Family reunification for parents and parents-in-law of foreign professionals as of March 2024

Dear viewers, welcome to the channel of Sonnenberg Law Office from Düsseldorf!

Today I would like to report on the Federal Government’s decision on the second migration package of June 23, 2023. The purpose is in particular the recruitment of skilled workers from abroad.

The good news is that family reunification for your parents and parents-in-law is made much easier if you are a foreigner living and working in Germany. The bad news: you have one less excuse if you’d rather keep your parents or in-laws at a distance.

This new simplification applies if you work in Germany as a foreign specialist or in a management position.
We remember: until now, family reunification was so easy only for the CORE FAMILY. These were spouses and minor children.

Family reunification for parents and parents-in-law was previously provided only in HARD CASE. These were circumstances that one would not wish for, and most of the time they were not fulfilled. Example: the parents live alone abroad and are in need of care, but there are retirement homes there. This is not sufficient for a hardship case.

But that does not matter now. A hardship case is no longer required.

The new excerpt from the law, i.e. § 36 paragraph 3 AufenthG reads, and I quote freely:

The parents of a foreigner who is first issued an EU Blue Card, ICT card or … other residence titles follow …. or a residence permit is issued for employment as a manager, executive, or self-employed person, a residence permit for family reunification may be issued; this also applies to the parents of the spouse if the latter resides permanently in the Federal territory.

I would like to emphasize some specifics of this new provision:

STICHTAG: the residence permit for gainful employment of the so-called STAMMBERECHTIGTEN, i.e. the foreigner working in Germany, may only be issued for the FIRST TIME from 01 March 2024.
This illustrates the intent of the legislature to recruit NEW workers. Those who are already in Germany to work no longer need to be recruited.
So this person is no longer allowed to get their parents and in-laws?

Maybe it is! This is because anyone who was previously in Germany for ANOTHER purpose, for example to study, can meet the deadline if the person does not receive a residence permit for employment until March 2024.
Dear Students. If you just finished your studies and already have a job offer, congratulations! Think twice before applying for a residence permit for employment. Maybe it is better to take the residence permit for job search first and change to the residence permit for employment only from March 2024. Your disadvantage: The residence permit for job search does not count for the settlement permit.

Or what about spouses of Germans or foreigners who previously had a residence permit for family reunification? It is conceivable that they will apply for a residence permit for employment from March 2024. Then maybe the parents can come.

This is also possible if the spouse already has a settlement permit. He does not have to hand it over or exchange it for the residence permit for employment. Because it is allowed to have several residence permits.

BUT ATTENTION: Discretion. There is no claim. The residence permit for the parents CAN be granted. But does not have to. Therefore, I can imagine that it will be difficult if the STAMMBERG foreigner has already resided in Germany before March 2024. Because then the purpose of the law to attract this person to Germany is not fulfilled.

OPINION: The cutoff date rule is wrong. Because it should also privilege the professionals who are already here, so that they stay.

PERSONNEL CIRCLE OF EMPLOYEES: The privilege is enjoyed not only by professionals, but also, for example, self-employed persons or salaried managers who do not necessarily have a qualification as a professional. Whether that is a blessing remains to be seen. It is also conceivable that the issuance of the visa for the worker by the embassy abroad will be stricter.

HEALTH INSURANCE: in practice, the parents’ health insurance will become a problem. Private health insurance will be very expensive due to old age. Entry into a statutory health insurance scheme is subject to certain conditions. The easiest way is for one of the parents to take up employment subject to social insurance contributions themselves. A work permit is included in the residence permit.

Otherwise, there will be a difficult examination of the statutory health insurance fund in accordance with § 5 Paragraph 1 Number 13 SGB V as to whether the health insurance fund must accept the person. Presumably, the German embassy abroad will already request a confirmation of health insurance when the parents apply for a visa, in order to avoid risks of not being insured.

PERIOD OF VALIDITY: The residence permit of the is issued at the longest for the period of validity of the residence permit of the parent beneficiary. However, it is also possible for the parents to change the purpose, for example, to apply for a residence permit for employment themselves at a later date. In addition, the parents can later also obtain a settlement permit under the general rules.

Dear viewers, thank you very much for visiting us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. I would be pleased to welcome you here again soon, your lawyer Simon Sonnenberg