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After two years living in Germany, working as a Software Engineer, I have been aggressively contacted by recruiters with Contract Jobs, paying rates around 700 EUR per day.

However I have no EU Passport or Blue Card, just a regular Work Visa.

The official Germany immigration website states that it is possible to get a Visa for Freelancing:

http://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/for-qualified-professionals/visa/kinds-of-visa#visa-for-self-employment

Do I need to quit my Job to apply for the Freelancer Visa?

  • I find your question a bit too broad. +1 still – mts Aug 5 '17 at 13:17
  • Hi @mts - I can remove the "side questions", if that makes the question more specific. – HelloWorldGuy Aug 5 '17 at 21:10
  • Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a 'Freelancer visa'. @HelloWorldGuy, I'd suggest you pick a very specific route and form your question around that. Otherwise it's nearly impossible for anybody here (or even you) to sort out the possible paths and come up with a useful answer. – ouflak Aug 6 '17 at 8:20
  • Hi @ouflak - can you please open the question again. I have edited. And yes, there is a Visa for the purpose of self-employment / freelancing in Germany. make-it-in-germany.com/en/for-qualified-professionals/visa/… – HelloWorldGuy Aug 6 '17 at 13:11
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First of all, I would for sure not quit your job unless you are sure you will receive the resident permit for self-employed work. Expect it to be a long process, depending on what kind of residence permit you have currently.

Also be prepared to deal with one specific problem:

German law knows the co-called "Freie Berufe" (which is meant by "liberal professions" in the link you provided. For most government officials in Germany this means medical doctors, lawyers and possibly architects, not necessarily "IT people".

When it comes to IT people (I am one myself) you will find the term "Engineer" in the official list of "liberal professions" and will probably argue that what you are doing is "like engineering". And you may be right with that, but you will have to proof it and explain it to people who will possibly not have the least idea what you are talking about and will use terms and ask questions which you may not understand. (And this will not be a German language problem.)

To cut a long story short: A pretty high court has ruled that IT people may be engineers in the sense of the law on liberal professions. But you will at least have to demonstrate that you have gone through an education which is at least similar to that of an engineer, which usually means a university diploma.

And a final word from experience: Unless your experience is very specific (like certified special aspects of SAP or similar) 700 EUR / day sound a lot to me. Expect rather 500 and you will not be disappointed in the end. Please also understand that this will be a gross income only for the days you will be working for a customer and you will have to cover all of your taxes and social security, pension plan and whatever other cost yourself. If you sell 180+ days / year at 500 EUR / day you will possibly be better of than the salary you receive now, but it's not as profitable as it may sound in the first place.

  • Hi @TortenS - 500 EUR also sounds good :) are you EU citizen or you have this Freelancer Visa? What would you say it is better city for Freelancing Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt? I live in Frankfurt. – HelloWorldGuy Aug 26 '17 at 9:09
  • @HelloWorldGuy The key to freelancing is to be in a city where many potential customers are. Any of Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt will qualify. Which one is better depends a bit on the type of customers you are targeting. I found rates in Berlin typically lower as it's lot of either public service / government agencies whereas in Munich and especially Frankfurt you'll find more of finanical services, banks, insurance or serious indutry, i.e. carmakers or their suppliers in Munich. P.S.: I am an EU citizen. – TorstenS Sep 12 '17 at 12:43
  • would you be able to share your experience and help me with the question: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/15138/… ? – HelloWorldGuy Nov 23 '18 at 0:19

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