Everything you need to knowGermanyNewsStudents

How to obtain a German freelancer visa from outside the EU

How to obtain a German freelancer visa from outside the EU

Obtaining a German freelancer visa from outside the EU can be a terrific way to start your freelancing journey in Germany. However, the application process comes with its challenges. In this guide, Becca Warner covers all the information you need, from acquiring letters of intent to arranging official appointments.

The life of a freelancer

Congratulations on obtaining your UK freelance residence permit! Here’s a summary of the key points to anticipate when applying for a freelance visa (residence permit for freelance employment) in Germany:

Easter Sale Amazon.de Germany 2024
    • A popular method for individuals looking to relocate to Germany for up to three years.
    • Offers benefits such as flexible working from home and access to free WiFi at coffee shops.
    • Necessary paperwork and formal terminology are involved in the application process.
    • The German phrase for the visa is “Aufenthaltstitel zur Freiberuflichen Tätigkeit.”
    • EU citizens can move to Germany as freelancers without a residence permit.
    • Non-EU citizens require a freelance visa to live and work in Germany.
    • The procedure might be straightforward but requires careful planning, especially for non-EU applicants.

The key takeaway is that freelancing in Germany offers many advantages, but non-EU citizens should be prepared for the visa application process. Proper planning and completing the necessary paperwork will help ensure a successful transition to freelancing in Germany.

First things first. Are you a freelancer?

    • A specific list of professions eligible for freelance residence permits includes physicians, translators, tax experts, and others who work as freelancers for multiple clients.
    • If your profession is not on the specific list, you may fall under the “self-employed” category, requiring additional documentation.
    • Eligibility for the “artist visa,” a subcategory of the freelance residence permit, is possible if your work is considered “artistic.”
    • The “artist visa” is available in Berlin and Hamburg and can be granted immediately during your interview, providing an advantage for those qualifying for it.

Let the paperwork commence: what you need for your application

The application form, any professional licences required for your line of work, a CV or résumé, and a breakdown of your housing or rental costs are just a few of the many documents you’ll need to submit your application.
Some of these will be simple to get, while others are a little more challenging.

 1. Anmeldung

    • When applying in person, you must present your registration certificate.
    • You must make an appointment to receive this, which lists your legal registered address.
    • Even in those that should, not all rentals you discover will provide Anmeldung, and it can be particularly difficult in Berlin.

 2. Letters of intent

    • Letters from potential clients can be used instead of fee contracts for freelancing work in Germany.
    • These letters should come from German-based organizations and should state the amount of money you’ll be paid (project fee, hourly/daily rate, etc.).
    • At least two letters are required for any type of freelancing work application.
    • The letters are non-binding and are likely already known to many German organizations.
    • Predicted revenue from clients outside of Germany is not considered for determining whether you have enough money to live on.
    • Instead, the specified amount of money on the letters will be used to assess your financial situation.
    • Aim for a total of at least €12,000 in the letters as a general guideline.

 3. Health insurance

    • Proper health insurance coverage is essential for everyone in Germany.
    • Some authority case workers may reject travel or expat health insurance policies.
    • Contacting a health insurance broker is recommended to find the best coverage for your needs, as rules and policies can be complex and subject to change.
    • Translations of all documents should be provided, as not all caseworkers may speak English.
    • Consider using technology like DeepL for translations, but invest in professional translation for critical documents like CVs and letters of intent.
    • Allocate a budget of $250 to $500 for professional translation services.

Getting an appointment at the immigration office 

    • Citizens of certain nations with 90-day visa-free access can fly to Germany and apply in person upon arrival.
    • Non-citizens must apply through the German embassy in their home country.
    • Processing times for applications can be lengthy, requiring a few months for a response.
    • If applying from within Germany, an in-person Ausländerbehörde appointment is necessary.
    • Getting an appointment in cities like Berlin can be challenging, especially since waiting in queues outside the building is no longer an option due to the pandemic.
    • Instead, appointments must be booked online.
    • Be prepared to refresh the appointment booking page frequently for days or weeks.
    • Available appointments may range from two to five months away once you access the calendar page.
    • Some individuals have had more success with appointment requests by faxing them in.

Timings: what happens when?

The specific actions you take will depend on where you are applying. Gather your supporting documents, send them in, and prepare to wait if you’re applying from abroad. Here’s a rough notion of how to think about your timeframe if you’re applying in person:

    1. If you’re applying in person, start looking for an Ausländerbehörde appointment as soon as you can.
    2. Plan your lodging and schedule an Anmeldung appointment. Remember that once you register (Anmeldung), you are no longer regarded as a “tourist” and are hence not legally permitted to work in Germany until your freelance residence permit is issued. You might try to schedule your Anmeldung appointment to be a few weeks before your Ausländerbehörde appointment because of this.
    3. Begin compiling your letters of intent in the interim. Your letters should have current dates on them, preferably within two months of when you submitted your application or showed up for your appointment. Of course, developing those connections can take some time. Remember that it’s better not to work for the German clients who write your letters in the months running up to your applications. Even though this is entirely legal, I was warned that it might raise some questions.
    4. Be prepared for further delays when you arrive at your appointment because your residence permit may be issued right away or there may be a brief wait.

What if I get rejected in the German freelancer visa process?

    • Having a lucrative Amazon business with clients worldwide might not have an obvious connection to Germany.
    • Immediate rejections are uncommon; more often, you may get a chance to resubmit or modify your application.
    • Be prepared for a potentially time-consuming process and don’t let failures discourage you.
    • Approval is not guaranteed during the office visit, and unexpected delays may occur.
    • Be committed for the long haul and ensure you have sufficient funds to support yourself during the wait for visa approval.

In conclusion, the process of obtaining a German freelancer visa (residence permit for freelance employment) in Germany may involve some challenges, but it offers great opportunities for individuals from various professions. Be prepared for potential delays, but stay committed and adequately supported financially throughout the application journey.

Read more at How To Abroad:

“8 Must-Visit German Tourist Attractions – August €49 Ticket”

Scholarships for Foreign Learners in Germany 2023

Want to study in Germany? How To Abroad can help you achieve your academic dream

  Check Out Our Services

Related Articles

Back to top button