Residence permit for self-employed persons (§ 21 Abs.5 AufenthG)

个体经营者居留许可(§ 21 Abs.5 AufenthG)

For freelancers (for example, artists, doctors, lawyers, language teachers, tax consultants, engineers, auditors, journalists, architects, interpreters and translators), loosened requirements apply.


An application for a residence permit for the purpose of a freelance or self-employed activity should be well prepared.


Prerequisite for issuing the residence permit is that regarding the self-employed activity


  • the financing of the project is secured (e.g. by own funds or a loan commitment)
  • 项目融资得到保障(例如通过自有资金或贷款承诺)
  • a regional need or an economic interest exists;
  • 存在区域需求或经济利益;
  • the activity has a positive impact on the economy.
  • 活动对经济产生积极的影响。

The assessment is based on the entrepreneurial experience of the foreigner, the sustainability of the underlying business idea, the impact on the employment and training situation, the level of capital use and the contribution to innovation and research. The Foreigner’s Registration Office is provided with a wide scope for its decision. There exist no concrete minimum requirements regarding the sum of the investments or the number of new jobs to be created.

评估是基于外国人的创业经验,潜在经营理念的可持续性,对就业和培训情况的影响,资本使用水平以及对创新和研究的贡献。 向外国人登记处提供广泛的决定。 没有关于投资总额或创造新工作的数量的具体最低要求。

With regard to the “regional need” aspect, supply or other municipal policy reasons are included in the decision. In particular, if there are gaps in the infrastructure to the closure of which the foreigner can contribute with his /her work, there might be a need. Bilateral agreements can also lead to alleviations.


The foreigner must be able to prove and demonstrate that these conditions are met. Therefore, the proposal should ideally be accompanied by a detailed business plan.


The residence permit is initially granted for a limited period – usually one year. A residence permit for freelancers cannot be granted after three years, but only under the usual conditions (usually after five years). Exception: Persons who have completed their studies at a German university.

居留许可证最初批准有限期间,通常为一年。自由职业者的居留许可证不得在三年后批准,但只能在通常的条件下(通常为五年后。 例外:在德国大学完成学业的人。

You would like to have your business plans checked with us? Arrange a free initial consultation.

你想和我们一起检查你的商业计划吗? 安排免费的初步咨询。

Your contact person (German / English):


Andreas M. IdelmannAndreas M. Idelmann
- Master of Business Administration -

- No legal / tax advice