Germany Digital Nomad Visa & Remote Work


➡ 2024 UPDATE

Germany does not offer a specific digital nomad visa, but there are two viable options for digital nomads looking to work and reside in the country:

Freelance Visa (Freiberufler): The Freelance Visa is suitable for individuals engaged in professions that contribute positively to Germany’s cultural and economic sectors. This includes occupations such as writers, artists, self-employed doctors, teachers, engineers, architects, and more. To qualify for this visa, applicants must demonstrate their professional skills and provide evidence of regional need or economic interest for their profession within Germany.

Self-Employment Visa (Selbständiger): The Self-Employment Visa is designed for individuals who own or manage businesses in Germany. This visa category is ideal for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and business owners looking to establish and operate their ventures within the country. Applicants for the Self-Employment Visa must present a comprehensive business plan, a financing plan, and proof of registration with the German Trade Register.

Nomad Visa Germany 2024

The German Freelancer Visa, also known as the Freiberufler Visa, is the official digital nomad visa in Germany. It’s a residence permit tailored for freelancers, granting them the ability to both reside and work in the country. This visa comprises two main categories that facilitate different stages of the freelancing journey.

Firstly, there’s the Freelancer Entry Visa, often referred to as the National Visa (D). This visa can be obtained from your nearest German embassy or consulate. Although it has a limited validity period of a few months, it’s essential for initial entry into Germany. It serves as your declaration to the immigration authorities that your purpose in Germany is freelance work. Upon entry, you can convert this visa into a Freelancer Residence Permit, enabling you to extend your stay and continue working as a freelancer within the country.

Moving on to the Freelancer Residence Permit, this permit is designed for long-term residency and work in Germany. To acquire this permit, you must be physically present in Germany and apply through the German Immigration Office. Once you obtain the Freelancer Residence Permit, the Entry Visa becomes obsolete as the permit supersedes it.

The German Freelancer Visa encompasses two distinct types, each catering to different occupational profiles. The first type is the freelance employment visa, which predominantly suits digital nomads and professionals contributing positively to Germany’s cultural and economic landscape. Occupations eligible for this visa include writers, artists, self-employed doctors, teachers, engineers, and architects. On the other hand, the second type is the self-employment visa, tailored for individuals who own or manage businesses within Germany.

Germany Digital Nomad Visa Eligibility

Eligibility for the Germany Digital Nomad Visa hinges on meeting specific criteria in addition to the prerequisites for the German Freelance Visa. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the eligibility requirements:

  1. Eligible Professional: First and foremost, applicants must qualify under the German Freelance Visa guidelines. This typically involves belonging to professions such as writers, artists, self-employed doctors, teachers, engineers, architects, and others who contribute positively to Germany’s cultural and economic landscape.
  2. Regional Need or Economic Interest: Your profession must align with a regional demand or economic interest within Germany. This criterion emphasizes the importance of your skillset and its relevance to the local economy.
  3. Client Interest: You must demonstrate that there is genuine interest from clients in Germany to engage your services. This can be substantiated by presenting letters or agreements from potential clients expressing their intent to work with you.
  4. Financial Stability: To ensure you can sustain a comfortable lifestyle in Germany, you need to prove that you have a minimum annual income of €9,000. This financial stability requirement is crucial for supporting yourself during your stay as a digital nomad.
  5. Legal Residence: Before applying for the Germany Digital Nomad Visa, you must secure legal accommodation in the country. This involves finding suitable housing and registering your address at a local registration office.
  6. Pension Plan (for applicants over 45): If you are 45 years or older, you must demonstrate that you have an adequate pension plan in place. By the age of 67, you should either have a monthly pension of at least €1,332.36, accrued over a minimum of 12 years, or possess assets valued at a minimum of €194,631.

Documents needed when applying for the Germany Digital Nomad Visa

When applying for the Germany Digital Nomad Visa, it’s crucial to gather and submit a comprehensive set of documents to the German Embassy in your country. Here’s an expanded list of the documents you’ll need:

  1. Passport: A valid passport with a minimum of six months validity beyond your intended stay in Germany.
  2. Application Form: Complete the Freelance Residence Permit application form (Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels) accurately and thoroughly.
  3. Passport-size Photo: Provide a recent passport-sized photo that meets Germany’s visa photo requirements.
  4. Proof of Income: Demonstrate your financial stability with proof of income, showcasing your ability to support yourself during your stay.
  5. Letter of Intent from Clients: Obtain at least two letters from clients expressing their intent to hire you for your freelance services.
  6. Additional Income Proof (for Language Teachers or Artists): If applicable, provide evidence of regular income, such as bank statements, regular transfers, or a declaration of obligation from a third party.
  7. Curriculum Vitae (CV): Include a detailed resume outlining your professional experience and qualifications.
  8. Proof of Degree (for University Graduates): If you hold a university degree, submit proof of your degree from a recognized institution.
  9. Health Insurance: Arrange for private health insurance coverage that meets Germany’s requirements for medical expenses during your stay. Note that statutory health insurers will not enroll you without a visa, so you must obtain private insurance initially and switch to statutory health insurance later.
  10. Rental Lease Confirmation: Provide confirmation of your rental lease agreement from your landlord.
  11. Proof of Address Registration: Register your address at a local registration office and submit proof of registration.
  12. Retirement Plan (for Applicants Above 45): If you’re 45 years or older, submit proof of a retirement plan, including savings, pension rights, assets, etc.

For Business Owners in Germany, include the following additional documents:

  1. Business Plan: Present a comprehensive business plan outlining your venture’s objectives, strategies, and financial projections.
  2. Financing Plan: Detail how your business will be financed, including investment sources and financial stability.
  3. Proof of Registration: Provide documentation proving your business registration with the Trade Register in Germany.
  4. Letter from a University (if Relevant): If your business is related to your university education, include a letter from a university confirming the relevance of your education to your business.

Please ensure that all your documents are translated into German if they are not originally in German. Translation services for non-legal documents can be obtained from any reputable German translation provider. However, for legal documents, such as contracts or certificates, it’s crucial to engage a qualified and certified legal translator who is fluent in both the original language and German. They should possess a deep understanding of the legal systems involved in the documents being translated and provide an attestation of the translation’s accuracy.

Applying for Freelancer German Entry Visa

To apply for the Freelancer Entry Visa, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Locate the Nearest German Embassy or Consulate: Begin by identifying the closest German embassy or consulate in your region. You can find this information on the official website of the German Federal Foreign Office.
  2. Schedule an Appointment: Once you’ve identified the embassy or consulate, schedule an appointment for your visa application. Many embassies allow you to do this online through their appointment booking system.
  3. Prepare and Submit Required Documents: Gather all the necessary documents for your visa application. The documents typically include your passport, completed application form (Freelance Residence Permit), passport-size photos, proof of income, client letters of intent, CV, proof of degree (if applicable), health insurance, rental lease confirmation, proof of address registration, retirement plan (if over 45), and any additional documents specific to your situation. Some embassies may require further documents beyond this list, so check their specific requirements.
  4. Attend Your Appointment: On the scheduled date, visit the embassy or consulate for your appointment. Submit the completed application form and all the required documents.
  5. Pay Visa Fee: Pay the visa fee as instructed by the embassy or consulate. This may vary depending on the location and mode of payment accepted (online payment, bank transfer, etc.).
  6. Await Processing: After submitting your application and paying the fee, wait for the processing of your visa application. The processing time can vary but usually takes several weeks to up to three months. You may track the status of your application through the embassy’s online tracking system if available.

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