Germany Digital Nomad Visa

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The freelance visa in Germany, known as Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit, serves as a residency permit for foreign freelancers and self-employed individuals to reside in Germany for a maximum of 3 years. Navigating the German bureaucratic process is necessary, as obtaining approval for this visa can take up to 4 months.

Visa category Freelance

“Freiberufler” Visa

What are the visa fees/charges?

• Application fee for the freelance visa: EUR75
• EUR 100 for a residence permit, if necessary (EUR22.80-EUR37 for Turkish citizens who fall under the scope of the Association Agreement between the European Economic Community and Turkey (art. 6 and art. 7 ARB 1/80)

Is there a minimum income threshold applicable for digital nomad/remote work visa?

Subject to labor market test by Federal Employment Agency (comparable working conditions of German national in comparable role)

Are digital nomad/remote work visa holders subject to income tax?

• Yes
• In case the applicant resides over 3 months:
– Earning up to EUR9,744 per year is tax exempt
– EUR9,745 – EUR57,918 per year: 14% to 42%
– EUR57,919 – EUR274,612 per year: 42%
– Over EUR274,613 per year: 45%

Are digital nomad/remote work visa holders subject to social security contributions?

Is there Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) relief available in the country?

Is there an income tax requirement in the country, in general?

Is there a social security requirement in the country, in general?

Are criminal checks required for this visa?

For how long is the digital nomad/remote work visa valid?
• 3 months – up to 1 year
• The visa can be converted to a residence permit for freelancing which can be extended for up to three years
• After 3 years, the eligibility for a permanent residency will be checked

Is the applicant bound to any work restraints/limitations?

• The freelance work must generally be approved by the Federal Employment Agency
• Profession must fall within the prescribed list of freelance professions
• Freelance work includes independent scientific, artistic, literary, teaching or educational work, the independent professional activity of doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, notaries, patent attorneys, surveyors, engineers, architects, commercial chemists, auditors, tax consultants, consulting economists and business economists, certified accountants, tax agents, non-medical practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, journalists, photojournalists, interpreters, translators, pilots and similar professions (sec. 18 par. 1 no. 1 Einkommenssteuergesetz)

What are the standard requirements for the digital nomad/remote work visa?

• Duly completed national visa application form
• Valid national passport
• Two recently made biometric photographs
• Cover letter with CV
• Printed samples of the freelance work or regular work in same profession
• Structured and detailed freelance plan
• Certificates of academic qualifications or training certificates
• Proof of a secure livelihood (proof of sufficient financial means to cover living and freelancing costs), e.g. current bank statements, profit/loss statements
• Travel health insurance
• 2 letters of commitments from future customers/employers, in case of work on a fee basis
• If professional permit is required for the freelance occupation, proof of permit, e.g. a license to practice law
• If already completed the 45th year of life: proof of an adequate pension plan
• Personal appointment*

Which countries are eligible to apply for the digital nomad/ remote work visa?

• Free movement to people living in the Schengen area
• People from outside the European Union must apply for a self employment visa
• Nationals from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Japan, UK, and South Korea are allowed to enter Germany without a visa for up to 90 days within a 180-days period and may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the responsible immigration office in case they reside over 3 months

Is applicant required to provide proof of employment?

• Applicant must have a freelancing plan to show as evidence
• Applicant’s skill must fall under the freelancing ‘Freiberufler’ category and must contribute to the German economy

Cost of living index: 66 – (26 out of 140)

Internet fixed: 83.2 Mbps Median- Feb 2023

Internet mobile: 57.22 Mbps Median – Feb 2023


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