How long does it generally take to receive a freelance visa?

8 posts in this topic

Hi Toytowners, 

 

I am currently in Hamburg and just applied for a freelance visa. The official informed me that they will be in touch. Just wondering— how long was it before you were contacted after applying for your freelancing visa? 

 

On a slightly different note, I applied to be a freelance writer. I currently only have one freelance contract for €770 a month (I have only been in Hamburg for 3 weeks to look for work), but I included in my cover letter that I am in the process of contacting companies for additional jobs... I also have a degree and experience in journalism. Were any of you able to obtain the visa with one contract? 

 

Thanks! :) 

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In Berlin, freelance visas are given the same day. If you have your documents together, it usually takes 1 to 2 hours. But from your post it sounds like Hamburg has an entirely different system, so I'm not sure there.

 

In terms of contracts, multiple contracts are best, but letters work almost as well. If you can get letters from people/groups that may be interested in working with you, the Ausländerbehörde accepts this as proof of a secure livelihood. These letters don't need to be a firm commitment. This is especially true for initial visas (for followup visas they seem to focus more on taxes and past income).

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Can I get a bit more info about this?

 

I applied for a freelance visa as a programmer in April and it’s been more than 2 months now.

The office I visited is in Berlin, the one near Westhafen station.

 

My visa wasn’t issued on the same day. I got a temporary permit instead, which is valid for 6 months.

They said they need to review my application before giving approval, because if there are enough programmers already here in Germany, then they don’t have to let a foreigner stay and work in the programming (or whatever) field.

Of course I showed my contracts and invoices, but they still need to see if it’s hard for my clients to find a replacement for me from German citizens.

I heard that if you’re an artist or something, it’s possible to get a visa on the same day. Maybe because the approval process is different somehow.

So, how long does it usually take?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hm- very weird. Generally freelance programmers have the same visa category as artists and the process for applying is the same. It may just be the person you got, or maybe they were processing it under a different visa category?

 

What sort of programming do you do? And do you know if they were processing your residence permit under 21 Abs. 1 or 21 Abs. 5? 21 Abs. 5 is the easier one, but you have to show that the type of programming you do is equivalent to the German "freier berufe"- skilled professions focused on mental work like accountants, doctors, artists, teachers, etc. Specifically, to do this you need to be doing non-trivial programming that requires skills equivalent to a college graduate (though a degree itself is not necessarily required).

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Thanks so much for your reply @Zeitbuch

Well I heard a completely different story then. From what I learned, artists (musician, painter etc) are processed differently from other freelancers (teacher, accountant, web designer, programmer etc).

 

I'm not sure under which category I'm being processed, but it is certain that it's "Freiberufler", not "Selbstständiger".

Ah, sorry, I just said "programmer" but actually it's "IT Consultant & Localization Consultant". and I stated the programming tasks as IT consulting in detail. It's web/app/software development things and not about mental at all. Not like physician, dentist, or lawyer either. and localization consulting includes translation in IT field. I have a master's degree in science and wrote that on my CV. The official didn't ask me for the certificate though.

 

Also a friend of mine applied for a freelance visa as a "marketing manager" in 2013, and got a temporary permit instead, just like I did.

She wasn't sure if she remembered correctly, but apparently the official told her pretty much the same thing about the approval process and she eventually received her visa after 6~7 weeks. As for me it's 10th week now...

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20 minutes ago, expatfj said:

I'm not sure under which category I'm being processed, but it is certain that it's "Freiberufler", not "Selbstständiger".

 

"Freiberufler" are "Selbstständige" – in Germany there are two sorts of "Selbstständige": Freiberufler and Gewerbetreibende.

 

20 minutes ago, expatfj said:

Ah, sorry, I just said "programmer" but actually it's "IT Consultant & Localization Consultant". and I stated the programming tasks as IT consulting in detail. It's web/app/software development things and not about mental at all.

 

Then it's very likely that its not "Freiberufler". 

 

20 minutes ago, expatfj said:

Not like physician, dentist, or lawyer either. 

 

Physicians, dentists, lawyers are Freiberufler. As are midwifes, teachers and programmers that do non-trivial software.

 

 

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On 6/18/2017, 12:19:54, expatfj said:

Thanks so much for your reply @Zeitbuch

Well I heard a completely different story then. From what I learned, artists (musician, painter etc) are processed differently from other freelancers (teacher, accountant, web designer, programmer etc).

 

I'm not sure under which category I'm being processed, but it is certain that it's "Freiberufler", not "Selbstständiger".

Ah, sorry, I just said "programmer" but actually it's "IT Consultant & Localization Consultant". and I stated the programming tasks as IT consulting in detail. It's web/app/software development things and not about mental at all. Not like physician, dentist, or lawyer either. and localization consulting includes translation in IT field. I have a master's degree in science and wrote that on my CV. The official didn't ask me for the certificate though.

 

Also a friend of mine applied for a freelance visa as a "marketing manager" in 2013, and got a temporary permit instead, just like I did.

She wasn't sure if she remembered correctly, but apparently the official told her pretty much the same thing about the approval process and she eventually received her visa after 6~7 weeks. As for me it's 10th week now...

On 6/18/2017, 12:19:54, expatfj said:

Thanks so much for your reply @Zeitbuch

Well I heard a completely different story then. From what I learned, artists (musician, painter etc) are processed differently from other freelancers (teacher, accountant, web designer, programmer etc).

 

I'm not sure under which category I'm being processed, but it is certain that it's "Freiberufler", not "Selbstständiger".

Ah, sorry, I just said "programmer" but actually it's "IT Consultant & Localization Consultant". and I stated the programming tasks as IT consulting in detail. It's web/app/software development things and not about mental at all. Not like physician, dentist, or lawyer either. and localization consulting includes translation in IT field. I have a master's degree in science and wrote that on my CV. The official didn't ask me for the certificate though.

 

Also a friend of mine applied for a freelance visa as a "marketing manager" in 2013, and got a temporary permit instead, just like I did.

She wasn't sure if she remembered correctly, but apparently the official told her pretty much the same thing about the approval process and she eventually received her visa after 6~7 weeks. As for me it's 10th week now...

 

Did you managed to get your visa(I know it has been a long time since then)?Im currently in the same situatio.They didnt ask me for Degree neither.If yes how long did all this took?

Thanks

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@Airobot Yes eventually I got my freelance visa. It took more than half a year in my case.

Just to be safe, don't forget to bring all the documents (application form, insurance, job contracts, bank statement, etc..) when picking up your visa, even when you're told that you got approved.

6ish month after applying I got an email saying that I got approved, and went to the Ausländerbehörde, but I got kinda rejected once just because I didn't bring all the documents. On my next appointment I brought everything, and also hired a translator and asked him to explain the whole story, and then finally I received my visa.

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