Apply for a residence permit for self-employed persons who have completed their studies or work as scientists or researchers
Under facilitated conditions, you can obtain a residence permit to pursue a self-employed activity if you have successfully completed a degree in Germany or have a residence permit as a researcher or scientist.
If you have successfully completed your studies at a state or state-recognized university or comparable training institution in Germany or have a residence permit as a researcher or scientist, you can apply for a residence permit to pursue a self-employed activity.
A prerequisite for university graduates is the successful completion of their studies, which enables them to pursue a self-employed activity. Your intended self-employment must therefore be related to the knowledge you have acquired in higher education.
If you are in possession of a residence permit as a researcher or scientist, the intended self-employment must show a connection with your previous activity as a researcher or scientist.
A residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is a temporary residence permit. It shall be granted for a maximum of three years and may be extended.
- Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport replacement)
- Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
- For university graduates: Proof of completion at a state-recognised university or comparable training institution in Germany
- For scientists and researchers: previous employment contract
- Proof of livelihood security (e.g. equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment)
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Current registration certificate
- After the age of 45: Proof of adequate retirement provision (e.g. proof of own assets, acquired pension rights, business assets)
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
- You have a recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport replacement) and, if necessary for entry - a dedicated visa.
- You want to pursue a self-employed, freelance activity in Germany.
- You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage without using public benefits.
- If you have reached the age of 45: You can prove that you have adequate old-age security.
- There is no interest in expulsion against you.
Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- The issuance of the residence permit is at the discretion of the Foreigners' Registration Office.
- Self-employment is any self-employed, permitted, profit-making and long-term activity, unless it is an employment relationship.
- Scientists are persons who belong to the scientific world, i.e. essentially the scientific staff of universities and research institutions. Researchers also fall under the concept of the scientist.
- Holders of the residence permit can already obtain a permanent right of residence (settlement permit) after three years of successful self-employment under simplified conditions.
§ 21 paragraph 2a Residence Act (AufenthG) - Self-employment
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Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport
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