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German Freelance Visa

Visum für Freiberufler


We receive a lot of questions about the freelance visa and today we are going to tell you more about it. If you want to work as a freelancer in Germany, you need to obtain a residence permit for freelancers, which is also often referred to as the German freelance visa (Freiberufler Visum). In this article we are going to tell you about the main requirements for such a residence permit, what documents you need for the application and how to apply for the freelance visa in Germany.

Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, assists foreign entrepreneurs with opening and developing their business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration. We also help you apply for the EU Blue Card in Germany. Please contact us for an individual solution.

Get a residence permit in Germany through business immigration or a Blue Card: info@nexus-gmbh.biz

First of all, before considering application for a German freelance visa you need to figure out if you are actually a freelancer. You can find detailed information about the professions that belong to the freelance category and the difference between freelancers and self-employed in one of our previous articles, please make sure to check it. Because if you are not a freelancer, you’ll need a different package of documents and the procedure will be quite different.

Watch our video about the German freelance visa:

Freelance visa in Germany: requirements

As for the freelance visa in Germany (Visum für Freiberufler), here are the most important requirements for it:

  1. As mentioned earlier, first of all, you need to belong to the freelance category. Only certain professions are considered freelance professions. Usually, you’ll need to provide proof that you have a proper education for the freelance profession.

  2. Your occupation should be expected to have a positive economical or cultural effect or there should be a regional interest in or demand for your profession.

  3. Next important one of the freelance visa in Germany requirements is providing at least two letters of intent from clients in Germany.

  4. Of course, you need to correctly prepare the package of all required documents. We encourage you to read our article about document preparation.

How to get the German freelance visa (Visum für Freiberufler)

If you are NOT a citizen or a permanent resident of one of these countries: Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States — then you need to apply for the German freelance visa at the German diplomatic mission in your country:

First, you will be issued a National visa (also called D-visa). This visa is temporary and valid only for a few months. With it you need to enter Germany and then convert it into a freelance visa in Germany, which will be your residence permit. With the National visa, you can start working as soon as you arrive in Germany however it still has to be converted into a freelance visa.

Documents for the German freelance visa

The list of the documents required for application for the German freelance visa at German diplomatic missions may vary a little, however here are the main documents one needs to prepare:

1. Valid passport

2. Recent biometric photo

3. Filled out form Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit

4. Visa fee payment confirmation

5. Revenue forecast

6. At least two Letters of intent from clients in Germany. These are very important for the freelance visa Germany (Freiberufler Visum) and shouldn’t be underestimated. Important is that there are no less than two Letters, just one isn’t enough, but you can provide more than two. The Letters have to be from clients who are located in Germany; they may also be from other cities than the one you are applying for. They have to be from real companies or people; providing fake Letters of intent is illegal.

The Letters of intent required for the German freelance visa should have the following information: whom they are from, for what services you are hired, that it is you who is hired to provide the stated services, how much the client is going to pay you. This is not an official contract however this information needs to be very clear from the Letters.

The list of the documents required for application for the German freelance visa at German diplomatic missions may vary a little, however here are the main documents one needs to prepare:

7. Resume or CV containing information about your professional career and experience.

8. Health insurance that meets the requirements of the German freelance visa application.

9. If you are over 45 years old, you need to provide an adequate pension plan.

10. Proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your stay by one of the following documents:

  • a bank statement showing a sufficient sum on your account,
  • or a blocked bank account.

11. Professional permit. It is required in some cases to perform some of the freelance activities, for example in the field of medicine, law etc.

12. Proof of your education, such as diplomas or certificates confirming your professional qualifications.

Please note that the authorities can also request some other documents for the freelance visa in Germany and the list may change from time to time and from authority to authority. Always check the current list of required documents with the respective authority before application. If you also have other documents proving your financial means and professional qualifications, you should consider adding them to the list as well.

For example, recommendation letters from your previous employers or clients would be a great addition, and a cover letter with a clear list of all provided documents is always a great idea. Apart from correctly preparing the full list of documents, you should also be well prepared for the interview.

Once you received your National visa and entered Germany with it, you’ll need to convert it into a residence permit (German freelance visa, Visum für Freiberufler). We described the steps one needs to take after arriving in Germany in one of our previous articles. 

Getting the freelance visa in Germany

Here are the main documents that will be required:

  1. Rent contract or proof of home ownership in Germany

  2. Proof of residence in Germany that includes a registration certificate and a confirmation from the landlord in case of renting a place

  3. Proof of monthly rental costs or costs of property

  4. Proper health insurance since a travel insurance is not sufficient at this point

  5. Registration of your freelance activity with the respective tax office

If all the documents are prepared correctly, you will successfully receive your residence permit/German freelance visa and continue your freelance activity in Germany.

If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of one of the listed countries, you can travel to Germany and stay there for 90 days without a visa. This way you can apply for the freelance visa in Germany, for example, start your application process for the freelance visa in Berlin or another city of your choosing, at the respective immigration authority. However please note that you won’t be able to work until you get your residence permit, so it’s important to have enough money to live until you can start your activity.

Another option is to enter Germany with a job seeker visa and apply for a residence permit once you have found clients in Germany, however this option is quite risky.

Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, is happy to assist you if you want to open your own successful business in Germany and move to Germany as a self-employed. We also assist highly qualified specialists with application for the EU Blue Card. Please contact us for an individual consultation.

Contact us to open a business in Germany and move to Germany: info@nexus-gmbh.biz

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.

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