Freelance Visa in Germany

Germany is a destination for traveling for various purpose such as studies, work, vacation, while others come to start their business. Establishing a business means starting your own company. After you have set up your business, you are considered self-employed.    Expats as well as German citizens are subject to the same business setup rules. In order to set up a business in Germany, you must have a German self- employment residence permit first, after which is the freelancer visa. In this blog we will explain how to apply for a German residence permit and how can you get a German self-employed visa? 

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Freelance Visa

Getting a German Freelance Visa from India 

The process to get a Freelancing visa in Germany is different based off which country you are from. Someone from the nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, or the United States without possessing an entrance visa, can apply for a residence permit and a freelancing permit.  Citizens of other nations must apply for a German entry visa from their home countries. Upon entering Germany, they will have to apply for a residency permit for freelancing just like any other non-EU national.

Who needs a Freelance Visa? 

Freelancers who are not German citizens but are willing to run their own independent business in Germany must have a Freelance visa.  Generally, a freelance visa lasts for three months. During the validity of your visa, a residence permit can be obtained. An Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt is the address where you apply for a residence permit.

What are the general requirements to get a freelancer visa? 

  • If you are moving to Germany, you must have a place to live. You must prove this to the immigration officials. 
  • You must be earning enough Money to help yourself out every month (i.e., for rent and insurance) 
  • You must have Health Insurance , as it is mandatory in Germany. If you don’t have one, there are high chances of your visa being rejected.  
  • Lastly, you must have clients in Germany. If you’re setting up your business you will need to provide that you have German clients as well.  
Make sure you fulfill these requirements before moving onto the next step.

How to apply for a German Freelance Visa?  

Here we share with you the step by step process in which you can apply for a German freelance visa if you are from India (or any non-EU/3rd world country).

Searching for Clients

It is important to show that your skills are useful and needed in Germany, especially as a freelance visa applicant. German Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory says that:   A foreigner may be granted a temporary residence permit 4 the purpose of self-employment if 
  • an economic interest or a regional need apply, 
  • the activity is expected to have positive effects on the economy and 
  • the foreigner has personal capital or an approved loan to realise the business idea. 
All you need to do is prove to your visa officer that you have prospects in Germany by showing them letters of interest from any business based in Germany, it also really helps if you already have a freelancing contract with a German business. 

Figuring out which form to fill  

There isn’t any specific form meant to be filled for either freelancing or self-employment, the National Visa-D Category Form can be filled out. This form issues a visa for 3 months, and in certain situations this can be extended up to a year.  While filling out the form you may notice that there isn’t any box to tick for ‘self-employment ‘under question 9 ‘Purpose of Stay in Germany’. Instead, choose the ‘other’ category and specify that you want to be self-employed in Germany. 

Documents you will need

Ideally the embassy should give you a list of documents that you need in order to get your German freelance visa from India. Following is a set of documents  that you might want to bring along, both the original and copies. 
  • Two copies of the National Visa-D Category Form, both signed Passport.
  • Passport-sized photos taken recently 
  • Birth Certificate 
  • A letter of introduction 
  • Detailed Professional Resume 
  • Letters of Recommendation from previous employers or clients 
  • Freelance Portfolio 
  • Contract(s) with a client in Germany (if available) 
  • Recommendation letters from past employers or clients 
  • A statement that the information provided is accurate and comprehensive.
  • Certificate of Marriage (if applicable) 
  • A valid health insurance plan for freelancers in Germany  
  • Proof of residence in Germany (temporary lodgings such as a hotel, Airbnb, or a friend’s address) 
  • Letter(s) of intent from German clients. Translate them into German if they are in English. 
  • A business or financial strategy
  • Proof of funds 
  • Profit and Loss Statements or Tax declarations from previous years 
  • Bank statements 
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Set a date for an appointment

To get a German national visa, you must schedule an appointment for a compulsory personal interview at the German embassy in your jurisdiction. This appointment may be made over the internet. Before booking an appointment, double-check that the German embassy responsible for your residence is the one you want.  Booking appointments as soon as possible is also recommended on the embassy’s website. The wait for an interview might be as long as two months or even longer. 

Settle the Visa fee

Visa costs can be paid in a variety of ways, depending on the nation. Make sure to double check with your German embassy for the best payment method.  According to the German embassy’s rules in India, you must pay your visa fee through a demand draft. This demand draft cannot be older than two months and the fee must be paid when the visa interview is scheduled. 

Attend your Interview

Arrive at least 15 minutes early on the day of your interview. Check multiple times that you have all of the necessary paperwork. Put them in a folder and organise them.  You will be required to submit biometric information(a scan of your face and fingerprint) during your session.. Your visa officer will gather pictures of all 10 digits using a digital finger scanner.  Your visa application will not be processed until you provide biometric details. 

Track your application

You can follow your application online once your visa interview is over. When a decision is filed with the Visa Application Centre, you will receive an email update.    You may pick up your paperwork from the Visa Application Centre once your German freelance visa application has been approved. For an extra cost, you may have your papers returned to you through courier.  Commerzbank Girokonto

Things to remember before you can start freelancing 

Remember that in the initial 3 months of your stay in Germany, you need to apply for a residence permit, this is dont at the Foreigner’s Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).  This is done by submitting a completed Residence Permit application form and also other documents like like the  Meldebescheinigung and the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung which can be gotten from the landlord of the place you’re living at and also the rental contract.

Related Guide: How to Register your house in Germany?

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