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Passport rank
Visa-free countries

Acquisition: 3 months

Capital required: €360,000

Acquisition: 84 months

Capital required: 360,000

About Germany Citizenship and Residency

Germany doesn’t have direct citizenship by investment or a Golden Visa program. But if you start a qualifying business in the country, you can be eligible for German residency.

Investment options available to acquire the citizenship and passport of Germany. 

Entrepreneurial/Self-Employed Visa

Would you like to set up a company in Germany or work as a freelancer? In this case, you have the option of applying for a visa to work as a self-employed person. Different conditions apply depending on whether you plan to work as a trader or freelancer.

There is no minimum required amount for a German entrepreneurial visa. However, an unofficial recommendation is that you should plan to invest at least €360,000. This sum shows that your investment will meet all the requirements set by the German government.

a. Tradesmen

If you want to start a business, you have to obtain a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment in accordance with Section 21 (1) of the Residence Act if the following requirements are met:

  • There is an economic interest or a regional need for your product or service.
  • Their activities are expected to have a positive impact on the economy.
  • You have secured the financing of the implementation with equity or a loan commitment. 
  • If you are older than 45 years, the visa can only be issued if you can also prove that you have an appropriate pension plan.

b. Freelancer

If you would like to become self-employed in a freelance profession, you have the option of obtaining a residence permit to work as a freelancer in accordance with Section 21 (5) of the Residence Act. You must meet the following requirements: 

  • You can prove that your project is financed.
  • You have a license to practice the profession that you plan to practice as a freelancer.
  • If you are older than 45, you must also prove that you have sufficient pension provision.

One of the most important requirements of a Freelancer Visa is having a registered living address in Germany. The procedure of registering your residence is called Anmeldung. What you have to do is:

  1. Find a place to live. You can also find accommodation before you travel to Germany, but you have to register your living address within 14 days of moving in.
  2. Make an appointment at the local Resident’s Registration Office (Bürgeramt). Depending on the specific Registration Office, you could do this online without having to visit the office in person.
  3. Prepare the following documents:
    1. Your passport.
    2. The registration form. You can download this online or get it at the Registration Office.
    3. Rental agreement.
    4. Confirmation of moving in from your landlord. The confirmation must contain the landlord’s name and address, your move-in date, and your new apartment’s address.
    5. Civil status documents, such as birth or marriage certificates.
  4. Submit the documents (in person) at the Bürgeramt on the date of your appointment.
  5. Wait to get your MeldebescheinigungThis is the document confirming your residence registration, and you usually get the certificate on the same day.
  6. Wait to receive a Tax ID number. You need this number to register your freelance activity with the German Tax Office. This process could take a few weeks, so make sure to start the application process as early as you can.

Registering with the Tax Office

To begin freelancing, you have to register with the German Tax Office (Finanzamt) and declare your freelance activity or business and get a freelance tax number (Steuernummer). To do this, you have to:

  1. Complete the Questionnaire for Tax Collection (Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung)*. You can complete this form online, via the website of the German Ministry of Finances (Bundesministerium der Finanzen) or you can request it from the Finanzamt. You should have the following information at hand:
    1. Your Tax ID Number. The one you received when you registered your address.
    2. Your bank information.
    3. A detailed description of your freelance activity or business.
  2. Find the local Finanzamt (Tax Office). Make an appointment, if one is required.
  3. Send the questionnaire to the Finanzamt in person. You may also be able to mail it, depending on the specific office.
  4. Wait to receive your freelance tax number (Steuernummer). It could take a few weeks, and you should receive it via mail.

*If you are a business owner: You have to register your business and get a license at the local Trade Office (Gewerbeschein) before you complete the Questionnaire for Tax Collection.

Registering with the tax office can be quite daunting and complex, especially for freelancers who have no experience with the German tax system.


The requirements that you need to fulfill to qualify for naturalization are as follows:

  • You must have lived in Germany on a residence permit for at least eight years, or
  • You must have lived in Germany on a residence permit for seven years and attended an integration course (this becomes six years in special integration circumstances)
  • You must prove German language proficiency of at least B1.
  • You must be financially able to support yourself and your family without any help from the state.
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record.
  • You must pass a citizenship test.
  • You must renounce any previous citizenship

Benefits Of The Germany Residency By Investment Program

  1. German residence permit that is valid for three years
  2. Your family – spouse and children under the age of 18 – can be included in your original residence permit application and, eventually, you can become German citizens together
  3. World-class education and healthcare systems, and the German job market
  4. Permanent residency after 3 years
  5. Citizenship after eight years

Germany Residency Requirements And Qualifications

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You have a solid business plan that addresses your objectives
  • You have enough experience in the business you want to start in Germany
  • To be recognized as a German-based company, your firm or organization will hire at least five people in Germany
  • You don’t have a criminal record
  • Have German health insurance
  • Possess an intermediate level of the German language
  • You must prove that there are clients interested in working with you. Your prospective clients have to write letters of intent, proving they plan to hire you. This is not a work contract, just a letter showing interest in your services or work.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to live comfortably in Berlin. At least €9,000/year.
  • You must have legal residence in Germany. You have to find accommodation and register your address at a local registration office, known as Bürgeramt.
  • You must have an adequate pension plan if you are over the age of 45. This means that by age 67, you must have either: A monthly pension of €1,332.36 for a minimum of 12 years; or Assets amounting to at least €194,631.

Steps And Timeline

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first step in getting an investor visa in Germany is to have a comprehensive business plan. Your plan must cover all details of your concept and explain why and how the German economy will benefit from your business. Your business plan will be evaluated by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Step 2: Apply for a Self-Employment Visa at the German Embassy

Once your business plan has been approved, you can start your application for a self-employment visa for entrepreneurial activities at the German embassy in your country of residence. This visa will give you the right to enter Germany to start a business.

 Step 3: Arrive in Germany and Get Your Temporary Residence Permit

The immigration authorities will give you a three-year temporary residence permit when you arrive in Germany. This is valid for three years and can be renewed. You can live and run your firm in Germany with this temporary German residence permit.

Step 4: Become a Permanent Resident

You can become a permanent resident after three years of continuous residency in Germany. This is a huge step as becoming a permanent resident gives you bigger security regarding your residency status in the country.

Step 5: Apply for Citizenship

After you’ve resided in Germany lawfully for a total of eight years, you may apply to become a German citizen. If you are well integrated into German society and can communicate in German fluently, you may apply for citizenship after six years of continuous residence.

Our Services

Privacy World offers its services to anyone, not only looking to obtain residency and/or citizenship processes but our experts figure out legal ways to:

  • Find the best solution for your needs.
  • Identify and deploy a strategy to help you accomplish your goals.
  • Activate our network of people in the country where you need help without having you search for the best solution or lawyer. We only work with licensed people in every country whom we carefully vet and pass our guidelines and principles of privacy we stand for.
  • Focus on cutting through the red tape and to expedite your process.
  • Provide proper communication with you about your case.
    …. and above all: Offer you legal strategies to provide additional layers of privacy for your identity, while obtaining your residency or citizenship!

Privacy World can also help you with incorporating your company in Germany, assisting in getting you settled in the country and coordinating with you so that this experience will be less of a hassle.

Want Privacy World to handle your case? Have any questions? Contact us!

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Germany does not allow dual citizenship, and you need to renounce your previous nationality, although German law permits dual nationality only in some very specific cases.

Yes. You can include your spouse and dependent children under 18 in your application, and they’ll also receive residence permits.

Applicants can apply for citizenship after eight years of residency in the country.

Yes. You need to legally reside in Germany for eight years to obtain citizenship in the country.

Yes, you are eligible for permanent residency in Germany, provided that you live in the country for at least three years first and maintain your respective investment.

Foreign investors don’t get any special tax benefits. German residents and citizens pay income taxes on all income from home or abroad.

In Germany, for tax purposes, you are either a resident or a non-resident. If you have been present in Germany for over 183 days, you are generally considered to be a resident for tax purposes.

If you are self-employed, run a business, or operate an agricultural and forestry holding, tax is not automatically deducted from your income.

Individuals who are not resident in Germany generally have limited tax liability. “Limited” in this context means that the taxes are only calculated on income originating in Germany.

The residence permit is valid for 3 years and renewable.

Technically, you cannot get German citizenship or permanent residency simply by investing in real estate.

Yes. You must prove German language proficiency of at least B1.