Germany, as a country for work and residence, attracts not only highly qualified specialists, but also people of liberal professions. It is for such people that the German authorities have developed the so-called freelance visa. Its main difference from a work visa is precisely that you do not need to have a work contract with a German company to obtain it.
It is enough to provide the necessary package of documents and do everything right.
It would seem nothing complicated, but in reality it turns out that everything is not so simple.
We will try to tell why this is the case using an example of our heroine.
Who to contact?
As Helena did not speak German at a sufficient level when she decided to obtain a visa for Germany, she decided to use the services of an intermediary.
The first problem she faced when choosing an intermediary for obtaining a freelance visa was the complete lack of any information in her native language. The websites of intermediaries in German were also not suitable as Helena lacked knowledge of the German language.
English-language sites remained. She stopped at one of them. It was not even the company's website, but a page on a social network where an emigrant girl offered her help in obtaining a freelance visa. The help, of course, was not free of charge.
But problems arose with the proof of payment for the services - the intermediary worked illegally: she did not issue supporting documents, did not pay taxes and, accordingly, was not responsible for anything.
The mediator provided our heroine with general information. In fact, Helena did everything herself, and in the little that the intermediary did, she had to correct mistakes. All this delayed the process.
You can check your chances of getting the German Freelance Visa absolutely free
The next problem that Helena faced, but which the mediator did not mention, was the fact that communication in the state bodies of Germany is conducted only in German. The intermediary agreed to accompany the client only once during the document submission. In the future, Helena was forced to communicate with German officials herself. Accompaniment and translation were not included in the intermediary's services.
Therefore, our heroine had to make considerable efforts to understand what they wanted from her and what else needs to be done to get a German freelance visa. It is worth noting here that the submission of documents for obtaining a visa, as a rule, is not limited to one visit.
The fact is that the list of documents required to obtain a freelance visa is open-ended. That is, at any time you may be asked to submit additional documents confirming the reality of your plans for working as a freelancer in Germany.
The mediator turned out to be incompetent and did not understand the nuances any better than Helena. For example, she advised her to take out an insurance policy that was not suitable for obtaining a freelance visa. As a result, the first attempt to apply for a visa was unsuccessful: there was no acceptable insurance.
Helena had to set a new appointment, and given the workload of state bodies due to the number of people wishing to get a visa to Germany, she had to wait almost three months for a new date. Because of this oversight of the intermediary, Helena lost three months, money for insurance, which was never useful, and nerves, since the freelance visa was obtained just a few days before the expiration of the national visa, on the basis of which Helena entered Germany.
Moreover, as it turned out, the provision of insurance is not at all necessary when applying for a freelance visa. You can save on this by receiving a letter of guarantee from the insurance company stating that you will be issued an insurance policy in case of obtaining a residence permit. This letter will be enough for a government agency to make a decision to issue a freelance visa.
Communication in German government agencies is conducted mostly in German!
In the end, after going through all the bureaucratic procedures, Helena received a German freelance visa and a residence permit for two years. Now she lives and works in the city of her dreams - Berlin, completely plunged into work and making plans for the future. These plans are connected with obtaining a German work visa. To do this, she will need to find a job under a contract and, of course, it will be easier to do this while already in Germany.
Therefore, a freelance visa is a good start for those who plan to live and work in Germany, but do not yet have a job offer from a German employer.
Helena's story is a clear example of a person who faced unscrupulous intermediaries whose goal is to get money and not provide quality services. Based on her experience, Elena decided to give some tips that might help you avoid her mistakes.
Choose only a legally registered company. Do not trust your fate to dubious individuals who provide services illegally.
When choosing an intermediary, pay attention to his/her experience of working with German government agencies. This can greatly simplify the process itself and shorten the time frame.
Be sure to discuss the entire process in detail with an intermediary. The more questions you ask, the more likely you are to avoid mistakes.
Fix the cost of services before you start collaborating. Agree in advance about who will bear the additional costs and to what extent.
We hope that these tips will help you in choosing an intermediary for obtaining a freelance visa to Germany, and you will be able to fulfill your dream of living and working in Germany in the near future.
Customer Success Manager at VISARIGHT 12 October 2019
Partner in the Business Immigration Service with data protection compliant gateway.