Step 1. Have baby.
Step 2. Recover.
Step 3. Get your baby’s citizenship and passport sorted.
Step 4. Get your baby a residence permit!
Before reading on, you should know that we’ve made a few assumptions about you and your family:
- That your baby’s legally recognised parents are both foreign nationals.
- That at least one of your baby’s parents has a valid residence permit for Germany.
- That the parents have joint custody and everyone lives together.
- That everyone in your new family wants to stay in Germany.
Getting a residence permit for your baby might involve a bit of document stress and some waiting time, but chances are, it will end in success. It involves a trip to either the Bürgeramt or the Ausländerbehörde.
When Can I Go to the Bürgeramt?
Naturally, if you can avoid a trip to the Ausländerbehörde, all the better! Go to your local Bürgeramt if:
- you and your partner both have residency permits and joint custody (or you, as a single parent, have a residency permit and full custody)
- your residency permits were both issued by the Ausländerbehörde Berlin
- your baby was born in Germany and is registered as living in a household with the custodial parent/s
If there is anything about your family’s situation that deviates from the above even slightly, e.g. if one of your baby’s parents is actually a European citizen with freedom of movement (and therefore won’t have a residency permit), the Bürgeramt will probably tell you to take your case to the Ausländerbehörde instead. If in doubt, just go to the Ausländerbehörde.
For the Bürgeramt, you’ll need to bring:
- your baby’s passport
- both parents’ passports
- a biometric photo (they’re a bit more lenient with the requirements for babies and kids younger than 6. For example, if your baby has his mouth open, it’s probably still OK.)
- your baby’s birth certificate
Off to the Foreigner’s Office
Here’s what to bring:
- Passports for the whole family
- Application form (you can download it online here) in German, English, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian
- Biometric photos of each foreign family member
- If baby’s parents are married or in a civil partnership, take your marriage certificate and make sure that it has an Apostille! Read more about Apostilles here.
- Your baby’s birth certificate
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of secure livelihood (e.g. payslips, employment contract, pension contributions, a tax audit report for self-employment, etc etc)
Other things you might need depending on your individual situation:
- Everyone in the family should be present. But if your partner can’t make the appointment, try this: get them to write a signed power of attorney letter in German authorising you to apply for your baby’s residency permit on their behalf, and take their passport along too.
- your rental lease
- a certificate regarding legal custody
- a school attendance certificate if any kids in your family are required to attend school
- your scuba diving license (just kidding).
Should I get Translations of Foreign Certificates?
Translations are not listed as a requirement on the official website for this type of permit, but I have seen people be turned away once or twice for not having certified translations of their foreign language certificates (e.g. birth or marriage certificates) in some cases. If you want to be watertight, take them along, and if you’re not asked for them, keep them on hand – you’ll probably need them again in the future for something else.
If your ducks are in a row and you’re not asked to come back with more documents, you should get a shiny new sticker in your baby’s passport on the spot.