Freelance jobs on a student visa?

15 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I am a doctoral student, but my contract has run out. I have a #16 visa, but was paid a salary with standard deductions etc. I am non EU.

I will need at least an year to complete my thesis. I teach one class at the university, but it is very poorly paid. I am allowed to work 90 full days, or 180 half days.

I can make money in the city I live in doing various things, like teaching English, working as an extra on a film set, cooking for a group of people, one to one English coaching, etc. I have been offered a job teaching English about twice a week. Can I do this? They pay on a freelancer basis since they do not want to take full time employees. And I fear if I ask them for a full time or half time contract I will lose the job since I just joined and all English schools pay in this manner. On the other hand, without this, I cannot survive.

 

What do I do? Is working on a TV set once as an extra a freelance gig? What about teaching English? Any way around this?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they are freelance. And you can very easily get caught out. A friend on a full contract at the University near me did a one-off lecture for the VHS, for which he was paid 100€. He got caught out by the ABH, fined, had to repay the money (or else the VHS would have had to pay a HUGE fine for hiring a "schwartzarbeiter," and was warned not to do it again or face losing his visa.

 

You can work as an employee for a number of things (AFAIK you're not subject to the Vorrangsprüfung) or work at the Uni as Hilfskraft. But NO freelance.

 

You could ask for a part-time contract, if they are willing to deal with the paperwork.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Techgirl, you can't freelance.

 

 

I have been offered a job teaching English about twice a week.

 

See if they'd be willing to employ you through Heinzelmännchen (possibly at a lower rate since they'll have to pay certain social security contributions for you). For a fee Heinzelmännchen will take care of all the paperwork and although you'd be paid as an employee in compliance with your permit, the company does not run the risk of you becoming Festangestellt (another reason for offering contracts freelance and not as an employee).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My visa says unSelbstständigkeit Beschäftigung bis zu 90 tagen oder 180 halbtagen. What does this mean?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It basically says that you may work as an employee for 90 days or 180 half days every calendar year (as of August 1, 2012, the allotment has increased to 120/240).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question:

 

Can I work over 20 hrs per week under an international student visa?

 

Situation:

 

I am a non-EU student visa holder. I have been teaching 4 hours every Saturday for the past month. I have not signed a contract with the school yet, but they want to go under a Mini-job status. I have just been offered and accepted a 20 hr/week job, which I am supposed to start next week. I would like to keep my Saturday job, as it pays pretty well and I can use all the money I can get.

 

The problem is that I've been told by an employee at my university that I cannot work more than 20 hrs/week during the school term. When I spoke to the school I work for, they told me some rubbish about the fact that since I didn't have anything written in my PASSPORT by the Ausländerbehörde concerning the amount of hours I can work per week, I can work any amount I want. I asked them how they recorded/reported their employees and they told me not worry, as they don't send any info to the Ausländerbehörde. They have my information and they plan to pay my mini-job taxes, so its reported somewhere. I think they want me to stay and are kind of willing to say whatever it takes to make me feel comfortable enough to stick around.

 

I've TRIED to contact the Labor Office, but I was actually told by one of their operators not to bother since they will not answer their phones or respond to emails. He suggested I look online or post a thread. I've done the first, now it's time for the latter.

 

By the way, the student work Wiki states:

 

Employment with a Study Permit

 

 

The standard clause in a study permit with work authorization is for 120 full days or 240 half days per calendar year. Unused days cannot be carried over to the next year. Officially if you work more than 4 hours it counts as a full day (in companies where all employees work 10hrs/day, up to 5hrs/day can be considered a half day). Working for the university/FH, or certain institutes associated with an institute of higher education does not count towards the 90 day allotment if the work is somehow course related. This is the only way to work more than 90 days a year.

 

Students working more than 20 hours a week during the semester are taxed as normal employees (ie. unemployment, pension, and health insurance premiums).

 

Self-employment is generally explicitly prohibited under a student visa (Selbstständigkeit nicht gestattet).

That makes it sound as if I could work, but I would just get taxed very high. I'm not sure that would be worth it anymore. Any helpful info would be nice if someone has the time/expertise to respond.

 

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Working for the university/FH, or certain institutes associated with an institute of higher education does not count towards the 90 (120) day allotment if the work is somehow course related. This is the only way to work more than 90 (120) days a year.

I would tend to believe a university employee more than a random employer who does not seem at all familiar with the student visa regulations.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice Hannover. I appreciate the response. I agree in theory, but that same employee told me I could not go to the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment. This just isn't true, although it is a major pain in the ass to wait in line early in the morning. Maybe I should have put that information in right away. It just makes it frustrating because I don't know where to turn to for some good information.

 

Just to clarify, I'm not concerned with the number of days I can work, but rather the total amount of hours I can work per week during the school term.

 

Thanks again and if anyone else happens to have experience with this issue I would be greatly appreciative for some more advice.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to find out if they would consider you an employee or would be hiring you on a freelance basis, because you're not allowed to freelance.

 

See post #3 on this thread.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again westvan. Sorry about the handle mix-up before. The school where I work on Saturdays would have me hired under the Mini-job status. This isn't freelance, so I guess it wouldn't apply directly. So if I have a job where I work 20 hrs/week and a mini-job where I work 4 hrs/week would that be against student work visa regulations?

 

Thanks again!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So if I have a job where I work 20 hrs/week and a mini-job where I work 4 hrs/week would that be against student work visa regulations?

 

Not as long as you don't exceed 240 half-days or 120 full days (a full day is more than 4 hours on any given day) per year.

 

The part you bolded, Students working more than 20 hours a week during the semester are taxed as normal employees (ie. unemployment, pension, and health insurance premiums), applies to EU students, who are eligible to work without an extra work permit/visa.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So if I have a job where I work 20 hrs/week and a mini-job where I work 4 hrs/week would that be against student work visa regulations?

 

No. However, your employer for the 20hr/week job would have to pay you as a regular employee and you'd both be liable for social security contributions, i.e. you can't be hired under the more favourable Werkstudent provisions. Considering that your mini-job employer will be forwarding their contributions to the Knappschaft Bahn See, who'll eventually forward the health insurance premia to your Krankenkasse, your Krankenkasse will eventually realise that you're working more than 20 hours a week during the semester (it is the Krankenkasse that is responsible for making sure that social security contributions are correctly calculated).

 

The ABH does not care how many hours you work a week. The ABH only cares how many days you work per year and how many ECTS credits you pass per semester.

 

 

The part you bolded, Students working more than 20 hours a week during the semester are taxed as normal employees (ie. unemployment, pension, and health insurance premiums), applies to EU students, who are eligible to work without an extra work permit/visa.

 

The "20 hour rule" is actually a rule of thumb based on the laws in the Sozialgesetzbücher with respect to exemptions for students and applies to all students regardless of country of citizenship. Since this question seems to come up frequently, I updated the wiki to include this as well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I can tell you for certain is that the majority of responses on these forums all lean towards the negative side which is "it is against the law and not our tradition" or "you will certainly get caught"... These people are simply repeating things they have heard over and over again, i mean seriously how in the world would you get "caught" as a freelance english teacher? This is total nonsense.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you say this based on your vast experience of living in Germany, JamiSteven?

 

As far as I can see, nobody is saying "you will certainly get caught" and I'm quite certain that no one has claimed that it's "not our tradition" (we're not Germans for the most part). But if you do get caught, and there's a very real chance, then you risk being deported and barred from re-entering the EU for 5-10 years, with the associated impact on your academic career. If you're okay living with that risk, then go for it. But the Germans will not treat you with kid gloves just because you're from the "rich West".

 

There are several first-person stories of such deportations on Toytown, such as Americans being deported.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now