Bringing your family

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Life is best when you are all together, so bring your family with you to Germany.

Germany’s regulations are very family-oriented: your spouse or partner and your children can come with you from the outset or join you and will receive a residence permit.

This is true regardless of whether you come to Germany

  • as a researcher or scientist,
  • on an EU Blue Card or
  • as a highly qualified professional.

And of course this also applies if you and your family are citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. In this case you and your dependents benefit from the EU’s freedom of movement policy: you will not need any residence or work permit.

Even if your partner is not an EU citizen, he or she will still be entitled to enter and stay in Germany. It is possible that a visa will then be required, but if so it will be easier to obtain.

Your family can also join you even if you are still studying for a doctoral degree. In this case, however, certain requirements have to be met – your spouse or partner will for example need to have a basic command of German.

Further information can be obtained from the German diplomatic missions responsible for visa affairs in your home country, or from the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) in the town or city in Germany where your family will be living.

Good to know:

  • You can bring your spouse or partner and children with you.
  • Citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are entitled to move freely within the EU.

More information

Interactive world map with an overview of Germany’s diplomatic missions abroad: > Local contacts

Overview of the different residence permits available to academics from third-party countries and their families: > Download PDF