(Symbolbild) eine Familie, bestehend aus Vater, Mutter und drei Kindern, gekleidet in weiß, steht in einer Allee. Der Vater hebt einen Sohn hoch. Alle lächeln oder lachen.
CC0 Creative Commons

In principle, later immigration of a visiting scholar’s family members for the purpose of reuniting the family is possible if you qualify for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or a settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis), the accommodation is adequate to house the additional family members, they possess adequate health insurance and are sufficiently supported financially. 

The proper permit for the visiting scholar’s spouse is the residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis as defined in §§ 27, 29, 30 AufenthG). Subject to the residence status of the visiting scholar already residing in Germany and the planned period of the stay, the spouse arriving later will be granted a residence permit. If the visiting scholar possesses a residence permit of at least one year or a settlement permit, the spouse must be granted a residence permit. If, however, the visiting scholar has been granted a residence permit of less than one year, the spouse arriving subsequently may be granted a residence permit, which is a decision within the discretion of the Foreigners' Registration Office. 

Unmarried minor children younger than 16 are permitted to join the visiting scholar. Children between 16 and 18 can be granted a residence permit when the prospects of integration are favourable (among other prerequisites competence in German) or in the event of hardship.

Required Documents

  • Valid Passports
  • Marriage certificate (original document and certified translation)
  • Birth certificates (original document and certified translation)
  • Copy of the passport and residence permit of the partner who is already staying in Germany
  • All other relevant documents of the partner who is already staying in Germany
  • If necessary, the A1-Certificate of the following partner (to proof the knowledge of the German language, not necessary for §18d)

Invitation of Family Members

If a visa for visitors cannot be issued for your family members, you can invite visitors for a shorter time with a formal obligation ("Verpflichtungserklärung"). The following documents are necessary:

  • Passport or ID
  • Proof of income for the last three months
  • Proof of accommodation / costs
  • Administration fee

Obligations with regard to the guest:

  • Obligation to cover all the costs ensuing in case of an enforced repatriation
  • Assumption of all costs for the guest's financial support during the stay in Germany

There should not be more than six months between the issuing of the formal obligation and the guest's entry to Germany.

Tip: Formal obligation ("Verpflichtungserklärung")

Here you will find the information sheet for the formal obligation:

Merkblatt Verpflichtungserklärung

Family and Children

If you have any questions about child care and family benefits, please go to "Family & Children".

Please note that the information provided by the Welcome Service is not legally binding and is not intended to replace information provided by professional experts in the respective field.
We recommend you to also consult the diplomatic mission or your local Immigration Office for more detailed information on your individual case.