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2016 Artist/Self employed Visa

Hi All,

I'm an American artist gearing up to make an attempt to move to Berlin and obtain an artist/self employed visa in January of 2017.  I've been looking up information on the internet but can't seem to get any updated info. It seems they're making it a lot harder to obtain one nowadays in comparison to 2010-2012. If anyone can give me an updated in depth list of what I have to get done to obtain my visa, that would be awesome. I know it's asking for a lot.


Much appreciated,

Z

To get the newest and updated information about the artist visa application process, it is best to ask at the embassy.

Attitudes have changed over the years. Americans were once more welcome here but in general jobs are first given to people with EU passports. Being an artist, one can say that what they do is unique and as a self-employed person you are not taking a specific job. But one has no RIGHT to get permission, you can only apply and hope for the best. You need to have a residence in Germany and then apply in the town you live in for a work permit. But hard to get a place to live if you don’t already have residency and a job.

Years ago I asked in the office for foreign residents and they told me if I really wanted to do it then I should get married to a German! I have a friend who is also a performing artist like myself that managed without getting married - but he lived with a German girlfriend that had an apartment where he could get registered at. Then he had to give sufficient proof that he had a viable plan to make enough money to live. He was working internationally on cruise ships and could produce enough contracts to show that he could make a living and be based anywhere.

The heart of the matter is that they don’t want one end up needing social assistance. The more awesome evidence you can show of your talent and how it would be in demand and marketable, the more chance you have. A beginner trying something unproven is less likely to manage.

Then one gets a permit from 6 months to 2 years with no guarantee that it will get extended even after being in Germany for years. And run into legal problems like being charged with a serious crime or not paying taxes or other required fees and one is unlikely to get an extension. For good or worse, someone in a local office will make the decision. Maybe they know lots of people producing similar art in their town and think you have no chance, or maybe they don’t like the way you comb your hair. They can accept or refuse your application. But even turned down in one municipality doesn’t mean you might not have a chance in another. Maybe they will be friendlier or see that in their town your skill would be in demand…

If accepted, any kind of professional artist has to join the Kunstlersozialkasse. They will take a bit under 19% of your income, and to that make matching payments, and from this pay your health insurance, retirement and disability insurance.

TominStuttgart :

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Years ago I asked in the office for foreign residents and they told me if I really wanted to do it then I should get married to a German ... I have a friend who is also a performing artist like myself that managed without getting married - ...

Haha Tom, if your wife read this - she'll discover that you married her primarily to get "the permit" ;)

I never said I married just to get legal. I was in a relationship and living with my wife for 4 years before we married. Yet one can often say that there were practical factors that they finally married their partner. For some it is  a pregnancy, others tax advantages etc. I would never suggest one marries just on paper, even if it weren't against the law.

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