Germany Business Visa

Germany is a country which boasts a strong economy and a varied market. As such, it is generally considered a good destination to visit for business purposes or to start a new business. As there are strong cultural and economic ties between the UK and Germany, many UK citizens choose to start a business in Germany or to visit in order to conduct short-term business.

If this applies to you, you may require a German business visa. Contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 to learn more.

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    Germany Business Visa: Overview

    If you are planning to start a business in Germany, you may need to obtain a D-visa. This is a visa type which allows non-EU individuals to enter Germany with the intention of engaging in paid employment.

    As British citizens do not require a visa in order to enter Germany, they are authorised to apply for a residence permit after arrival in the country, through contacting their local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). Note that you will only be authorised to start working once you have obtained your residence permit, if you choose to apply for the residence permit for self-employment after your arrival in Germany. However, it is not guaranteed that this residence permit will be granted, which you should keep in mind when making your plans.

    If your business in Germany can be concluded within 90 days, you may instead choose to obtain a Short-Stay Schengen visa. The details of this will also be given in this article.

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    Eligibility Requirements for Germany Business Visa

    There are a number of eligibility criteria which you will need to satisfy in order to be granted a residence permit for self-employment. These are as follows:

    • Your business must offer a product for which there is a regional demand or in which there is an economic interest
    • Your business must stand to have a positive impact on the German economy
    • You must have sufficient financial means to implement your project, e.g. personal capital or a loan
    • Your business idea will also be assessed in terms of its economic viability, your personal experience as an entrepreneur, the amount of capital which is being invested, any job creation which is likely to follow from your project, and any contributions which your project is likely to make to innovation and research

    In assessing the above, the deciding authorities will consult with local and regional trade and industry experts, in addition to associated licensing and regulatory bodies. Each proposed project will be considered on an individual basis, in terms of its own merits, and its ability to satisfy the above criteria. As such, the exact expectations for each proposed business will depend on the nature of the business in question, for example how much capital it will require.

    How to Apply for a German Business Visa?

    In order to apply for a German business visa, you will generally need to complete the following steps.

    First, you will need to complete the VIDEX online application form. You will also need to print a copy, which you must bring to your visa interview.

    Next, you should book an interview with your local German consular services. In the case of the UK, these can be found in London and Edinburgh. At the interview, you will be expected to provide the required documents listed in the next section. You should also be ready to answer questions on your reasons for choosing Germany as your destination for starting a business.

    If your application is successful, you will then be granted a visa, which you can use to enter Germany. Upon arrival in Germany, you will need to register your new German residence with the local authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of your arrival. You will also need to contact your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) in order to obtain a residence permit.

    Note that, if you are a citizen of the UK, you will not need a visa in order to enter Germany. If you choose to enter Germany without a visa, you will still need to contact Meldebehörde upon securing a new German address. You will also need to contact Ausländerbehörde in order to arrange for your residence permit. Once this permit has been granted, you will then be able to begin work in Germany.

    What Documents are Required When Applying for a Business Visa to Germany?

    When applying for a D-visa for self-employment, you will require a number of documents in order to demonstrate your eligibility. The required documents will generally be as follows:

    • Valid passport
    • Completed application form
    • UK residence permit/visa (if applicable- i.e. if you are living in the UK but are a non-British applicant)
    • 2 passport photos, to the German specifications
    • A comprehensive description of the proposed business, including the business plan, financial plans, and your predictions for the project’s revenue/profitability
    • Evidence that you have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your time in Germany
    • German health insurance
    • CV

     

    How Much Is the Germany Business Visa Fee?

    The costs of a German visa vary depending on the specific visa in question. The application fee for a D-visa is €75. For a Schengen visa, the application fee is €80.

    However, there may also be other costs associated with your application. For example, you may need to pay for your documents to be translated into German.

    In some cases, applicants also choose to pay for legal assistance with their application. Contact Total Law on 0333 305 9375 to learn more about our own services and how we can help you with this.

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      How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Visa to Germany?

      The amount of time which it takes to obtain a D-visa varies depending on the specific visa in question. Some will be processed in around 2 weeks, but the D-visa for self-employment can take from 6 months to a year to be processed. This is because of the complexity of assessing the viability of the proposed business, for example obtaining the assessment of industry experts. As such, it is important to account for this possible processing time when planning your business timeline and submitting your application.

      In the case of a Short-Stay Schengen visa, the processing time is generally around 2 weeks.

      In order to avoid delays with your application, make sure to submit all of the necessary documentation correctly and fully. If any additional information is requested as part of your application, make sure to provide it promptly.

      How Long Is the German Business Visa Valid For?

      The validity period of your business visa depends on the specific visa type in question. If you enter Germany on a D-visa, this is intended to allow you to legally enter the country before you then obtain a residence permit. Different residence permits will allow you to remain in Germany for different periods of time. In the case of the residence permit for self-employment, this is valid for an initial period of up to 3 years, but can be extended if your business proves successful.

      In the case of the Short-Stay Schengen visa, it only has a validity period of up to 90 days and cannot generally be extended, except in the event of an emergency, for example if you are unable to travel due to poor health.

      Short-Stay Schengen Visa

      The Short-Stay Schengen visa allows the holder to enter Germany for up to 90 days. This visa type also covers Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

      If your business in Germany can be concluded within 90 days, this visa may be a better fit for you. For example, if you need to visit Germany in order to attend business meetings, the Schengen visa might be the right choice. You can also use this visa type in order to attend a conference or trade fair.

      In order to be eligible, you will need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

      • You will need to demonstrate that you have plausible and comprehensible reasons for entering Germany
      • You will need to have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your stay
      • You must have travel and health insurance which covers the duration of your time in Germany
      • You will need to demonstrate your intention to leave the Schengen area once your visa expires, e.g. return flights, commitments in your home country, etc.

      Note that British citizens do not require a visa in order to enter Germany for up to 90 days. If you are a non-British resident in the UK, however, this visa may be the most appropriate visa option, depending on your reasons for visiting Germany.

      Citizens of the EU also do not require a visa in order to enter Germany. This is because EU citizens can live, work, and study in any EU member state.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Germany is a European country which is a popular choice amongst business travellers. Its strong economy, cultural richness, and convenient travel access to the rest of the EU mean that it has much to offer the business travellers entrepreneurs. Accordingly, many British citizens choose to conduct business in Germany.

        Whether you are planning to visit Germany for a short business trip or to set up a business of your own, Total Law can help provide you with bespoke legal advice which is suited to your situation. Our immigration experts have many years of experience in providing assistance with cases exactly like this, and can help you with every stage of the process, from working out which path is right to you to completing the immigration requirements once you arrive in Germany. Contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 to learn more.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You can indeed start a business in Germany as a non-EU citizen. In many cases, you will require a D-visa in order to do so. In others, such as in the case of British citizens, you can apply for a residence permit for self-employment upon arrival in Germany.

                  Note that you will not be able to start a business in Germany on a Short-Stay Schengen visa, as this only authorises you to stay in Germany for up to 90 days.

                  EU citizens do not require a visa in order to start a business in Germany.

                  If you wish to found a startup in Germany, you will likely require a D-visa for self-employment. This will allow you to enter Germany with the intention of starting a business and to then obtain a residence permit, allowing you to remain in Germany for a number of years.

                  No, you will need a residence permit in order to start a business in Germany. Note that the D-visas are explicitly intended for residence in Germany, meaning that you are expected to obtain a residence permit upon arrival in the country. As such, you could not start a business on a Short-Stay Schengen visa, for example, as this visa only covers stays of up to 90 days.

                  The exact amount of money required to start a business in Germany will depend on the specific project which you are proposing. You will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support the business in question, for example through personal capital or a loan. The exact amount of money which you will be expected to have will therefore depend on the financial demands of your project.

                  The deciding authority will consult with industry experts in order to assess the financial viability of your proposed project.

                  You will also be expected to demonstrate that you can cover your personal expenses for the duration of your time in Germany.

                  You can complete temporary work in Germany without a residence permit, if you have a Short-Stay Schengen visa. This visa type only authorises you to remain in the country for up to 90 days and does not require a residence permit.