Residence for Children in Germany: Understanding the Legal Requirements and Options Available

Overview of Residence for Children in Germany

If you are a parent living in Germany and you are going through a separation or divorce, you may be wondering about the options available to you for the residence of your children. In Germany, the legal term for child custody is “Sorgerecht,” which refers to the rights and responsibilities of parents towards their children.

When it comes to the residence of children, there are two main options available in Germany: “Alleinige Sorge” and “Geteilte Sorge.” “Alleinige Sorge” means sole custody, which gives one parent the exclusive right to make decisions for the child and determine where the child will live. “Geteilte Sorge” means joint custody, which gives both parents the right to make decisions for the child and share responsibility for the child’s upbringing.

In the case of joint custody, the child’s place of residence is usually decided by agreement between the parents. If the parents cannot agree, a court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s wishes (if they are old enough to express them), and the practicalities of the child’s daily life.

It’s important to note that in Germany, the court’s decision is not based on the gender of the parent, but rather on the child’s best interests. This means that both mothers and fathers have the same rights and responsibilities when it comes to child custody and residence.

If you are going through a separation or divorce in Germany and you have children, it’s important to seek legal advice to understand your options and rights. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the legal system and work towards a solution that is in the best interests of your children.

Types of Residence Permits

If you are a child living in Germany, you may need a residence permit to stay in the country legally. Depending on your circumstances, there are different types of residence permits that you may be eligible for.

Residence Permit

A residence permit allows you to live in Germany for a specified period, usually up to two years. It is typically issued to non-EU citizens who are studying or working in Germany. Children who are accompanying their parents with a residence permit may also be eligible for a residence permit.

Temporary Residence Permit

If you are a child seeking asylum in Germany, you may be eligible for a temporary residence permit. This permit allows you to stay in the country for a limited period while your asylum application is being processed. Temporary residence permits are typically valid for up to six months, but they can be extended in certain circumstances.

Permanent Residence Permit

A permanent residence permit allows you to live and work in Germany indefinitely. To be eligible for a permanent residence permit, you must have lived in Germany for a certain period, usually five years, and meet other criteria such as language proficiency and financial stability.

Limited Residence Permit

A limited residence permit is issued to individuals who are not eligible for a regular residence permit or asylum, but who cannot be deported due to certain circumstances, such as a serious illness. This permit is typically valid for up to one year.

Aufenthaltserlaubnis

Aufenthaltserlaubnis is the German word for residence permit. It is the most common type of permit issued to non-EU citizens living in Germany. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a regular aufenthaltserlaubnis, a temporary aufenthaltserlaubnis, or a permanent aufenthaltserlaubnis.

In summary, there are different types of residence permits available for children living in Germany, depending on their circumstances. It is important to understand the requirements for each type of permit and to apply for the appropriate permit to ensure that you can stay in the country legally.

Residence Permit Application Process

If you are a parent or legal guardian of a child who needs a residence permit in Germany, you will need to follow the application process outlined below.

Required Documents

To apply for a residence permit for your child, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid passport or national passport
  • Biometric photo
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Legal custody documents (if applicable)
  • Translation of any documents not in German

Application Form

The application form for a residence permit for your child can be obtained from the local Foreigners’ Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) in your area. You will need to complete the form in full and submit it with the required documents.

Personal Interview

After submitting your application and documents, you may be required to attend a personal interview at the Foreigners’ Registration Office. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your child’s background, your relationship to the child, and your reasons for applying for a residence permit.

It is important to note that the application process for a residence permit for a child can be complex and time-consuming. It is recommended that you begin the application process well in advance of your child’s planned arrival in Germany.

Overall, the application process for a residence permit for a child in Germany requires careful attention to detail and adherence to all requirements. By following the steps outlined above and providing all necessary documents and information, you can increase your chances of a successful application.

Residence Permit for Family Members

If you are a Syrian refugee with a residence permit in Germany, you may be wondering how to bring your family members to live with you. Family reunification is possible, but it requires a residence permit for each family member. In this section, we will discuss the requirements for obtaining a residence permit for your spouse and minors.

Spouse

If you are married, your spouse can apply for a residence permit to join you in Germany. To be eligible for a residence permit, your spouse must meet certain requirements. They must be at least 18 years old and have a valid passport. They must also be able to support themselves financially and have basic knowledge of the German language.

To apply for a residence permit, your spouse must submit an application to the German embassy or consulate in your home country. The application must include a valid passport, a marriage certificate, and proof of financial means. Once the application is approved, your spouse will be issued a residence permit and can join you in Germany.

Minors

If you have children who are under 18 years old, they can also apply for a residence permit to join you in Germany. To be eligible for a residence permit, your children must be unmarried and under 18 years old. They must also have a valid passport and be able to support themselves financially.

To apply for a residence permit, you must submit an application to the German embassy or consulate in your home country. The application must include a valid passport, a birth certificate, and proof of financial means. Once the application is approved, your children will be issued a residence permit and can join you in Germany.

It is important to note that if your children are living with other family members in your home country, they may not be eligible for a residence permit. In this case, you may need to seek legal advice to determine the best course of action.

In conclusion, obtaining a residence permit for your family members can be a complex process, but it is possible. By meeting the eligibility requirements and submitting a complete application, you can bring your spouse and minors to live with you in Germany.

Rights and Obligations of Residence Permit Holders

As a holder of a residence permit in Germany, you have certain rights and obligations. It is important to understand these in order to ensure that you comply with the law and make the most of your time in Germany.

Rights

Right of Residence

The most important right that comes with a residence permit is the right of residence. This means that you are allowed to reside in Germany for a specified period of time. Depending on the type of permit you have, this may be for a limited or an unlimited period.

Right to Work

If you have a residence permit that allows you to work, you have the right to work in Germany. This means that you can take up employment or start your own business. However, there may be restrictions on the type of work you can do, depending on the conditions of your permit.

Right to Education

If you are a child with a residence permit, you have the right to education in Germany. This includes access to schools and universities, as well as language and cultural courses.

Obligations

Reporting Obligations

As a residence permit holder, you have certain reporting obligations. This includes informing the authorities of any changes to your personal circumstances, such as a change of address or a change in your employment status.

Compliance with the Law

It is important to comply with the law while you are in Germany. This includes obeying traffic rules, paying taxes, and respecting the rights of others.

Integration Obligations

If you are a non-EU citizen, you may have certain integration obligations. This includes learning the German language and culture, as well as participating in integration courses.

In conclusion, as a residence permit holder in Germany, you have certain rights and obligations. Understanding these is important to ensure that you comply with the law and make the most of your time in Germany.

Residence for Refugees

As a refugee with a residence permit in Germany, you may be wondering about your options for housing. Families with children should ideally relocate to a larger apartment or house, as this will provide more space for children to play and study. However, finding suitable housing can be challenging, particularly if you have a limited budget.

One option for refugees with children is to apply for social housing. Social housing is provided by the government and is intended for low-income households. If you are eligible, you may be able to rent a subsidized apartment or house. However, social housing is in high demand, and waiting lists can be long.

Another option is to rent a private apartment or house. Private landlords may be more willing to rent to refugees with a residence permit if you have a good credit history and can provide references. It is important to note that private housing can be more expensive than social housing, and you may be required to pay a deposit.

If you have children, you may also be eligible for child benefit payments. Child benefit is a monthly payment that is intended to help with the cost of raising children. The amount of child benefit you receive will depend on the number of children you have and their age.

Overall, finding suitable housing as a refugee with a residence permit in Germany can be challenging, but there are options available. It is important to explore all of your options and to seek advice and support from local organizations and charities if needed.

Residence for Foreign Nationals

If you are a foreign national residing in Germany, you may be eligible for a secure residence status. This is especially relevant for children of foreign nationals born in Germany, who will receive German citizenship. According to a report by UNICEF, Germany is a country of immigrants, with around 6.7 million resident foreign citizens.

EU Blue Card Holders

If you hold an EU Blue Card, you can stay in Germany for up to four years to work and live. After that, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit. To be eligible for an EU Blue Card, you must have a university degree and a job offer with a minimum salary of €55,200 per year.

Foreign Academic Staff

If you are a visiting scholar or academic staff from a non-EU country, you may be eligible for a residence permit for research purposes. This permit allows you to work and live in Germany for up to two years, with the possibility of extending it. To be eligible, you must have a hosting agreement with a German research institution and meet certain qualifications.

STEM Professionals

If you are a STEM professional, you may be eligible for a residence permit for the purpose of employment. This permit allows you to work and live in Germany for up to four years, with the possibility of extending it. To be eligible, you must have a job offer with a minimum salary of €44,304 per year and meet certain qualifications.

In summary, there are various residence permits available for foreign nationals in Germany, including EU Blue Card holders, foreign academic staff, and STEM professionals. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to live and work in Germany for a specified period of time.

Residence for German Citizens

If you are a German citizen, you have the right to reside in Germany. This means that you can live and work in the country without any restrictions. However, if you plan to stay in Germany for more than three months, you need to register your residence with the local authorities. This is known as Anmeldung and it is mandatory for all residents in Germany.

Once you have registered your residence, you will receive a registration certificate known as Anmeldebestätigung. This document serves as proof of your residence in Germany and you will need it for various administrative purposes, such as opening a bank account, enrolling in a school, or applying for a job.

If you plan to stay in Germany for more than a year, you may need to apply for a residence permit. This is a document that confirms your right to reside in Germany for a specific period. The type of residence permit you need depends on your purpose of stay, such as work, study, family reunion, or asylum.

If you are a German citizen and your children were born in Germany, they are automatically German citizens as well. This means that they have the same rights to reside in Germany as you do. However, if your children were born outside of Germany, they may need to apply for German citizenship or a residence permit to stay in the country.

In general, the German government encourages family reunification and allows family members of German citizens to join them in the country. If you are a German citizen and your spouse or children are not German citizens, they may be eligible for a family reunion visa or a residence permit. However, there are certain requirements and conditions that need to be met, such as sufficient income, health insurance, and language proficiency.

Permanent Residence and Settlement

If you are a child of Turkish immigrants in Germany, you may be eligible for permanent residence or a settlement permit. A permanent residence permit allows you to stay in Germany indefinitely and gives you the freedom to work or study without restrictions. On the other hand, a settlement permit is a step further, granting you the right to live and work in Germany without any time limits.

To be eligible for a permanent residence permit, you must have lived in Germany for at least five years with a valid residence permit. Additionally, you must meet certain requirements, such as having sufficient financial resources, health insurance, and no criminal record.

If you have a permanent residence permit, you have the option to apply for a settlement permit after a certain period of time. Usually, you can apply for a settlement permit after living in Germany for eight years with a permanent residence permit. However, if you have completed an integration course or have a degree from a German university, you may be eligible to apply after only seven years.

It’s important to note that a settlement permit is not the same as German citizenship. While a settlement permit grants you the right to live and work in Germany indefinitely, it does not give you the right to vote or hold a German passport.

In some cases, children born in Germany to non-German parents may also be eligible for a permanent settlement permit. This is typically the case if the child has lived in Germany for at least eight years and has completed a certain level of education in the country.

Overall, if you are a child of Turkish immigrants in Germany, there are various options available to you for permanent residence and settlement. It’s important to research and understand the requirements for each permit and seek professional advice if necessary.

Residence for Children Born in Germany

If your child was born in Germany, they have the right to reside in the country. However, there are certain requirements that must be met to ensure that your child is legally allowed to live in Germany.

Firstly, you must register your child’s birth with the local registry office (Standesamt) within one week of their birth. This is a legal requirement and failure to do so may result in fines or other penalties. Once your child’s birth is registered, they will be issued a birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde).

Next, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) for your child. This can be done at the local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde) and requires certain documentation, such as your child’s birth certificate, your passport, and proof of financial means to support your child.

It is important to note that a residence permit for a child born in Germany is only valid until the age of 16. After that, your child will need to apply for a new residence permit based on their own circumstances.

If you are a non-German citizen, your child may also be eligible for German citizenship if certain requirements are met. For example, if one or both parents have been living in Germany for at least eight years and have a permanent residence permit, the child may be eligible for citizenship.

Overall, it is important to ensure that your child’s residence in Germany is legal and properly documented. Failure to do so may result in fines, penalties, or even deportation.

Naturalisation Process

If you are a foreigner living permanently in Germany and wish to obtain German citizenship for your child, you may need to go through the naturalisation process. Naturalisation is the process by which a foreign national can acquire German citizenship by meeting certain requirements.

To be eligible for naturalisation, you must have an unlimited residence permit and have been living in Germany for a certain period of time, usually at least eight years. You must also have a clean criminal record and be able to support yourself and your family without relying on government assistance.

If you are a parent of a child born in Germany, your child may automatically become a German citizen if one of its parents was born in Germany and possessed an unlimited residence permit or entitlement at the time of the child’s birth. However, if neither parent was born in Germany and does not possess an unlimited residence permit, you may need to apply for naturalisation for your child.

The naturalisation process for children is similar to that for adults. You will need to provide various documents, such as your child’s birth certificate, passport, and proof of language proficiency. You may also need to pass a citizenship test and attend a citizenship ceremony.

It is important to note that naturalisation is not always guaranteed, and the process can take several months to complete. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an immigration lawyer or other qualified professional to help guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements.

Overall, the naturalisation process can be a complex and lengthy process, but it can provide many benefits for you and your family, including the ability to live and work in Germany without restrictions and access to various social services and benefits.

Health Insurance Requirements

If you are a parent or guardian of a child residing in Germany, it is important to understand the health insurance requirements. All children residing in Germany are required by law to have health insurance coverage. This includes children who are refugees, asylum seekers, or have an irregular migrant status.

There are two types of health insurance coverage available for children in Germany: statutory health insurance (SHI) and private health insurance (PHI). SHI is mandatory for children who are under 18 years old and whose parents or guardians are employed and paying social security contributions. If you are self-employed or unemployed, you can also enroll your child in SHI.

On the other hand, PHI is an option for those who do not qualify for SHI. This includes children whose parents or guardians have a high income or are self-employed. PHI can also be a good option for those who want more flexibility and additional coverage.

It is important to note that not all health care services are covered by health insurance. For example, dental care is not fully covered by SHI and requires additional payments. However, regular check-ups and preventive care are covered, and children are entitled to free vaccinations.

If you are unsure about which type of health insurance is best for your child, it is recommended to seek advice from a professional. You can also compare different insurance plans and coverage options to make an informed decision.

Overall, it is crucial to ensure that your child has adequate health insurance coverage while residing in Germany. By understanding the requirements and options available, you can provide your child with access to quality health care services.

Family Reunification

If you are a non-EU citizen living in Germany and have a child under the age of 18 who lives abroad, you may be eligible to apply for family reunification. This process allows your child to join you in Germany and live with you.

To be eligible for family reunification, you must meet certain requirements. For example, you must have a valid residence permit and be able to provide financial support for your child. Additionally, your child must meet certain requirements, such as being under the age of 18 and unmarried.

The process for family reunification can take several months, and it is important to begin the process as soon as possible. You will need to provide documentation, such as birth certificates and proof of financial support, and your child will need to undergo a medical examination and obtain a visa.

It is also important to note that the German government has placed restrictions on family reunification in the past. For example, in 1981, children had to be aged 16 or under to be eligible for family reunification. Additionally, having children in the home country may increase the likelihood of return migration for male immigrants.

Overall, family reunification can be a complex and lengthy process, but it can allow you to be reunited with your child and provide them with a better life in Germany.

Immigration Office Procedures

To obtain a residence permit for your child in Germany, you must go through the immigration office procedures. The immigration office is responsible for processing all applications for residence permits, and it is important to follow the procedures carefully to ensure a successful outcome.

First, you will need to make an appointment at the immigration office. You can do this by calling the office or visiting their website. It is important to note that the waiting time for an appointment can be several weeks, so it is best to plan ahead and book your appointment in advance.

When you go to your appointment, you will need to bring all the necessary documents with you. These documents may include your child’s passport, birth certificate, proof of health insurance, and proof of financial support. The immigration office will review your documents and may ask you additional questions about your child’s background and your reasons for wanting to stay in Germany.

After your appointment, the immigration office will review your application and make a decision about whether to grant your child a residence permit. If your application is approved, you will receive a document called an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, which is your child’s official residence permit.

It is important to keep in mind that the immigration office procedures may vary depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if your child is from a non-European Union country, you may need to provide additional documentation or meet different requirements. It is a good idea to research the specific requirements for your situation before you go to your appointment.

Overall, the immigration office procedures for obtaining a residence permit for your child in Germany can be complex, but by following the procedures carefully and providing all the necessary documentation, you can increase your chances of success.

Integration Courses

If you are a non-German speaking child living in Germany, you may be eligible to participate in integration courses. These courses are designed to help you learn the German language and culture, as well as provide you with information about living in Germany.

To participate in an integration course, you must be at least 16 years old and have a residence permit. Children who are younger than 16 years old and who have a residence permit can attend integration courses if they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

The integration course consists of two parts: a language course and an orientation course. The language course teaches you German and helps you improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The orientation course provides you with information about German culture, history, and society.

After completing the integration course, you will receive an integration course certificate. This certificate confirms that you have successfully completed the course and may help you with your future job or education prospects.

It is important to note that attending an integration course is not mandatory for children. However, it is highly recommended as it can help you integrate into German society and improve your chances of success in the future.

German Language Proficiency

If you are a non-native German-speaking child residing in Germany, it is crucial to have a good command of the German language to succeed in school and in everyday life. Research shows that language proficiency is a key factor in academic success and social integration.

In Germany, children with migration backgrounds often face language barriers in school due to limited German language proficiency. According to a study, young children with migration backgrounds are more likely to be held back in school due to language difficulties than their German peers.

To address this issue, Germany has implemented language requirements for certain groups of immigrants, including ethnic German immigrants and foreign children from certain countries. These individuals are required to prove basic German language skills before they can obtain a residence permit.

If you are a non-native German-speaking child residing in Germany, there are several resources available to help you improve your German language skills. Many schools offer German language courses for non-native speakers, and there are also private language schools and language exchange programs.

In addition, it is important to practice speaking German as much as possible in daily life. This can include speaking with classmates, neighbors, and friends, as well as watching German TV shows and movies and reading German books and newspapers. By actively working to improve your German language proficiency, you can increase your chances of academic success and social integration in Germany.

If you need assistance with legal and immigration matters related to residence for children in Germany, there are several resources available to you. This section covers some of the options you may consider.

Counselling Centres

There are several counselling centres in Germany that can provide guidance and support to families with children seeking residence. One such centre is the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). BAMF provides counselling services to migrants and refugees, including assistance with legal and immigration matters. You can find more information about BAMF’s services on their website.

Immigration Lawyers

If you require legal assistance with immigration matters, you may want to consider hiring an immigration lawyer. Immigration lawyers can provide advice and representation on a range of immigration issues, including residence permits for children. When choosing an immigration lawyer, it is important to ensure that they have experience in the area of law you require assistance with. You can find a list of immigration lawyers in Germany through the German Bar Association.

It is important to note that legal and immigration assistance can be costly. If you are unable to afford legal representation, you may be eligible for legal aid. Legal aid is a government-funded program that provides free legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal services. You can find more information about legal aid in Germany on the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection website.

Overall, seeking legal and immigration assistance can be a complex and daunting process. However, by utilizing the resources available to you, you can ensure that you have the support you need to navigate the system and secure residence for your children in Germany.

Exceptions and Special Cases

In Germany, there are some exceptions and special cases when it comes to residence for children. Here are some examples:

  • Children of German citizens: Children of German citizens are generally granted German citizenship at birth. However, if the child is born outside of Germany and only one parent is German, the child may need to apply for German citizenship.

  • Children of foreign nationals: Children of foreign nationals who are born in Germany are generally granted German citizenship if at least one parent has been living in Germany for at least eight years and has a valid residence permit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

  • Asylum seekers and refugees: Children who are seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status in Germany are generally allowed to stay in the country. However, the process can be lengthy and complicated, and there may be restrictions on where they can live and what they can do.

  • Children of EU citizens: Children of EU citizens who are living and working in Germany are generally allowed to stay in the country. However, there may be restrictions on what they can do and where they can live.

  • Children of non-EU citizens: Children of non-EU citizens who are living and working in Germany may need to apply for a residence permit. The process can be complicated and may require proof of financial means and other documentation.

  • Unaccompanied minors: Unaccompanied minors who arrive in Germany without a parent or guardian may be placed in a foster home or other type of care facility. They may also be eligible for asylum or refugee status if they meet certain criteria.

It is important to note that the rules and regulations regarding residence for children in Germany can be complex and may change over time. If you have any questions or concerns, it is best to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or other legal professional.

Costs Associated with Residence Permits

If you are a foreign child living in Germany, you may need a residence permit to stay in the country legally. However, obtaining a residence permit is not free, and there are several costs associated with the process.

Firstly, you will need to pay a fee when you apply for a residence permit. The exact amount you will need to pay depends on your age, the duration of your stay, and other factors. As of October 2023, the fee for a first-time application for a residence permit is €100 for children under the age of 16 and €80 for those over 16 years old.

Additionally, you may need to pay for other expenses related to your residence permit, such as translation and notarization of documents, travel expenses to and from the immigration office, and medical examinations. These costs can vary depending on your specific situation.

It is also important to note that if you are a non-EU citizen, you may need to show proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay in Germany. This can include bank statements, employment contracts, or other evidence of income. If you do not meet the financial requirements, you may need to pay for a deposit to cover potential costs during your stay.

Finally, it is crucial to renew your residence permit before it expires, as failing to do so can result in fines or even deportation. The cost of renewing a residence permit can vary, but it is usually less expensive than the initial application fee.

In summary, obtaining and maintaining a residence permit in Germany can be costly, and it is essential to budget for these expenses when planning your stay. Be sure to research the specific costs associated with your situation and plan accordingly to avoid any unexpected financial burdens.

Residence in Other Countries

If you are interested in the residence for children in Germany, you may also want to know about the residence options available in other countries. Here are some examples:

Switzerland

In Switzerland, children can live in a variety of different types of residences, depending on their needs. Some of the options include:

  • Foster homes: where children live with a family that is not their own, but who provide them with a safe and stable environment.
  • Group homes: where children live in a group setting with other children and staff who provide them with support and care.
  • Residential schools: where children live on the school campus and receive both education and care from staff members.

In Switzerland, the goal of residence for children is to provide them with a safe and stable environment where they can receive the care and support they need to grow and develop.

Other Countries

Other countries also have different types of residence options for children. For example:

  • In the United States, children may live in foster homes, group homes, or residential treatment centers.
  • In the United Kingdom, children may live in foster homes, group homes, or residential schools.
  • In Canada, children may live in foster homes, group homes, or residential treatment centers.

The specific types of residence options available in each country may vary, but the goal is always the same: to provide children with a safe and stable environment where they can receive the care and support they need to thrive.

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