A Complete Guide to Get a Freelance Visa in Germany

Navigating and understanding the visa rules in any country you go to may be very difficult. This is worse in Germany when considering visa rules for foreigners. A ‘freelance’ visa or a ‘freelance artist’ / ‘artist’ visa as popularly referred to by those in Berlin is not an exemption. This guide presents broad information on the German visa. But, any qualified immigration lawyer’s advice is superior to this.

Free to do what I want any old time

Referred to as the Residents Permit for Self-Employed Activity or Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit by the Germans, this freelance visa brings a lot of confusion at its doorstep. This visa is known as the residence permit visa, which permits its holder to live in one or more specific areas in Germany and work. Such jobs include vet, There are various specified areas in different states. By law, the right to exclude or include specific freelance jobs is given to each state depending on their needs (especially economic). A significant example is an artist, made as a subcategory due to its importance to Berlin, hence the name “artist visa.” Due to this, other parts of Germany do not have the artist visa in the same form as featured in Berlin. Other categories include journalists, language teacher, and translator. Only a category is chosen during the application, but there is a possibility of choosing two and above if the case is made and approved.

Understanding freelance work in Germany

A freelance job in Germany refers to jobs done as an external contractor but not as an employee. This may not be applicable to other countries. Half of the Healthcare fees are paid for an employee by their company while they pay the rest, but the total fees are required from a freelancer. A freelancer cannot be employed in a company as an employee. However, a freelancer who works for a particular employer may switch to being an employee through application for another residence permit linked to the company. In as much as this is beneficial, performing jobs for other employers may be impossible or hard.

Who can apply?

A non-EU citizen experienced and skilled in one of the specified professional areas. Evidence of qualification (probably a degree) is required, but also successful work evidence in the specialized area may be accepted. It is not limited by age, but adequate provision for old age is needed for age 45 and above.

Where can I apply?

Generally, Germany does not require applications from home countries, but this depends on the applicant’s home country. Those that can apply in Germany include, Australians, Israelis, South Koreans or the Americans, Japanese, Canadians New Zealanders, and soon, the United Kingdom. Other countries will need to check with their embassy.

What do I actually need to apply?

A visa is required. Documents that are required depend on whether the applicant is coming as a Selbständiger or a Freiberufler. However, the former will require a business concept layout and a case determining its success. A translator is needed in case the person handling the case cannot speak English. Also, checking the website for other relevant documents is good. Most importantly, the following documents are required:
  • Proof of residence in the state of the application
  • Freelance visa application form.
  • Proof of suitable health insurance
  • Proof of successful work in the specified area for the given period. This includes recommendations letters, evidence of funds to cover feeding, rent, other expenses, a Resumé or CV, two biometric passports, and Visa fees in Cash.
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