Germany Investment Immigration


Residency under Self-Employment Permit

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Investment immigration is where a ‘foreign investor’ invests a specific amount of money into a country’s economy in return for a permanent residency permit. Each jurisdiction has different requirements that must be satisfied in order to qualify for permanent residency; however the investor will typically be required to benefit the economy.

Why Immigrate to Germany?

Germany is a member of the European Union and is considered a prominent location for foreigners to reside in due to its strong and stable economic infrastructure and respected legal framework. Germany offers attractive working conditions and a high standard of living in comparison to its comparatively low living expenses.

German Immigration Law Requirements

There are many conditions which must be satisfied for an applicant to successfully gain a permanent residency visa in Germany by investment. As of the 1stJanuary 2005, Germany introduced a newly reformed Immigration Act in a bid to regulate foreign residency permits. The new law enforces the requirement that all foreigners must obtain a German Residence Permit, which also entitles them to the right to work in Germany.

Who is eligible to apply for a German Residency Visa?

Nationals of the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel and Japan have the right to enter Germany without a visa and apply for a residency permit while remaining as a ‘visitor’ in Germany, however while they incur a visitor status they are not entitled to work in Germany. To contrast, nationals of most other countries (excluding the above-mentioned) are required to apply for and obtain a residency visa prior to entering Germany.

Self-Employment Permit

Non EU/non EEA/non Swiss individuals seeking residency in Germany by means of self-employment will need to apply for a visa for the purpose of self-employment at their home country. Upon the arrival in Germany, the applicant will need to convert their visa into a Self-employment residence permit. The self-employment permit will allow the applicant to set up a business as either a self-employed entrepreneur or a freelancer.

In order to apply for this permit, the applicant will need to meet the following requirements:

  • The business activity should fulfil an economic interest or regional need
  • The business activity must have positive effects on the German economy
  • The business must have secured funding
Documents required:
  • A completed application form
  • A Valid passport
  • A Business plan
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Current employment contract for researchers and academics
  • A copy of your degree certificate (if a German University graduate)
  • Applicants over 45 years will require proof of adequate old-age provisions
  • References
  • Proof of entrepreneurial experience

The residence permit will be extended for a maximum of 3 years if the business is successful. After 3 years, the self-employed entrepreneur will be able to obtain a settlement permit. If applying as a freelancer, the applicant will be able to obtain a settlement permit after 5 years of residency in the country.

Settlement Permit

In order for the applicant to receive a settlement permit (enabling him/her to reside in Germany on a permanent basis) there are some conditions which must be satisfied:

  • The applicant must own a residency permit in Germany for a minimum of 3 or 5 years depending on case
  • Must prove he/she has a secure livelihood
  • Must provide evidence of sufficient accommodation
  • Must have sufficient knowledge of the German language
  • Must show basic knowledge of the German social and legal systems