Germany on freelancers or job visa

Planning to move to Germany on freelancers or job visa. Want to know how, where and other details. Also looking for a job in Teaching or any other sector.

I'm a experienced primary to secondary school ESL teacher, seeking job in Germany with Job seeker visa(Validity six months). I just want to be proactive here now in case if I don't get Job with in six months. Therefore I would like to know the possible ways how and where I could apply for my visa either by studies or work or through Language Visa or self employment. I've decided to settle in Germany.

Hi Panna18,

Welcome to Expat.Com

I suggest that you read the articles of the Living in Germany guide so that you might how to go about your move.

All the best,


Don't do it! I've lived and worked here as a freelancer for 5 years and it has been 5 years of uncertainty. classes are cancelled at the last minute, employers don't help in health insurance, which you have to have a work permit and the pay is quite low. I'm paid ok but it took a few years to get here.

you may ask me why I stay, and that's because of my partner, who is German.

Good luck either way.

Since you are not an EU-citizen then you don’t have much chance to work in German except in a field with high demand and believe me, teaching English is not one of them. Plenty of Germans are qualified to teach English and there are many English and Americans, among others here, which do so as native speakers. Teaching languages is anyway a hard way to survive in Germany as the pay tends to be low and most teachers don’t get enough hours; thus many do it as a part-time side-job.

And one cannot work exclusively for a company or language school as a free-lancer, they have to employ you. Freelancing would mean working for various clients, which one can do as a tutor – but again this market is characterized by few paying hours and low wages.  And you would have to present a viable business plan to get a work visa as a freelancer.

You state that you have decided to settle in Germany. Sounds backwards since you first need to find a way to pull it off. There are Indians in Germany but the vast majority of them work in high tech or IT jobs. There are possibilities for non-EU citizens to study in Germany and many people have illusions how great this is since it is tuition free at public universities. But one not only needs to have fulfilled academic requirements for acceptance but usually needs a C1 German language certificate. There are some programs where English is the language of instruction but almost exclusively at private Universities that are also going to cost in the range of 15 to 20 thousand Euros a year or more. And a foreigner can work a limited amount while studying but usually needs additional financing to do their studies.  Assuming one can simply go and get a fulltime job while on a study visa does NOT work.

As a teacher (not only primary and secondary schools) you need to be able to talk to and understand the students.
How good is your German???

Thank you for your reply and information shared. Working and living in Germany is my dream. So, could you suggest me the possibilities if not as a teacher? On what basis I can get a work permit visa at least for a year or two?
Talking about knowing German, currently learning A1 & A2 level. But ready to learn further till C1 after coming to Germany.

Well, basically you have two possibilities: Find a job and get a work visa, or marry a German.
In any case, you should first learn as much German language as possible to increase your chances.

Hi Tom,

While I agree with most of your points, there are a few which need correction/questioning.

While you do mention Americans, which I am, you also say that it's difficult to get work as a non-EU resident. Speaking specifically about English teaching, yes, you're right, the demand is not really high. I have to work at two schools and would do well to work more...but getting a work visa to teach English in Berlin is quite easy for non-EU residents. All one needs is proof of insurance, a letter from a school/s which want to hire you, a copy of your CV, an Anmeldebescheinigung and your passport. Simple really. 

There are also plenty of teachers who are non-native but nonetheless expert English users who teach English. While there still may be some prejudice toward non-native speakers, I think times have changed and schools are on the lookout for good teachers as long as they are expert English users.

Also, I don't know why you assume the op is not a native speaker. If it's because of the name, well, that's a wrong assumption.

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