What you need to know to apply for Germany freelance visa


You have encountered many freelancers. Have you not considered becoming one? At least dreamed of being one of them. Find freelancing work; you can live anywhere in the world. One of the countries you can reside in Germany. The government embraces freelancers. But, a shortstop. You might need a Germany freelance visa. Without a visa, there will be no entrance.

In this article, we explain who needs and does not need a freelance visa, requirements, application process, FAQs, and many more.


What is Germany Freelance Visa?

Germany freelance visa or freelancer visa is a long-stay visa. It permits foreign nationals to enter the country and work as a freelancer. They can work for different companies and clients. Freelancers can have part-time jobs on numerous occasions. It is flexible and provides lots of advantages. Also, they can work for clients outside of Germany. Yet, you can get a job in only a few fields. See the list in the below section.


What are the types of Germany Freelance Visa?

Germany freelance visa falls in two categories:

  • Work Freelance Visa
  • Artist Freelance Visa

Work Freelance Visa

The other occupations fall under the work freelance visa. A Work freelance visa needs up to three months to get processed. It is because the officials send the applications to the Federal Employment Agency.

Artist Freelance Visa

The foreign artists who wish to live in Germany can apply for an Artist Freelance Visa. They can not live in any other German city except Berlin. You have to be in the art or journalism industry to be eligible for this visa.

The German embassy might send your application to the Federal Employment Agency. It’s because they are not sure whether your occupation falls under this category or not.

Who Needs and does not Need a Freelance Visa in Germany?

Whether you need a Germany freelance visa depends on your nationality. A few countries are free of freelance visa for Germany. The list of them are as follows:

  • The EU, EEA members
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

The citizens or nationals of the above list do not need a Germany freelance visa. They can work as a freelancer without a visa. However, they have to receive a freelancer residence permit.

The citizens of the below list can apply for a Germany freelance visa upon arriving in Germany:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • United States of America
  • South Korea

The citizens of the above countries have permission to apply for a freelance visa in Germany.

Residence permit

You have permission to work as a freelancer in Germany if your residence permit allows it. Read the instructions on it to make sure of it. Id yes, you do not need to apply for a freelance visa.

Other situations

When you reside in Germany under a work visa and want to work as a freelancer, you have to get permission from your employer. You could also work as a freelancer under Germany student visa.


Germany Jobseeker visa

You could also apply for a Germany job seeker visa. It allows you to travel to the country and look for a job. When you found enough clients or employers and somewhere to live, you could apply for a freelance visa from inside Germany.

Who is Eligible for a Germany Freelance Visa?

There are eligibility criteria for the Germany freelance visa. You have to comply with them. If not, the officials will refuse your application.

1. Staying in Germany

The first requirement is that you reside in Germany. You have to prove your accommodation to the officials. It could be one of the below options:

  • A rented flat, house, or apartment. Provide Wohnungsgeberbestätigung from the landlord.
  • Staying with a friend, roommate, or family member.

Whatever your accommodation is, provide its proof to the officials. An address and confirmation letter is mandatory. When you reach Germany, you have to register your address to the officials. You must do it during the first two weeks of your arrival. The officials grant you “Anmeldung.” It is the formal permission to do whatever you want in the country.

2. Have enough funds

Applicants must possess sufficient money to cover their expenses in Germany. You must hold enough to cover your expenses for the whole duration of your stay. A bank statement could prove your financial independence.

3. Make a contribution

The freelance work you will be doing must make economic contributions to Germany. The government wants people who can provide benefits to the community. They will not accept only receiving benefits from it. Prove that your freelance work will make contributions to the economy.

4. Have freelance work in Germany

You must have German clients willing to work with you. They must be ready to receive your services in Germany. Show the letters of commitment sent by German employers to the officials.

How to apply for a Germany Freelance Visa?

The application process for Germany freelance visa is as follows:

1. Are you a Freelancer?

Not every occupation is eligible for a Germany freelance visa. Do German officials recognize your job as freelancing? You have to answer it first. See the section below to know about the eligible jobs.

2. Do you need a visa?

As explained earlier, not everyone needs a Germany freelance visa. Some countries are free of it. Your nationality might be one of them. See the section above to make sure of it.

3. Are you eligible for a Germany freelance visa?

While you need a visa, you must be eligible for it too. Read the eligibility section above to know everything. If you are not, the officials will refuse your application. It would be better to work on your conditions, reach the eligibility, then apply.

4. Application form

Complete the application form for the Germany Freelance visa. You could receive it from the German embassy or consulate in your home country. Complete the form and print it TWICE. Then, date and sign the two forms. You should also find the nearest embassy because it’s the place you should apply to.

5. Requirements

Gather the requirements for the Germany freelancer visa. They will approve you are eligible for the visa.

6. Visa appointment

Schedule a visa meeting with the German embassy. Bear in mind the date and time. Visit the embassy in person on the set date. Carry all the requirements to submit them. Do your best not to be late. It will not have a good impression on your application.

You might have to enter an interview. The officials ask about the nature of your visit and your background. Give true answers.

Also, pay the fee for visa processing.

7. Processing

When you get out of the embassy, wait until the officials process your visa. The processing time depends on different factors.

If your application gets refused, the officials will reimburse the original form of your documents. They will send a letter along, explaining the reason it got refused.

When German officials issue the visa, they will send it to your address. Also, you might have to pick it up from the embassy yourself. Congratulations. You can move to Germany now.


After you arrive in Germany with a Freelance visa

When you reach Germany, you have to register your address with the Registration Office. You have to find the nearest one in your city and set a meeting with them.

Get there in person and bring:

  • Passport and the visa
  • Registered address in Germany

The German immigration officials at the office will inform you of the procedures to follow.

Remember that you have to register your address within the FIRST TWO months of arriving in the country.

Germany Freelance Visa Requirements

The requirements for a Germany freelance visa are as follows:

  1. Application form
  2. Passport

Your passport must not be older than ten years ago.

  1. Two Photos

The photos must be identical in 35 x 45mm size. The background must be white clear.

  1. Proof of paid visa fees
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Reference letter (recommendation letter)

It is from a previous employer or client that approves you for work. The letters should recommend/verify that you have the skill to perform your profession. It would be better if the provider signs it.


The CV you provide must be very clear and specific. Do not include irrelevant information. It must show the experience you have in your field. You could provide a resume in English, but the German one is much better.

H.Motivational letter/ Cover letter

The cover letter you provide is very important. In the letter, clarify:

  • Why you want to work in Germany as a freelancer.
  • What benefits does your freelancing occupation have to the German economy?
  • Make the letter as convincing as possible.
  • Provide compelling reasons why the German government should issue you a freelance visa.

Do not forget that the cover letter must be in German.

Work sample (Portfolio)

Provide the sample of the freelance work you have done before. They must be printed, not a digital form. Forget bringing a laptop, tablets, website address, or PDF on your cellphone.

Proof to have enough funds

Provide the related documents proving your financial independence. It could be:

Banks statements

From your home country stating enough funds in it. It must be for the latest days to the date of application. You need at least 9.000 EUR for staying for one year in Germany. The more, the merrier. Financial independence is a key factor for the authorities.

Income statement

It is to show your predictions for income and expenditure from freelancing.

Enough pension

Provide a pension plan in case you are 45 and older. Yet, the citizens of the below countries do not need a pension plan:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkey
  • The United States of America.

Education certificates

Provide any diploma or university degree you have.

Letter of commitment

Provide at least two letters/contracts. Get them from future employers/clients that want you to work for them in Germany. Gather as many as you can. Remember that two letters are the least required. Also, the provided letters in German outweigh the English ones.

Health insurance

You have to buy health insurance valid in Germany. It could be a private or public one.

Professional permit (if applicable)

Some occupations like law or medicine need a permit. It is true for your job, provide them.


What are the approved freelance occupations in Germany?

The approved occupations by German officials for the freelance visa are as follows:

  • Accountant
  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Doctor
  • Educator
  • Engineer
  • Guide
  • Healthcare provider
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Scientist
  • Tax consultant
  • Translator
  • Writer
  • Journalists
  • Artists


Can I Extend Germany Freelance visa?

Yes. You have permission to extend a Germany freelancer visa for up to three years. You must have made enough money through freelancing. The income must be enough to cover your expenses and the family members.


Can I Travel to the Schengen Area with a Germany Research visa?

Yes. You have permission to visit other Schengen Area members with a Germany research visa.


I’m in Germany. Can I apply for a Research visa?

Yes, you have permission to apply for a freelance visa. However, you must fall in one of the below groups to be eligible:

  • You have graduated from a recognized education center in Germany. The freelancing job must match with your qualification.
  • You are residing in Germany as a researcher or scientist. Your freelancing job will be in these two fields.
  • The visa you have entered with is a Germany artist visa.
  • The visa you have entered Germany with is a short-stay one. You must meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a freelance visa.


Germany Freelance visa fee/Cost

The cost or fee of a Germany freelance visa is subject to change. It depends on the German embassy you apply from. Yet, you might have to pay from 50-100 EUR.

Ask the embassy about the price to make sure of it.


Can I apply for a freelance visa with a German student visa?

Yes, you can have a Germany student visa and work as a freelancer. One of the requirements for a freelance visa is economic contribution. When you have a student visa, there is no need for that.


Germany freelance visa processing Time

The processing time for Germany’s freelance visa is different. I read one applicant’s comments that her application got nine months to process. A few determining factors are as follows:

  • The German embassy you apply for.
  • Whether your documents are complete or not.
  • The embassy’s workload.
  • The time of the year you apply.


Can You Perform freelancing under a Germany tourist visa?

You have permission to do freelancing under a Germany tourist visa. The permission is valid as long as the tourist visa is valid. You can do freelancing under a tourist visa for the short-term. To work for the long-term, apply for a freelance visa.


Let’s sum up…

This article introduced all you should know about Germany freelance visa. It covered whether you need a visa or not, the requirements, application process, FAQs, and more.

Visit the left sidebar to know more about other types of Germany visas.


You could also receive more information about other countries’ visas by visiting the Visa Library’s homepage.

Providing that you have gained some knowledge or information about visas, share them as comments. They are valuable tips for visa applicants.

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