A Guide to Germany’s Digital Nomad Visa

Join us as we embark on the next leg of our digital nomad journey: Germany awaits.

Renowned for its high quality of life, rich history and culture, delectable cuisine (think world-famous German sausages), and, of course, enchanting Christmas markets, Germany naturally emerges as a hotspot for digital nomads.

This country has long attracted students, tourists, and professionals alike, all drawn in by its allure. If this is you, now is the perfect moment to explore Germany’s digital nomad visa, how to obtain one, and why securing it is a wise decision.

Can I Live In Germany As A Digital Nomad?

Good news awaits those considering upping sticks and moving their professional journey abroad. This prospect is entirely feasible, thanks to the availability of digital nomad visas or similar programs.

Several countries offer digital nomad visas and similar permits to attract remote workers to their shores. These allow you to legally live and work away from your country of permanent residence. After all, why confine remote work to the home office when all that’s required for it is often a laptop and reliable Wi-Fi connection?

So, for remote workers seeking fresh horizons, Germany beckons. Fortunately, Germany offers a digital nomad visa, also known as the “Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit”, if you want to get technical.

Germany stands out as a pioneer for digital nomads, boasting one of the lengthiest visas for such professionals, according to Etias. This visa permits stays of up to 30 months, contingent upon meeting eligibility requirements.

Tailored for digital professionals and freelancers, this visa can be granted to any eager applicant as long as they adhere to Germany’s specific application process and eligibility criteria. Let’s take a look.

Is Germany Good To Live As A Digital Nomad?

Digital nomad or not, Germany stands out as a prime destination to relocate to.

The country’s robust economy and stable reputation make it an attractive prospect, and surprisingly, living costs remain relatively modest compared to other European nations. This affordability appeals to digital nomads seeking a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

Adding to its allure is Germany’s widespread English proficiency, facilitating seamless communication while acclimating to the German language. The nation caters to foreign workers with numerous bilingual co-working spaces across its vibrant cities. Berlin alone boasts over 150 such spaces, according to Pumble.

Digital nomads can easily tap into Germany’s impressive broadband speed of 136.66 Mbps and mobile speed of 83.06 Mbps, as reported by Etias, enabling efficient work from any of these bustling hubs.

From the historic charm of Berlin to the cosmopolitan vibes of Hamburg, to the beauty of Frankfurt to the entertainment Munich has on offer, there are several fantastic cities to choose from and each offers a unique flavour of German culture. Whether seeking vibrant nightlife or rich historical experiences, digital nomads find ample opportunities for entertainment and cultural immersion.

Germany further enhances its appeal with excellent public transport, robust infrastructure, and a reputation as one of Europe’s safest countries, boasting low crime rates according to the Nomad List. Additionally, its picturesque landscapes provide idyllic retreats for exploration and relaxation.

As a digital nomad in Germany, it’s important to note that tax obligations are inevitable, though this is a common scenario as a nomad in any country. As such, this shouldn’t deter you, considering Germany’s enduring popularity among expatriates. In fact, Berlin ranks 5th globally among cities preferred by digital nomads, as per Nomad List statistics.

Germany beckons with its blend of economic opportunity, cultural richness, and quality of life, making it a top choice for those seeking new horizons.

How Do I Get A Digital Nomad Visa For Germany?

Germany presents an exceptional opportunity with its digital nomad visa, offering an impressively extended duration of stay. However, the application process does stray a little from the conventional.

This may be because the permit is not explicitly a digital nomad visa (it’s actually for “self-employment” or “freelance work”) though it can be used for the same purpose.

Designed to attract skilled self-employed or freelance professionals to Germany, applicants must already hold a national visa before they apply for digital nomad status and must also demonstrate that their services and skills will contribute to the country’s economy.

Unlike other digital nomad visas, this is because applicants will be required to offer their services to German employers. This means applicants will be required to show proof of German client interest through letters of intent.

Applicants, who must be non-EU residents, are further required to demonstrate an income of at least €9,000 annually, accommodation in Germany, valid health insurance, and present evidence of a pension plan for those over 45.

Submission of professional documents including a CV, cover letter, letters of recommendation, degree certificate, letters of intent, and financial records is also mandatory.

The application process, facilitated online through the German embassy or nearby consulates, permits entry to Germany on a national visa for apartment hunting, client engagement, and other requirements for the digital nomad visa.

Although processing may span several months longer than other visas, there is a relatively modest application fee. So, if the notion of kickstarting your professional life in Germany interests you, better to start sooner rather than later to begin this new and exciting journey.