Coming with the family

As a family-friendly university, Goethe University will help where it can in organising the subsequent immigration of your family and will help you settle in with your family in Frankfurt. Depending on your nationality, your family will likely also require a visa and a residence permit in order to stay in Frankfurt. Please inform the Goethe Welcome Centre ahead of time whether your family will be coming with you, so that we can advise you about the subsequent immigration procedure for your family and can help you with the formalities. Please note that the issue of a visa can take between 8 and 12 weeks, depending on the circumstances.

Please start by collecting the information you need to apply for a visa for your family. You can find information on this on the Goethe Welcome Centre website. The prerequisites for a visa application to reunite your family may differ, depending in the Consulate General in question. Thus we urgently recommend that you check the website of your local German Mission Abroad (German Embassy or Consulate) for the requirements relevant to you and your family.

If you are required to hold a visa (Visumspflicht), the subsequent immigration / family reunification can be most easily arranged if the receiving scientist or researcher already holds a residence permit issued in accordance with the Researcher Directive. Normally, you must present the following documents as a minimum when applying for a visa for your spouse, your partner or your children (please take note of the requirements specified by the relevant Embassy responsible for you):

  • Appropriate application forms can be obtained from the relevant Consulates General
  • Copy of every page of the scientist's/researcher's passport (if you are already in Germany)
  • Copy of the scientist's/researcher's registration at the Frankfurt Municipality ( if you are already in Germany)
  • Copy of the rental contract (Landlord-Tenant Agreement) that you have in Frankfurt (if you are already in Germany, if not: proof of accommodation)
  • Documentary proof of all your utility costs in Frankfurt (water, heating, electricity, insurance, telephone, etc., if you are already in Germany)
  • Proof of the scientist's/researcher's financial resources (e.g. salary slip, scholarship certificate)
  • If you hold a residence permit issued in accordance with the Researcher Directive: the spouse/partner reuniting with the scientist/researcher does not need to prove that he/she speaks German if they were married before the scientist/researcher entered Germany. If this is not the case, it may, under certain circumstances, be necessary to prove that the "immigrating" spouse/partner has a basic knowledge of German (in specific cases it may be sufficient if your spouse holds a recognised university degree).
  • Marriage certificate (depending on nationality, it may be necessary to have this "legalised": Please contact the relevant Consulate General for information, please note that the legalisation process can take up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Where appropriate, a birth certificate
  • Where appropriate, graduation certificates (school-leaving certificate, university (degree) certificate, etc.)
  • The child's/children's birth certificates (depending on the nationality in question, it may be necessary to have these 'legalised': Please contact the relevant Consulate General for information, please note that the legalisation process can take up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photos
  • Informal letter of invitation from the scientist/researcher
  • Visa fee

The following links contain typical examples of information sheets on subsequent immigration / family reunification, being those published by the German Embassy in New Delhi and German Embassy in Beijing, respectively.