Holders of EU Blue Cards can apply for family reunification to bring their close family members to join them in the EU state where they are working.

What family members are eligible for family reunification?

If you have an EU Blue Card and you are living in an EU member state, then you can apply for family reunification for:

  • Your spouse or registered partner
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Adult children who are dependent on you due to health conditions or disabilities
  • Dependent parents (not all EU states allow this)

Can all EU Blue Card holders apply for family reunification?

You can apply for family reunification if you have an EU Blue Card issued for work as a highly qualified worker, or a researcher. However, you will have to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • You have to be able to support your family members financially
  • You must have a work contract that is valid for at least another year
  • You must have accommodation which has sufficient space for all your family members
  • You must be able to prove your relation to them through the relevant documents
    • Some countries do not allow unmarried partners to apply for family reunification
  • You must obtain health insurance for them

Note: Seasonal workers cannot apply for family reunification.

How to apply for EU Blue Card family reunification?

Your family members can apply for a family reunification visa at the relevant EU state’s Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. For example, if you have an EU Blue Card for Germany, they have to apply at the German Embassy or Consulate.

  • They have to collect all the required documents (see below). This process can take a while, as you may also have to submit documents from the EU state, so it’s best to start preparing in advance.
  • Your family members submit them at the EU Embassy/Consulate in their country of residence
  • They may also have to enter an interview
  • Once the application is processed, they will receive their family reunification visa and be able to join you in the EU. it can take up to six months for requests to be approved depending on the country.
  • Once they are in the EU state, they have to apply for a residence permit at the relevant Immigration Office.
  • They will receive a residence permit for the same duration as your own Blue Card

You (as their sponsor) may also be able to submit the application for a family reunion at the relevant Immigration or Foreigner’s office in the EU state you are currently living in.

The exact process may change depending on the country.

What benefits do family members of EU Blue Card holders have?

When your family members join you in the EU, they will enjoy several benefits such as:

  • Your spouse or registered partner will be able to work without salary restriction and without applying for a work permit in any occupation he/she wishes.
  • None of your family members will be required to enter a language proficiency exam
  • They will receive residence permits that match the duration of your EU Blue Card
  • They can travel freely between all Schengen states for up to 90 days within any six-month period

What documents are required for EU Blue Card family reunification?

When your family members apply for family reunification at en Embassy/Consulate, they have to show several documents which support their application, such as:

  • Marriage certificate (for spouses)
  • Proof of civil registration (for registered partners)
  • Birth certificates (for children)
  • Proof of long-term relationship (for unmarried partners)
  • Other proof of dependency
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof that you (the sponsor) are able to support them financially
  • Proof that you (the sponsor) have suitable accommodation for them
  • Proof that your family members do not pose a risk to the public policy, security or health of the hosting state:
    • Health certificates
    • Police clearance certificates
  • Their passports along with copies of the relevant pages
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your residence permit/EU Blue Card
  • Proof of having paid the application fee

Civil documents, such as marriage/birth certificates cannot be older than six months. Additionally, they have to be Apostilled or otherwise legalized before being submitted.

What is the validity of the family reunification residence permit?

Residence permits issued on the grounds of family reunification with an EU Blue Card holder will have the same validity as the EU Blue Card.

Can you get a permanent residence permit through family reunification?

Yes, if your family members live in an EU state continuously for five years, they become eligible for permanent residency in the EU. In order to become eligible for permanent residency, they have to show they have sufficient knowledge of the language and of the legal and social system of the relevant EU state.

Permanent residents of the EU enjoy most of the benefits of citizens, such as:

  • Access to employment and self-employed activity.
  • Access to education and vocational training.
  • Social protection and assistance
  • Access to goods and services
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