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Criticism of German Visa Policy for Families

Criticism of German visa policy concerning visitor´ s visa for parents of highly skilled people

This is the situation: Germany relies on skilled and competent employees especially in the IT-sector. They are highly appreciated in the German economy and well paid.

After they matched the criteria for a German unlimited residence permit or even a German passport they find themselves well in Germany. Of course family wants to visit the daughter or son that works in Germany, especially the parents.

In general this should be easily possible.

But we heard and hear about so many difficulties in getting a visitor ´s visa for family members, mostly when the parent is a widow or a widower.

One could extremely wonder why, since they ask for an understandable wish to get to know their children´ s other new “home” abroad? Still German authorities tend to give them a hard time getting a visa:

At first they have to prove enough means of living in their home countries to manifest their intention to return. Especially when parents are major and widows or widowers authorities often doubt and fear a permanent stay in Germany of the parent.

Secondly financial means themselves have to be proved to be in the account in the home country. And of course often they will be provided by the well earning child in Germany. The authorities don’t accept that or at least question that. It ´s really a lack of respect arguing like that. In a lot of societies by tradition the children pay for their parents. Parents invested in their children` s studies to have financial support when they are pensioners. This should be accepted and highly appreciated.

And finally strong family bindings should be proved which are very often denied when parents are widows or widowers.

The efforts for getting the visa proving to have property, financial means and tough family bindings by preparing lists of relatives and documents, giving so much inside in personal data and intimacy often end in a long-term court´ s process. Very often the results are positive then, and me as a lawyer I am very happy to get to help people to achieve their rights, but on the other hand, I feel so bad and I am asking myself why it could have not been issued in the embassy directly. In most of the cases it would be helpful just to improve the communication between the visa officer and the applicant. When documents are missing then to ask for them instead of refusing the visa immediately. Not all the documents are taken by the officers and case workers at the front desk in the Embassy.

We would like to appeal to the competent authorities and embassies of Germany: to recognize the needs of parents to visit their children. Lower the obstacles to obtain a short term visa to visit family.!

Katja Ponert

Partner at vpmk attorneys, Berlin


Katja is a very experienced and competent lawyer, specalized in alien law and cooperating with trust7 for 10 years. Detlef

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