Residence permit for different self employment programs in Germany

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If you are based in somewhere outside of Switzerland, European Union (EU), and European Economic Area (EEA) and have already obtained educational and vocational qualifications, you are able to apply to proceed as a self employed in Germany. We will discuss in this segment, how you could apply for the residency through self employment program in Germany and how you can register yourself with this title. You should note that there are different types of self employment in Germany including the commercial trade (Gewerbliche Selbständigkeit) and freelance (Freiberufliche Tätigkeit) and consequently the application and the registration procedures are different for these two.

Request to get the Germany residency through the commercial self- employment

Before we explain, it is good to mention that you are mostly likely required to employ a business development/ legal team for your residency application for the self employment of Germany to perfectly do the initial field study on your case, submit and finally follow up on that in different organizations in charge in Germany. This could be done by you too, but in most cases, the lack of a proper follow up, or preparing quality business plan can easily lead to a case rejection and waste a lot of your time and energy.

Since the German embassy in every country is in charge to verify the authenticity of your documents and your presence, the required documents for the application are usually submitted through the embassy or consulate of your country of residence. 

These documents are usually as follows:

  1. Your identification documents including your passport and ID card. 
  2. The required documents approving your qualification to apply for the self employed program in Germany such as your educational, vocational, and financial documents. 
  3. And finally a concept (business plan) that confirms that your business model in the desired target city in germany is able to:
  • Fulfill the economical requirements of that region and have a positive impact on that.
  • Prove that you have the capacity to execute or manage the plan from the viewpoint of finance and know-how.
  • Prove that your physical presence is needed in Germany more than three months per year. 

To clarify more, your business concept will be assessed based on the fact that how efficient and productive your business idea is in Germany. How much you can make revenue with your plan, what is your business background, how much is your investment (initial capital), what is the major impact that your business will have on the employment and education of the workforce in present or in future in Germany and how contributing is your idea in terms of innovation or research.

Our task in Wise Business Group is to adjust your plan with the aforementioned criteria. For further questions, you may contact us. An easy click  and we will be available for you on whatsapp too.

Request to get the Germany residency through the freelance program

If you are willing to proceed as a freelancer in Germany and get the residency through this program, you should apply in accordance to § 21 Abs. 5 AufenthG of the German immigration law. Freelancer in Germany is a person who is mostly rendering a service and they are always required to have an academic degree or a credible certificate to be able to conduct freelance business in Germany. Medical doctors, business and tax consultants, artists, etc could be considered as freelancers in Germany.

The required documents to submit for the application of residency through freelance program are as follows:

  1. Your identification documents including your passport and ID card. 
  2. Your educational and vocational documents proving you are meeting the requirements for proceeding as a freelancer based on what we explained earlier. 
  3. A small business plan or description proving that you are able to generate enough revenue through your business in Germany and meet your living costs and relatively make a positive impact on the regional economy. (not as much as the commercial trade but it still it counts)

Anyway in both types of self employment, writing and submitting a well structured business plan is highly recommended.  This is the main document based on which they will agree to give you a self employed residency, thus the more time, energy and know-how you invest on that, the better chance you have to get your case approved. However, it should be noted that the BP written for a city to grant a residency is quite different from a BP which is written for a bank or an investor in both content and structure. For more information about writing a business plan, you may contact us

There are several authorities in Germany which review and assess your business plan in each city namely, immigration office, chamber of commerce, business development organization, and trade office. In some cases, the embassy can act not only as a body to attest your documents and open your case but also to evaluate your case and share its insights with the authorities inside Germany which are the main decision makers for issuing your national visa.

If all authorities approve your business plan, the immigration office will inform the embassy to issue a national visa under §21 / self employment. Having acquired this visa, you may come to Germany, apply for the residence card (Aufenthaltstitel) and start your business. You can start it by informing the immigration office about your presence first.

Our team will conduct all necessary phases from the feasibility study on your business location and developing your business plan, to  immigration legal service, forming your company in Germany and doing your bookkeeping and start-up consultancy.

Also you may use our business services in marketing research, sales, finance, and business sourcing

What if your self employment case gets rejected?

If you started your immigration case with another team and received no support from them after the rejection, you may count on our help. By analyzing your case and discovering the main reasons for rejection, we will instill new strategies for you to submit an improved immigration case and get a chance to win it this time. There could be many reasons behind it, from a bad business plan or improper location selection to the lack of a proper and on time legal follow up or plan B.

In our own contracts with our clients, we will always consider a “plan B” in case any unpredictable matter happens. This is vital for you because there are always uncontrollable noises in any immigration case that can lead it to difficulties. By putting all possible scenarios in the contract, we will put our clients in peace to experience no extra charge or hidden costs in future.

For more information on the detail of our services at the time of rejection, you may contact us. 

How to get your permanent residency through this program

The self employment program according to section 21 of the German immigration law will grant you the permanent residency after 3 to 5 years if your business is relatively successful and you could meet your living and business costs while staying in Germany over this time. Also please note that

  1. Each region in Germany has its own economical standards and you and your business development team should perfectly research the definition of a good business performance in your own area.
  2. Your concept and what you have promised in your business plan is always a criteria for the authorities in Germany to give you a permanent residence. Thus either try to be close to the digits promised in your financial plan or write up a business plan that is very close to your capacity. 
  3. In addition to a good performance, the German language certificate of B1 and the passed exam of the integration course are usually needed to apply for the permanent residency after 3 or 5 years.
  4. The applicants of the commercial self employment could apply for the permanent residency after 3 years while the applicants for freelance can do it after 5 years.

Once your visa is issued by the German embassy in your home country, you may come to Germany within 3 months (and in some cases 6 months) and inform the immigration office of the German city of your residence about your presence. They will probably give you an appointment to submit other documents including your residential address registration certificate, your German company documents, your health insurance certificates, and the filled out application form. Once these documents are submitted you should only wait until your residency card based on §21 Abs. 1 (for commerce) or §21 Abs. 5 for freelance is issued.

For further questions as to how you can provide and submit these documents, you may contact us

Register your business 

Now that you have received your visa and while applying for getting your residency title when you are in Germany, it is a good time to register your business and form your company too. This procedure is different for traders and freelancers. 

Usually traders will have to go through the following steps:

  1. Form their company and get their commercial registration excerpt,
  2. Register their business in the trade office,
  3. Request for the tax number.

For freelancers only the third step (registering in the tax office) is needed as they are not obligated to form a company and also are exempted from paying the trade tax.

For conducting all or any of the aforementioned steps you may use our services. In the next article we will explain in more detail what documents and procedures are required to register your business in the trade office. 

Some information for academicians

Academicians and graduates with job experience who have graduated from Germany or Europe or universities which relatively offer equivalent degrees to the degrees of German universities, will have wider options to apply for residency in Germany. One of these options is the bluecard which is a type of employment residency in case the applicant can find a job offer from a German employer especially in the majors with the highest requests in the country such as engineering, nursing, and medical occupations at the moment.

Even if you do not have a job offer, but you have a good university degree with job experience, you can still apply for a six months job search visa to be able to more easily get in touch with German companies for the interview. This will also facilitate and accelerate the process of making the employment contract and the availability of applicants to start their job as soon as possible.

Following documents are needed to apply for the German bluecard:

  1. Passport and ID card
  2. Your German translated university diploma(s) 
  3. Your signed employment contract
  4. Preferably the confirmation note from the labor office approving the contract. 

For the job search visa, you may present all correspondences and interview requests you have had with German companies to the embassy instead of the employment contract. Also a bank statement proving you can support yourself financially regarding living costs over the course of six months in Germany is needed.

In both cases above, it is highly recommended that your documents get approved by Anabin (The institute in Germany based in the city Bonn which attests the university degrees)

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