I am Italian and I live and work n Germany. She lives in Cameroon and has a 4 years old kid. We know each other since a long time and now (well, after the corona issue) we want to live together in Germany. I think that the only way is to get married - but I accept hints on that - so my question is: would her kid get automatically the permission to come to Germany?

I ask this because 2 friends of mine had a strange issue. She is African and he is German and she was already living in Germany with a temporary permit. They got married here and she filed a family reunion visa for her minor kid in Africa. It took 3 years to complete the process and her husband had to adopt the kid!

I wrote an email to https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/ but no answer. Tomorrow I'll try to call.

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    You should ask your local foreigners office about this, since they are the ones who make the final decision. Basicly both should receive a D-Visa as family dependents of an EU Citizen from the consulate to take up residence. This is different from what the dependents of a German citizen would recieve. Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 13:25
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    @MarkJohnson as I have explained to you several times before, family of EU citizens get C visas, not D visas.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


Family of German citizens are subject to German domestic law as regards immigration to Germany. Family of Italian citizens are subject to the EU free movement directive when it comes to immigration to Germany. Unlike Italy, which has elected to treat its own citizens' families at least as favorably as those of citizens of other EU countries, Germany makes it harder for family of Germans.

Once you are married, your wife and her minor children will be eligible for residence under the free movement directive (2004/38/EC). You will not have to adopt the child. The visa should not take more than a couple of weeks.

Your wife will be covered under article 2(2)(a). Her child will be covered under article 2(2)(c). Article 2:

  1. ‘family member’ means:

(a) the spouse;

(b) the partner with whom the Union citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the legislation of a Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State;

(c) the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point (b);


  • Thanks for the info, but European Directives are not laws, as far as I know. For example, a girl from Africa I know, got her permit of stay in Germany after 5 years, and she got 3 kids 1 of whom handicapped. But the directives 2013/33/UE and 2013/32/UE impose a maximum time limit of 6 months. So I would not trust the directives.
    – marco
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 18:56
  • And yesterday I spoke with the husband that adopted the kid: he had to, to become full responsible. Otherwise, in case of death of the mother, the kid would be sent back to Gambia.
    – marco
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 18:58
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    @marco It's a little more complex than this. Directives really are law and EU law is binding on the court system in Germany and elsewhere. What you describe is presumably a case of some administrative authority ignoring it. It happens to statutes and other sources of national law as well and there are many cases of consulates taking illegal decisions. It's not fast or easy but such a decision can be appealed successfully based only on the fact that it breaks EU rules (which is why directives really do have legal consequences, even if they need to be implemented in national law).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 15:00
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    That's especially common these days with all the rules around international protection, with available resources completely overloaded and states making it as difficult as possible to have your status recognized. It's probably a bit better with matters related to the family of an EU citizen. Another issue with delays like the 6-month example is that if you don't have a decision to appeal or don't know how to navigate the system, you can be stuck in limbo.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 15:04
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    Regarding your friend who adopted his partner's child, keep in mind that, as @phoog explained, they are subject to another set of rules. EU law also has some say about that, under certain conditions the child could retain a right to stay in the country. Regarding your own family, it could also make sense to adopt your future wife's child quite apart from any visa consideration but you don't have to do it merely to secure a visa. Either way, this decision has huge legal, financial, and psychological consequences for all three of you.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 15:12

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