FAQ’s: German Residency

Can I reside in Germany to run my business?

Germany welcomes non-EU nationals who will invest into a legitimate and viable business there, and become a resident in order to run develop it.

What are the requirements to obtain residency through business?

Generally speaking, for a successful application you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Germany’s higher economic interest or a special regional need for your business
  • The expectation that your business will have a positive effect on the economy
  • Financing secured through equity or by a bank loan
  • The business will not damage Germany’s overall economic interests
  • Showing evidence of funds available in a bank account for living costs
  • Submit a detailed business plan for your venture.

What do I need to show in my business plan?

The authorities in Germany will assess your business based upon:

  • Your level of experience as an entrepreneur
  • The amount of capital you are investing
  • The effects on employment and training in Germany, and what your scope is for this
  • The contribution you have made to innovation and research.

What are the benefits of running a business in Germany?

Aside from its status as the third largest economy in the world, Germany offers a host of benefits for business people and entrepreneurs: it happens to be the most widely spoken first language in the European Union, with access to numerous markets across Europe owing to its geographic position, its potential for trade is in full bloom as the second biggest exporter in the world after China.

How long will my application take for permission to reside in Germany?

Application timescales will vary depending on the individual case, but typically:

  • Visa applications will take around two months
  • Residency permits will take up to four months.

How long does the permit allow me to reside in Germany for?

The permit is valid for up to two years, with the possibility to extend.

Can I become a permanent resident through running a business in Germany?

Yes – after three years of legally living in Germany and successfully running your business, you may apply for permanent residency.

How long can I extend my residency for?

After three years of residing in Germany and running your business successfully, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency – and being successful in your application means to need to renew.

What are the requirements for extending my residency?

Your application to extend your stay in Germany will be based upon the continual success of your business, its growth and whether or not it has met the forecasts and milestones outlined in your initial business plan.


German Residency to Search for a Job

How can I stay Germany to search for a job?

Highly qualified individuals who wish to find employment in Germany are now able to do so: those who hold an academic degree qualification can come to Germany in order to search for a job there.

What are the requirements for applying for German residency to search for a job?

  • You must apply for the job hunting permit from your home country
  • Provide evidence that you hold an academic qualification – certification of a university degree, diploma or technical qualification
  • Show that you have enough funds to finance your living for the next six months.

How long can I stay in Germany to look for employment?

The job search permit enables a holder to stay in Germany for six months to find employment.

What are the benefits of finding employment in Germany?

Germany wants highly qualified individuals working in the country, and there to stay. As an affluent and developed country with excellent quality of living, Germany’s status as the third largest economy in the world make it a competitive but highly desirable location for non-EU nationals with further education.

What is the process to apply for a permit to search for a job in Germany?

  • Check your eligibility for this permit
  • An initial consultation with a German immigration lawyer
  • Submit all documents
  • Documents are processed
  • Application is approved and residency card is issued.

How long does the application take?


Can I apply from within Germany for this permit?

No – if you are already in Germany, you must leave and reapply from your home country.

Can I apply if I am holding an existing and valid visa for Germany?

If you are already in Germany through another valid visa, you may not apply through this category: this is because you must enter Germany under the specific visa intended for finding a job there. This means that if you are already in Germany, you must leave and reapply.

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