Opportunities for family members

Visa – Entry for Family Members

  • EU- Citizen: As an EU citizen, your spouse and children can live and work in Germany without restrictions. You do not need to apply for any special residence permit.
  • Citizens of Third Countries: Numerous conditions apply for bringing your family with you to Germany:
    • Residence Permit: As an employee, you have a residence/permanent residence permit or a “Blue EU Card” for Germany.
    • Living Space: You have rented an apartment in Germany that offers enough space for your entire family.

    • Money: You have sufficient financial resources to provide for your family.

    • Legal Age: Your spouse is an adult (at least 18 years of age).

    • Language Skills: You have a basic knowledge of German.

Bringing your children to Germany
It goes without saying that you can also bring your children to Germany. If you and your spouse have a residence permit for Germany, or if you are a single parent with legal custody of your children, your children aged up to 16 will also receive a residence permit. Special rules apply to children over 16. The best thing to do is to enquire at the German embassy in your home country, or at a foreign nationals' registration authority in Germany.

How to bring your family to Germany

Step 1 – in your home country: Your spouse and your children should go to a German embassy or consulate in their home country. There, they should apply for a residence permit for Germany for reasons of reuniting the family.

Step 2 – in Germany: Once your family has arrived in Germany, you must register them at the residents' registration office and at your local foreign residents' registration office. To do so, you must present your passports, birth and marriage certificates, salary slips and tax certificates, as well as proof that you are renting accommodation. Ask the registration offices what other documents are needed.

Opportunities for family members

Work: Your accompanying family members will be immediately granted a residence permit entitling them an unrestricted right to take up an employment in Germany

Education: Various childcare and education opportunities are available to your children, no matter their age. These range from nursery and elementary school to high school and higher education, are close to where you live, and are fitted with modern learning equipment. While childcare in Germany isn’t free, education at public institutions is and the German system enjoys an excellent reputation.

There are different forms of childcare in the Southern Upper Rhine region that you can take advantage of close to home that allow you to easily reconcile family and working life.


Childcare options

There are many different childcare options in Germany, including international childcare facilities.
There are childcare options for children under and above the age of 3. The cost of childcare varies and depends on how many hours you’ll need each day, among other things.
In Germany, education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 18. 


Nurseries / day care centers for children from 0 - 6 years of age

  • in the Emmendingen and Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald districts Kita-BW (only available in German)
  • Kinderbetreuung Freiburg (only available in German)

  • Bildungsatlas Ortenau (only available in German)

    Due to large demand, you should register your child as early as possible with the appropriate facility.



Most schools in Germany are state-run and therefore free. Many schools offer additional after-school care, and the number of after-school care options is constantly increasing. Due to popular demand for after-school care, you should register your child as soon as possible.

Information: There are various types of schools in Germany. First, all children must attend a local primary school for four years. Students then go on to attend one of the 5 different kinds of secondary schools available: “Hauptschule”, “Realschule”, “Werkrealschule”, “Gesamtschule”, and “Gymnasium”. We recommend seeking out detailed information and advice regarding each kind of school in order to choose the appropriate educational track for your child. You can find detailed information about the German school system here: Courses of Education in Baden-Württemberg (only available in German)/ Welcome to Germany

Tip! Children and young people who move to Germany during the course of their education require special support. Luckily, there are various preparatory, special, and German language classes available where they can benefit from the help of specially trained teachers before attending regular school.
Find out more about what options are available for your child at the Freiburg Education Office (or “Schulamt”, responsible for the Freiburg, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, and Emmendingen districts), the Offenburg Education Office (responsible for the Ortenau district) or your local Youth Migration Service (JMD, or “Jugendmigrationsdienst”). The Welcome Center is also here to help! 

Information and advice regarding the various childcare and education options in and around Freiburg are available through Wegweiser Bildung - Durchblick in Freiburg (only available in German).


State benefits

The German government supports families with the following services:

  • During and after pregnancy, women are entitled to care from a doctor or midwife as long as they have health insurance.

  • Maternity leave is granted to working pregnant women beginning 6 weeks before and ending 8 weeks after the birth of the child.

  • If you are an employee, you are entitled to parental leave until your child turns three.

  • In addition, you are entitled to a “parenting allowance” (“Elterngeld”) for the first 14 months after your child is born, as long as you are the main caregiver and therefore not fully capable of returning to work.

  • You will receive “childcare allowance” (“Betreuungsgeld”) from the moment your child is 15 months until they are 35 months old should you choose not to take advantage of the early childhood care provided by publicly run childcare centers.

  • You will receive “children’s allowance” (“Kindergeld”) for your children until they turn 18 (or in some cases 25).

Information: You can get parental leave and benefits if you have a residence and work permit for Germany, or if you have a permanent residence permit. 

You can find detailed information about state benefits here:


You can find further information regarding the topic of family here: Make it in Germany - Family.