Applying for an extension of a residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment for freelancers Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

You can extend your residence permit to pursue a freelance activity if you want to continue your freelance work in Germany and meet certain requirements.

You can extend your temporary residence permit for freelancers if you want to continue your freelance work in Germany.

For the extension of the residence permit, you must meet the same conditions as when the residence permit was issued for the first time.

Freelance activities include self-employed scientific, artistic, literary, teaching, educational or other self-employed professional activities in accordance with § 18 paragraph 1 of the Income Tax Act (for example, self-employed doctors, notaries, tax consultants).

If necessary, you must currently present a professional license again.

In principle, the extension of your residence permit requires the presentation of the same documents as for the first issue:

  • Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport replacement)
  • Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • In the case of regulated professions: permission to practise the liberal profession or commitment to grant
  • Proof of livelihood security (e.g. equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • From the age of 45: Proof of adequate retirement provision (e.g. proof of own assets, acquired pension rights, business assets)
  • Current registration certificate
  • In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more evidence.

Forms available: No

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: Yes


For the extension of the residence permit, you must meet the same conditions as when the residence permit was issued for the first time. These are regular:

  • You have a recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport replacement).
  • You want to pursue a self-employed, freelance activity in Germany.
  • Insofar as this is necessary for the exercise of employment, you have a valid professional license or have been assured that the permit has been granted by the competent authority.
  • You can provide proof of adequate old-age security when you have reached the age of 45.
  • You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage without using public benefits.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Related Links

  • § 8 paragraph 1 Residence Act (AufenthG) - Extension of the residence permit
  • § 21 paragraph 5 Residence Act (AufenthG) - Self-employed activity; freelance work
  • § 18 paragraph 1 Income Tax Act (EStG)
  • Find out whether your immigration office makes it possible to apply online or provides a special application form.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of online applications, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your application to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and your documents will be checked (please bring your documents, if possible in the original, to the appointment).
  • If your request is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of a new electronic residence permit (eAT card). The Foreigners' Registration Office commissions Bundesdruckerei to produce the eAT card. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the residence permit at the responsible office. The eAT card must always be collected in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport

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