Apply for a residence permit for self-employed persons who have completed their studies or work as scientists or researchers
If you have successfully completed your studies at a state or state-recognized university or comparable training institution in Germany or have a residence permit as a researcher or scientist, you can apply for a residence permit to pursue a self-employed activity.
A prerequisite for university graduates is the successful completion of their studies, which enables them to pursue a self-employed activity. Your intended self-employment must therefore be related to the knowledge you have acquired in higher education.
If you are in possession of a residence permit as a researcher or scientist, the intended self-employment must show a connection with your previous activity as a researcher or scientist.
A residence permit for the purpose of self-employment is a temporary residence permit. It shall be granted for a maximum of three years and may be extended.
- You have a recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport replacement) and, if necessary for entry - a dedicated visa.
- You want to pursue a self-employed, freelance activity in Germany.
- You can secure your livelihood and health insurance coverage without using public benefits.
- If you have reached the age of 45: You can prove that you have adequate old-age security.
- There is no interest in expulsion against you.
Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Which documents are required?
- Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport replacement)
- Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
- For university graduates: Proof of completion at a state-recognised university or comparable training institution in Germany
- For scientists and researchers: previous employment contract
- Proof of livelihood security (e.g. equity, blocked account, declaration of commitment)
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Current registration certificate
- After the age of 45: Proof of adequate retirement provision (e.g. proof of own assets, acquired pension rights, business assets)
In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more evidence.
What are the fees?
Fee 100 EUR
Additional fees may apply for the issuance of the residence permit in the form of the electronic residence permit, which can also be used as electronic proof of identity.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
At the latest 8 weeks before the expiry of your still valid visa or residence permit, the application should be received by the Foreigners' Registration Office.
The duration of the application process depends on the local conditions as well as on the factual accuracy of the information in the application as well as the completeness of the application documents.
Applications / forms
Forms available: No
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance required: Yes
- Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office
- Action before the court referred to in the notice of opposition if the opposition is not complied with
What else should I know?
- The issuance of the residence permit is at the discretion of the Foreigners' Registration Office.
- Self-employment is any self-employed, permitted, profit-making and long-term activity, unless it is an employment relationship.
- Scientists are persons who belong to the scientific world, i.e. essentially the scientific staff of universities and research institutions. Researchers also fall under the concept of the scientist.
- Holders of the residence permit can already obtain a permanent right of residence (settlement permit) after three years of successful self-employment under simplified conditions.
Technically approved by
Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport