if they provide for your maintenance.
The residence card and the permanent right of residence
If you are a member of an EU national’s family, you will receive a residence card within six months of registering in Germany, once you have provided the requisite information. This confirms your right to reside in Germany. It is not necessary to separately apply for the residence card.
If you have been living together with the EU national in Germany for five years, you will be granted an open-ended right of residence. You will be issued with a certificate confirming your open-ended right of residence within six months of your application.
Good to know!
Members of an EU national’s family only require a visa if they do not yet have a residence card. Entry to Germany is not contingent on which EU Member State issued the residence card. The residence card together with the travel document specified on the residence card will always be sufficient for the purpose of crossing the border. There is no charge for the visa itself.
People Who Born in Germany
If a child is born in Germany after the parents have filed an asylum application, the legislature provides for the possibility of a separate asylum procedure in order to protect the children, subject to specific preconditions. For this purpose, the parents, at least one of whom is in the asylum process, or the immigration authority inform the Federal Office that the birth has taken place. The asylum application is hence automatically regarded as having been filed in the interest of the newborn child. The parents can submit separate grounds for asylum for their child. If they
do not do so, the same grounds apply as to the parents. It is also possible to take legal action against a rejection by the Federal Office in these instances.
If the parents’ application has already been decided on, children who were born in Germany receive their own notice. The following applies if the application is rejected: In order to protect the child, minor children may not and will not be
returned separately from their parents if the application is turned down.
Family reunification in Germany
Persons to whom entitlement to asylum or refugee status has been granted are entitled to privileged family reunification: This covers spousal as well as child reunification. The appropriate application for this must be filed with the Federal Foreign Office within three months after the entitlement to protection has been granted.
Persons entitled to subsidiary protection
Family reunification of close family members to join persons entitled to subsidiary protection has been possible again since 1 August 2018. This however applies to a limited contingent of 1,000 persons per month.
Humanitarian reasons are paramount
The new provision does not imply any legal entitlement to family reunification. The competent authorities are to decide who receives a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. The criteria applied are the duration of the separation, the age of the children, any serious illnesses, and the specific endangerment in the country of origin. In addition, integration-related aspects must also be taken into account. Spouses, minor children and parents of minors can apply for family reunification as a matter of principle. Siblings are not similarly entitled. Family reunification is also ruled out in the event of a marriage that took place during flight.