I’m from another country and would like to move to Germany long-term. What are the prerequisites?

  • Posted on: 27 January 2020
  • By: Eileen Möller

EU citizens can work in another EU member state as an employee or as a self-employed person without any prerequisites (freedom of movement). Note that EU citizens do need to get German health insurance if they move to Germany long-term. Non-EU citizens need a residence permit to move to Germany. Privileged nationals (Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, USA) can apply for a residence permit for any economic activity directly in Germany after entering without a visa. All other nationals need to apply at a German embassy or consulate in their country of residence. Note that there is no “artist visa” for Germany. In Berlin, a pro-artist interpretation of the Residence Act exists (§ 21 Abs. 5 AufenthG) which might facilitate the application process. In general, residence permits can be applied for any purpose, but they are limited to the activities that are applied for. For instance, a residence permit might be granted for a self-employed musician. The permitted activities are then restricted to being self-employed as a musician, other economic activities (any employment, any other self-employed activities) are not allowed. More information can be found on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office and the Berlin Immigration Office. Also check out the relocation checklist provided by touring artists.
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