Alex Staff Agency

Working Abroad: How To Reunite With Your Family?


It’s a common situation for many non-EU specialists: they’re looking for an employer abroad, get an offer, and then have no idea how to legally move relatives to a new place of residence. We’ll describe the basics of this process, using the following three countries as examples: Cyprus, Germany, and Spain.


Before you go to this country, you’ll need a Cypriot company to help you with a work permit. You won’t be able to get a work visa without it. When you cross borders and settle in a new city, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit.

Your family members can come as tourists or wait for an entry permit for reunification. Where can you get one? The spouse who has already relocated submits the request at the central office of the Civil Registry and Migration Department.

You’ll need the following documents:

  • Copy of your internal passports
  • Criminal records (for a spouse and children 16+)
  • Health insurance
  • Rental agreement
  • Employment contract
  • Marriage certificate (at least one year since the registration of the relationship)
  • Birth certificate (for children)

A more complete list is available on the Department's official website.

After the entry, the family gets a Pink Slip. It’s a residence permit that allows them to live on the island for a year but does not give them the right to work. The registration procedure takes ≈ 9 months. Only close relatives of the specialist are eligible for the Pink Slip:

  • A spouse
  • Kids

Check out this link to learn more about the program.

Bonus Info
The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. Renting a 1-2-bedroom apartment costs about €1000+: prices have risen a lot due to high demand. Our co-founder Maria Sukhorukova has been living on the island for several years: she considers €3000 a comfortable sum for two adults.


After signing a contract with an employer, you can start the process of getting a work visa. It’s a key document: it’s your pass to Germany. After you arrive there, you’ll exchange it for a residence permit.

When this initial paperwork is over, you can start reuniting with your family. They’ll need a national D visa.

The whole process will require that you have the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Copy of your residence permit
  • An invitation for family members
  • Certificate of proficiency in German at A1 level (not required if the sponsor is a highly qualified professional, in our case – a developer)
  • Birth certificate (for children)

Check the complete list on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

When your family is in Germany, they need to go to the immigration office in their city to obtain a residence permit. The whole procedure takes no more than 6 months.

The first residence permit is usually issued for up to three years and it allows its holder to work in the country. Applying is available for close relatives:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents

But it’s more complicated with the last category: you’ll have to prove "hardship" (i.e., the need to take care of your parents).

Bonus Info
The official language is German. Renting is expensive. The average price tag for a one-bedroom apartment in Berlin is €1695 (data for the third quarter of 2022). You’ll have to spend €3000+ per month for two people (but prices vary, so you may need more depending on your location).


If you have found an employer in Spain, you can apply for a work visa and get a residence permit after crossing the border. But you can’t relocate your relatives right away: it’s only possible after a year of living there.

When you fulfill this requirement, apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get a permit for reunification. The decision is usually delivered within 45 days. If it is positive, the family can start applying for visas to enter the country. You’ll need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Documents, confirming kinship (marriage/birth certificates)
  • Health certificate (to ensure no one has dangerous diseases)

Follow the link for a more detailed list.

Upon arrival in Spain, family members should get a foreign identity card or residence card at the police station. You’ll need photographs, fee payment proof (≈ €16), and a completed EX-17 form.

The whole process will take 4-5 months. The permits are issued for the same period as the residence permit of the inviting spouse. You can reunite with:

  • Husband/wife
  • Children
  • Parents 65+ years old (but you will need to prove they are your dependents)

After reunification, relatives can look for work and get hired.

Bonus Info
The official language is Spanish. Renting a place with 2 rooms will cost ≈ €1500. We have an active client in Barcelona with a Tech Lead vacancy. According to our researchers, the costs for a family of two will be ≈ €4000. But it is one of the most expensive cities in Spain.

We hope this article was useful for you!