Germany Digital Nomad Visa – All the insights

germany digital nomad visa

Table of Contents

 

Why Germany?

Digital Nomads have 195 countries to opt from, but why is Germany their foremost priority?

There are a lot of reasons for this question; well, we have listed down a few primary ones.

  • Geographical Advantage: Germany is the fifth largest country located in the center of Europe. It is connected with different countries through rivers such as the Elbe and Danube, helping flow revenue through trade. Further links through the north sea are pretty advantageous for economic gains.
  • Historical sites: Germany has a rich historical background. Germany is quite popular due to World War II. There are over 40 UNESCO heritage sites to visit and learn a lot about Germany’s history and culture.

Their Palaces, castles, and building all highlight their historical events. The Romanesque architecture is well expressed through Saint Micheal’s church, dating back to the 10th century.

The Heidelberg Castle and Ducal Landshut residence best illustrate the renaissance period between the 15th and 17th centuries.

  • German Nationals: German people are welcoming and friendly, and approachable. Their discipline, organization, and their lifestyle are just exemplary.
  • Culture: Germany’s culture is shaped by aesthetic art, literature, philosophy, cuisines, etc. Germany is a leading nation of people with a love of reading books.

About 94 thousand books are published each year, with a dominant and prominent Frankfurt Book Fair being organized for people to further heighten their passion for books. And indeed, many of us aren’t aware that the first known book and the magazine were printed in Germany.

Furthermore, the German nation is also praised for free education for both nationals and foreigners.

German art has influenced western art with its famous Celtic, Ottonian, and Carolingian arts. German artists showcased their skills in Baroque and Rococo styles and further highlighted the gothic sculptures.

  • Sports: Not just literacy but even sports are equally important in Germany. There are about 26000 football clubs, which is the reason behind Germany’s successful campaign nearly in all football world Cups. They have already bagged 4 world cups, most after Brazil and equal with Italy.

Digital Nomad has a lot to learn from Germany’s cultural and historical diversity. Alongside the leisure lifestyle, it provides with best opportunities and facilities to work as freelancers and entrepreneurs.

“Germany recently doubled their Wifi speed from 27 Mbps to 55Mbps.” Well, why would a Digital Nomad refuse to travel to Germany?

 

“Are you Independent” – Germany Digital Nomad Visa

The very essential requirement for a Digital Nomad Visa is self-sufficiency. Not only Germany but any country in the world will only grant you a visa only if you can earn bucks of your own.

There are a couple of categories in which you must be in in order to travel to Germany. Either you are a freelancer, or you own a business. There is complete flexibility for the Digital Nomads to work with, but Germany’s tax laws must agree upon the type of work a Digital Nomad is associated with.

Freelancing Categories for Germany:

According to Germany Tax law, only these professions are allowed within Freelancing:

  • Artist
  • Writer
  • Architect
  • Scientist
  • Advisor
  • Tax consultants
  • Auditors
  • Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Lawyer
  • Photo reporter
  • Translators
  • Veterinarian
  • Dentist
  • Notary
  • Doctor
  • Business Economists

In Germany, if a profession is considered a liberal profession (Freibe Berufe), it can be regarded as freelance work. And if it comes under the commercial profession, it’ll be called self-employment (Gewerbetreibende).

If you aren’t a freelancer, you must take a Gewerbetreibende (self-employed) residence permit. This case is obviously not for Digital Nomads.

Additionally, there is also an artist visa, a sub-category of freelancing. The application process will be similar to the freelance residence permit, but these artists won’t have to wait for the approval as their application gets approved immediately.

German authorities carefully go through the visa requests, and the visas are granted based on the effects a profession can have on the country.

The process is five weeks long that includes the review of the complete documentation you provide and a thorough insight into the reason for your travel.

Traveling to a country and abiding by its rules is immensely important. Germany wants foreign freelancers to register with the tax authorities. Thus, it’s mandatory for you to pay a couple of taxes as a Digital Nomad:

1.    Income Tax:

Income tax depends upon your earnings. There is a fixed ratio of tax for specific values of income.

  • Earning up to 9,744 per year leaves you exempted from income tax.
  • Earning between 9,744 to 57,918 annually makes it mandatory to pay income tax that varies between 14%-42%
  • Earning between 57,918 – 274,612 makes you eligible to pay the exact 42% of the amount.
  • Earnings exceeding 274,612 leads you to pay 45% as income tax.

Income tax is paid four times a year in March, June, September, and December. At the end of the year, you submit an income tax declaration. If the amount you paid exceeded the amount mentioned in the statement, it would be returned to you.

2.    Value Added Tax:

Value-added tax paid in Germany is 19% for most cases but can be as low as 9%. This is based on the revenue you generate.

These taxes do add to the worries of a Digital Nomad, but that’s how a country prospers. Germany itself is an ideal place, and its laws and policies are a model for many other countries in the world. That’s why it’s one of the best economies in the whole of Europe.

 

What Is Germany Digital Nomad Visa?

So, you have made up your mind to travel to Germany. Get yourself a document that foreigners require to visit Germany for longer than three months.

Unlike many other countries in Europe, Germany has such restrictions as visa quotas. The Germany Freelance Visa is a temporary residence permit step toward permanent residency. Albeit this permanent residency process is 3-year long, many people have made Germany their new home.

Under Germany Digital Nomad Visa, you can provide any services mentioned within the freelancing category. Until your profession benefits Germany, there will be no rejection of your applied visa.

Additionally, there is complete liberty to work with international clients, but alongside it, you are also opened up to the local German clients.

Types Of Germany Digital Nomad Visas:

It is imperative to know the types of visas to apply for accordingly. Any incorrect information added may result in a rejection of your request.

Another common issue is that your profession can’t be categorized within the categories available. Therefore, the relevant authorities forward your application to the Federal board agency, where verification and other processes occur. This leads to the consumption of time that may take up to 3 months.

Being transparent and providing all the relevant information on the one go will undoubtedly be rewarding. Else it’ll not only waste your time but may eventually lead up to the refusal.

There are two types of freelance or Digital Nomad Visas for Germany.

1.    Work Freelance Visa:

The freelance Work Visa is forwarded to the Chamber of Commerce for approval, but this isn’t the case for the Artist visa. Therefore, it takes about three months for the regular Freelance visa to get accepted.

Your request to visit Germany must be reasonable, and you should make sure that you aren’t missing any of the documents. Prove your financial status and fulfill all the other requirements mentioned later in the article because these processes are strictly observed within the official laws.

2.    Artist Freelance Visa:

Artist Visa is only restricted to artists who will to live in Berlin, the capital of Germany.

It is not feasible for other cities in Germany and is a residence permit.  Those artists who wish to reside in any other town in Germany must apply for a regular freelance Work Visa.

The question that arises here is what professions are counted as art?

If you are a painter, musician, journalist, and photographer, it isn’t difficult to request an artist visa. But if you have a profession that can be counted as artistic but isn’t officially, you’ll have to convince the case manager to recognize your artistic work.

To prove your artistic background, you must have a detailed CV and the cover letters of projects you have been part of. Simply prove your qualification by means of documents and samples.

Get verified as an artist! Your visa will be approved instantly.

 

Who is Eligible to apply for Digital Nomad Visa for Germany?

Countries that are part of the European Union have agreements with each other. This has given the right to the people to move freely to any of the countries within the Schengen area without a Digital Nomad Visa.

But those outside the European Union must apply for a Digital Nomad Visa from the nearest German embassy.

And those who intend to just spend a shorter period in Germany can make use of a tourist visa under which you are even allowed to work as a freelancer but not for the German clients as per German laws.

Additionally, residents from a few countries such as the USA, Japan, Canada, etc., can visit Germany as tourists without a visa for 90 days.

Germany has no restrictions for any country and has not even enforced a quota system for foreigners. Therefore, there are no questions on how many applications you submit. This attitude towards the foreigners is indeed appreciable.

 

Applying for the Germany Digital Nomad Visa

The processing time for the German Digital Nomad Visa is longer than that of the other countries. It doesn’t mean that their application is more strict and much more demanding. The only factor for German authorities to consume more time is satisfaction.

The German government is considerate towards these decisions as only those foreigners who can support themselves and are judged as appropriate can enter the country.

How to get your application approved?

●     Self-reliance.

It’s pretty complex to maintain a steady flow of work and projects in freelancing. The workload may vary due to the competitors present in the market and is obviously highly dependent on your working standards.

Germany wants digital Nomads to prove their ability to keep earning constantly and stabilize themselves so that it doesn’t burden them.

You must be able to prove to them your self-sufficiency. You can do this by showing your bank statements mainly from german or international bank accounts to strengthen your case.

●     Getting Consent of German clients!

In order to win a german Digital Nomad Visa, you must be able to satisfy the German authorities with relevant proof that German companies want to hire you. A local company showing interest in your work will undeniably be the point that’ll persuade them to let you travel to their homeland.

You must be able to compete against the opponents in your field so that your skill can be utilized within the german market. Your qualifications, skills, and expertise in your field are deeply analyzed. Knowing a bit of the German language can help you a lot in such a cause.

Additionally, having more than one client is preferred. Earning about 83% from a single client can be a problematic factor for you. For such a situation, a law is designed to contribute to pensions and social works.

While filling out the application form, you must be wise and smart. This will help you avoid the questions that the authorities can raise.

●     Future Planning?

Your future planning is essential.  What are your thoughts on your financial position, and what will be your future financial plans? You must present this all in front of your interviewer.

Apart from providing financial reports, you must also mention the backup plans and the tactics to further the expansion of your freelancing work.

Required Documents to Apply for Germany Digital Nomad Visa.

Before filling up the application form, you must gather all the documents so that you fill in the information accordingly. You must provide all the right documentation to avoid disruptions between the application processes.

Condition to apply: you must be at least 18 years old

Requirements:

Some Basic Documents:

  • Application form for a residence permit.
  • Biometric photos: it costs you about 6 euros to get four biometric photos of standard size.
  • Passport: The interviewer will use your passport to identify you. Further, if you get the visa immediately, the sticker visa is placed inside the passport if you get the visa immediately.
  • Health insurance: Like many other countries, getting health insurance for a German Digital Nomad Visa is mandatory.
  • Relevant Apartment documents: If you own a house in Germany, you must have your Apartment lease.
  • Application Fee: You should take along an application fee that can be between 56 to 100 euros. The fees can be paid in cash or debit, depending on the immigration office you visit. As for Berlin, you’ll have to pay in cash.

Documents Expressing your Character and Work:

  • Your CV/Resume: You must present all your qualifications and past works/achievements in your resume.
  • Cover Letter: This isn’t the requirement, but still, you can present it to strengthen your case.
  • Recommendation Letters: you must take a few recommendation letters from previous clients for interviews. Interviewers often ask for such recommendations, so be on the safer side.
  • Letter of Intent: the letter of intent from the german client will show your need in Germany as a freelancer. Apart from p[roving your contracts with international clients, you must also prove your value for the German market.
  • Portfolio/Samples: Showing examples and samples of your work will persuade the interviewer to accept your congruency.
  • Professional Permit: If your freelance work is related to something requiring a permit, you must have it to assure your credibility.

 

Finance Documents:

  • Bank statements: Bank statements are required to prove your independence. Interviewers may also ask you to show German and foreign bank statements, so you should have all bases covered accordingly.
  • Financial Plans: Your financial strategies must be adequate and well-formulated. The financial plans must include your income/budget and profit-loss statements. These strategies will help you convince the interviewer of your ability to prosper and thrive in case of struggles.
  • Pension Plans: Those over the age of 45 must also not be a burden on the German government. Everyone residing in the USA, Sri Lanka, Japan, Philippines, Turkey, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic is expected from the pension plan. Those outside these nations must prove their health insurance and private pension offers.

You can even call the immigration office to know about all the requirements so that you don’t miss out on any updated stuff.

 

The Cost Required to apply for Germany Freelance Visa:

The fee is already mentioned in the requirements, but we repeat that you’ll need an average of 75 euros for the application. Additionally, this fee is non-refundable and won’t be returned to you if the visa application is rejected.

Moreover, the residence permit will consume over 100 euros as well. There may be extra charges depending on additional documentation as applicable in your case.

 

Processes to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa:

The freelance visa withdraws three months as the application is forwarded to the federal authorities to be reviewed.

You must prepare yourself well to avoid the possibility of rejection.

  • Follow all the conditions and arrange all the required documents.
  • Book an appointment at your local German embassy. It takes quite a long to book an appointment in Germany, so it is better to secure it from the Local embassy.
  • Attend the meeting with all the required documents and pay the fees.
  • Now you must wait at least three months for your application to be processed.
  • Now you’ll have to go to Germany and prove your health insurance. Germans are very serious about health insurance. Turning down Visa requests due to health insurance is simply okay for them.
  • Schedule an appointment for the residence permit as a freelancer. But do apply for it before your visa expires.

 

Summarising it up!

You now know the crucial facts for applying for the Digital Nomad Visa. Now reflect on yourself and find out whether you are eligible or not.

Initially, make sure you fulfill the conditions and have all the required documents.

Then decide which Visa you fit the best, the freelance visa, the artist visa, or the business one.

Then schedule your appointment, book flights, complete your health insurance and search place of residence. Then you travel to Germany, register your address, and open up a German bank account.

Then you must attend the meeting you scheduled with all the documents required and complete preparation.

You’ll find a lot of digital nomads there helping you out with the process. Moreover, the German government provides Digital nomads with many resources to let them in the country.

After all this hectic process, you shall bear the fruits of your hard work. Now settle in Germany and move on with your life in a way you dreamt for.

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Sofiann

Sofiann

I am a digital nomad. Not the kind of nomad that keeps travelling all the time though. I tend to live for 6 months at home in France and 6 months abroad. I created this blog so I can share some insights about the places I have been and how did I manage to work and travel at the same time. I hope you will enjoy it :)