Children in Immigration Matters

Updated information on children in immigration matters

Parents of minors have the duty to apply for permits for their kids and make sure their permits are (always) valid §80 IV AufenthG. Just as for adults, children subject to expulsion will receive neither a permit nor an extension.

Okay, now exactly who is a minor?

Such person is a minor that lacks legal capacity – typically to close contracts. Based on German civil law, a person becomes of age when he turns 18 (§2 BGB).

My wife and I are now expecting a child. We know a residence permit is a matter of discretion. Is it possible, that we may stay but, our newborn child must leave Germany just because the child came to Germany without a permit?

Relax! Your newly born child will never be illegal in Germany! It will be granted the right to stay ex officio33 AufenthG) while and as long as the mother / parents is / are entitled to stay in Germany. You only have to visit the foreigner's office to register your child and that will take care of the matter. The child's permit will be extended by right of office upon application as long as the parent(s) having (sole) custody resides in Germany and the child is under 16.

Okay, so a child legally enters Germany by being born in Germany. Will its residence permit be easily renewed?

Generally yes. This is true as long as the parent having custody is legally in Germany and the child lives in cohabitation with its parent(s) or has the right to return according to §37 AufenthG.

Just having turned 18 and proud as a teenie can be, am I still dependent on my residential status on my parents? Please, do tell me the right thing!

Young man! As an attorney, I have the duty to consult you with the accurate legal opinion and nothing but the truth – even if it might disturb you. Anyhow, you need not worry. Coming of age means you are now responsible for your own rights and duties and therefore also for your residence permit. Supposing your parents were to jeopardize their permits for Germany, you may still remain – unless you yourself get into trouble with the law or cannot come up for your own livelihood in Germany (§34 II AufenthG).

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