Is your company sending employees to Germany for a short-term work assignment? Are you looking to invest into a German business company, merge with a corporation located in Germany or start a business and emigrate to Germany? Do you have any other questions related to business immigration to Germany?
Whatever your or your company's needs may be, our experienced German immigration attorneys can help you select and apply for a German visa or residence permit that will help you reach your business and personal goals.
German immigration law allows foreign citizens to establish a business in Germany, e.g. a limited liability company (GmbH), and act as its manager. However, a foreign manager will need a German employment residence permit to manage the German business. Which residence permit a manager needs to apply for – as well as the process and wait times – depends on a variety of factors, including
- the manager’s nationality,
- the company’s size and type, and
- the manager’s proposed German salary.
If your company is incorporating a subsidiary in Germany and would like to send an employee of the parent company to Germany as a manager, we can help you decide which employment-based residence permit is most appropriate and offer you comprehensive business immigration services.
Persons seeking to start a business in Germany as an entrepreneur may be able to obtain a German residence permit for business immigration. The requirements to obtain a residence permit as an entrepreneur are diverse. Most importantly, a business plan needs to be submitted to the German authorities.
- It should include detailed information about:
- the business (e.g. its legal form and line of business),
- the applicant (professional experience, possible academic training), and
- the financing of the business.
- The business plan should also address the following questions:
- Will the business increase the market potential and sales opportunities of other German enterprises?
- Will the enterprise produce sustainable products?
- Will the enterprise supply the German market with foreign products or will it export German products?
- Does the region where the business will be established suffer from undersupply regarding the products the business will offer?
The key to successful business immigration to Germany and obtaining a German residence permit as an entrepreneur is showing that the business will have positive effects on the German economy, i.e. that there is an economic interest in and/or a regional need for the business and that financing has been secured.
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As a rule, citizens of non-EU countries must apply for and receive an employment visa before they are dispatched to Germany to work. After having entered Germany on an employment visa, such employees may begin working immediately. However, they must also apply for a residence/work permit with the local German foreigner's authority.
Foreign citizens who have graduated from a German university (i.e. a state university, an officially recognized private university or a similar German institution of higher education) or have worked in Germany as researchers or scientists can obtain a residence permit for self-employment by meeting fairly straightforward requirements, including:
- A demonstrable connection between the envisaged self-employment and the knowledge acquired during the applicant’s studies or research or scientific activities
- Clear indications that the proposed self-employment will create enough income to cover the foreigner’s living expenses
These rules permit graduates of German universities, as well as scientists and researchers, to obtain an entrepreneur residence permit without having to meet the stricter requirements described above (including investment requirements and evidence that the business will have a positive effect on the German economy).
In Germany, applications for residence permits are submitted to a local foreigner's office (Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt), which are located in many cities throughout Germany.
However, the foreigner’s office is not the only authority involved in deciding whether an application has satisfied all criteria of business immigration to Germany and a residence permit may be issued. The foreigner’s office usually consults other agencies, e.g.
- the local Chamber of Commerce,
- the Chamber of Crafts or
- other professional organizations
to obtain their expert advice and input. Thus, it is very important to discuss the proposed residence permit application with these institutions as well. Having these conversations prior to submission increases the chances for approval.
Our team of experienced corporate and business immigration attorneys are familiar with these regional differences and can assist you throughout the entire application process - from the initial inquiry, to the submission and processing of the resident permit application.
Preparing and submitting an application for a German visa, residence permit or Blue Card can take a tremendous amount of time. But consulting with an experienced German business immigration attorney can help save time and money. Your attorney for all matters related to immigration consulting services, i.e. German business visas, (business) residence permits and Blue Cards is Attorney Thomas Schwab. He has helped numerous corporate clients obtain the necessary visas and residence permits and set up their business subsidiaries in Germany. You can reach us via e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone (+49 69 76 75 77 80).
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