Apply for residence card for family members of Union citizens

Service Description

As a third-country family member of a national of the European Union (EU) or of a state of the European Economic Area (EEA: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), you have the right to move freely with your reference person in the European Union, to enter and reside in any member state, provided that the conditions under EU law are met. This also includes the free choice of residence in the member states of the European Union.

Third-country nationals are those who do not hold the citizenship of an EU member state, the EEA or Switzerland.

"Family members" are the following persons:

  • Spouses, life partners, and relatives in a straight descending line (for example, children), as well as their spouses/life partners, provided they are under 21 years of age, and
  • relatives of EU citizens entitled to freedom of movement in a straight ascending line and in a straight descending line (older children, grandchildren as well as parents and grandparents) or their spouses or life partners to whom the EU citizens or their spouses or life partners provide maintenance.

If the EU or EEA citizen is studying in Germany, the group of family members entitled to join the family is limited to spouses and life partners as well as children who are granted maintenance.

If you are a third-country national family member, you will need a visa to enter Germany, unless entry can be visa-free.

During the first three months of your stay in Germany, your stay is subject only to the condition that you have a family relationship with the reference person entitled to freedom of movement, that you accompany this person and that you are in possession of a recognized or otherwise approved passport or passport substitute.

For a stay of more than three months, you need a residence card, which is issued to you by the Aliens' Registration Office ex officio and within six months.

In this case, the Aliens' Registration Office will check whether the conditions for freedom of movement have been met. Among other things, it may require proof of the family relationship with the reference person (for example, by documentary evidence). In addition, you may be required to provide proof that the reference person has actually made use of his/her right to freedom of movement (for example, by submitting a certificate of registration). If the reference person you are accompanying or joining is not gainfully employed, you should also be able to provide proof of sufficient means of subsistence and adequate health insurance coverage (this also applies to children who may be accompanying you). Proof of language skills is generally not required to obtain a residence card.

Until a decision is made on the issuance of the residence card, your stay in Germany is considered legal.

With the issuance of the residence card, the existence of the right to freedom of movement is established. The residence card is generally issued for five years, unless a shorter period results from the residence of your reference person from whom you derive your right of residence.

If you have not yet reached the age of 18, a person entitled to your personal care must consent to your planned stay in Germany.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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