Applying for a German freelance residence permit is by any means a serious step. If you still cannot decide, maybe those reasons why an application can fail could be helpful.
1: Your main client or other business is in your home country
The center of your life, the apple of your eye, must be Germany. If you’re thinking you can come along with a remote business or passive income from your home country and live in Europe, you’re wrong here. For this purpose - just living here - they are unlikely to give you a residence permit. Your remote work does not bring money to the German treasury, it doesn’t employ other (German) people, it doesn’t develop Germany economically.
For the purpose - just living in Berlin - they are unlikely to give you a residence permit
2: Your job is not in demand in Berlin
You’re lost in life or have a mid-life crisis, and just want to hang out in Berlin and escape your past, doing some jobs like a cleaner or food delivery boy. I don’t think Germany has an economic interest in such freelancers from abroad - they can hire their own. Secondly, it doesn’t go with the definition of a freelancer, who’s supposed to have either a decent education and/or a great experience in the field. And it’s the next reason.
3: You don’t have a degree (for some professions)
One of my past clients was an art installator, which is a quite rare profession, especially in Berlin being packed with art galleries and artists. He’s an experienced professional and surely has prepared two letters of intent from Berlin’s clients. He doesn’t have a degree and it’s understandable for this type of work. Besides, his CV and references spoke for him and his documents were sent to be reviewed. In other case, if you decide to come to Berlin to teach people your mother tongue without being a certified teacher, nor having practiced teaching for years, you’ll be rejected. It’s obvious that a scope of jobs needs to be learned and certified, such as a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a translator.
Check if a formal education is needed for your freelance work in Germany
4: You have the Blue Card/other residence permit
The Blue Card holders, who got this RP for the first time, have a green folded paper where explicitly stated the permit to do a freelance activity. The same goes for example, for an ordinary residence permit for work purposes and a family reunion.
Ask yourself: will I earn enough money to be able to support myself in a foreign country?
5: You don’t know how to file taxes and create a business plan
The first question which you should be obsessed with after deciding to apply for this residence permit: will I earn enough money to be able to support myself in a foreign country? The ability to foresee your future expenses and income structure is the key, and if you have a mindset of a self-employed, you’re good to go. Otherwise, if figures and numbers are not your thing, hire an accountant or a tax adviser to create a simple cash flow plan and work out your future hourly rate. This will make your mindset into self-employed and you’ll be greatly prepared for the application interview.
Need relocation assistance when applying for a freelance residence permit in Berlin? I’m here for you! I’ve been working as a relocation consultant in Berlin since 2016.
Disclaimer: The article is not legal nor tax advice. It’s solely based on my own experience.