Questions and answers on the subject of family reunification of ethnic German repatriates

On this page we answer some important questions on the subject of family reunification of ethnic German repatriates, e.g. where to get a consultation appointment or how to submit documents.


Consultation appointments


Powers of attorney in the admission procedure

Patient transportation

New version of the Expellees Act (BVFG) – 10th BVFG Amendment Act

  • I have heard that new regulations for resettlement to Germany were introduced in September 2013. Which regulations are concerned?

    As before, ethnic German repatriate applicants must be descended from at least one German parent or grandparent, must have acknowledged their German nationality and be able to conduct a simple conversation in German. However, it is no longer necessary for German language skills to have been acquired within the family; knowledge of German as a foreign language is also sufficient. The language test can be repeated.

    A commitment to German nationality can - as has been the case up to now - be demonstrated by an explicit declaration (= entry in civil status documents such as a domestic passport or birth certificates of children) or by proof that the language skills sufficient for a simple conversation were acquired within the family.

    In addition, it is now possible to declare one's commitment to German ethnicity by presenting a certificate of proficiency in the German language according to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • I have been living in Germany for a long time but at the time I was “only” recognized according to § 7 paragraph 2 BVFG. Can I change anything about this status?

    It is not an easy question to answer: If you submitted a personal application for admission prior to your departure, but this application was subsequently rejected, and you were then granted a notification of inclusion as a relative, you cannot improve your existing status. In all other cases, or if you do not know for sure whether a negative decision has already been issued, please consult the GRC Tracing Service Hamburg Office and bring all documents with you.


  • I already live in Germany and would like to include my (grand)child in my notification of admission, are there any new regulations that apply?

    Yes, since the amendment of the law, inclusion can take place at any time, without any time limit or hardship reasons, even if you have already left the country as a reference person. The only condition being that the (grand)child was already born when you left the country. However, the descendant to be included must still have German language skills corresponding to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Proof of language skills can be provided either by a certificate from the Goethe Institute or by a so-called “language proficiency test” at a German mission abroad (embassy, consulate general).


  • What happens if my language skills are not sufficient for the language test / language level test?

    Since the amendment of the law, it is possible to repeat the “language test” for ethnic German repatriates, which the Federal Office of Administration carries out locally at some German missions abroad, as well as the so-called “language level test” for relatives to be included.


  • Does my son/daughter also have to provide proof of German language skills?

    Only applicants of full age have to provide proof of German language skills; underage descendants are exempt from this requirement. They will be included in the notification of admission of their reference person without proof of language skills. However, if the resettlement takes place after the minor has reached the age of majority, the inclusion becomes invalid. In this case, language skills must be proven by presenting an A1 certificate in order to obtain a new positive decision.


  • Are there any exceptions to the proof of German language skills for ethnic German repatriates?

    An ethnic German repatriate does not have to provide proof of his or her German language skills if he or she cannot possess these skills due to a physical, mental or psychological illness or disability. Much depends on a detailed case description and the necessary proof. Within the scope of its advisory service, the GRC Tracing Service will be happy to assist you in all necessary steps and knows what to look out for. Sometimes several solutions exist, one of which - depending on family interests - deserves preference. Especially in humanitarian hardship cases, both these interests and the different legal requirements and consequences must be taken into account. Prerequisite for this is a trustworthy consultation.


  • My relative has received a rejection notice from the BVA. What should I do?

    Please contact the Tracing Service Hamburg Office immediately. You can also get in touch with a member of the Tracing Service staff at the GRC regional or district branch assigned to you. Every case is different. But what must always be observed are the legal deadlines mentioned in the notification.


  • My application for admission was rejected several years ago. Can I make a new application?

    According to the amended version of the Federal Expellees Act (BVFG), it may well be possible to resume proceedings that have been concluded with legal effect. However, conducting such a procedure is not that simple. In this case, please contact a Tracing Service support centre near you or the GRC Tracing Service Hamburg Office to obtain information on the legal details. (Please link to contact Hamburg) If you have any documents or notifications from this procedure, please submit them to us without fail.





Back to top

This website uses cookies. If you access this website you accept that cookies will be stored and used. Further information here