Germany Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and Benefits in 2024

In today's article, I have compiled all the information you need to apply for the Germany digital nomad visa, the requirements for obtaining it, how long it takes, and which activities and nationalities are allowed.

To apply for this visa in July 2024, do the following:

  1. Fill in the application form and pay the visa fee.
  2. Take out health insurance – mandatory
  3. Contract travel insurance – recommended
  4. Provide proof of income.
  5. Submit documents proving your online activity.

In this article, we will detail the requirements and steps to apply for this visa.

Germany Digital Nomad Visa

Germany is considered one of Europe’s most important countries for “business tourism”. Its main cities have large offices that are home to thousands of companies.

This makes it an ideal destination for digital nomads who want to further their professional careers. That’s why I can’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about the German digital nomad visa for freelancers and self-employed people.

Read on to find out all about it!

Before we start, here’s a brief summary of the most important aspects of the visa:

  • You need to apply for two visas to be able to work as a freelancer in Germany: the entry visa, and the residence permit.
  • You need to take out travel insurance to cover medical expenses during your stay in the country.
  • The visa allows freelancers to live and work in the country with both domestic and international clients.
  • The processing of the Germany digital nomad visa is in the hands of the German Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

How does the Germany digital nomad visa work?

The digital nomad visa is called the Freiberufler Visa, which translates as freelancer visa, and is issued by the German Immigration Office, or Ausländerbehörde.

This visa serves as a residence permit and allows self-employed persons to live and work in Germany legally. Specifically, this visa is divided into two categories.

German entry visa for freelancers

On the one hand, there is the entry visa for freelancers, also known as the national visa, or D visa.

This can be applied for at the German embassy or consulate nearest to you and is only valid for a few months. However, it is essential for entering Germany and for the authorities to know that you intend to work as a freelancer in the country.

Residence permit for self-employed persons

On the other hand, there is the residence permit for self-employed persons. This permit allows you to stay in Germany on a long-term basis, and is applied for at the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) once you are already in the country.

In addition, you should know that part of its essential requirements is the contracting of travel insurance.

Taking out travel insurance is a must for the German digital nomad visa to be granted, and you must take this into account from the outset.

In terms of the duration, the visa allows you to live and work in Germany for up to 3 years, as well as to travel freely within the Schengen area. In addition, you can work as a freelancer for both international and German companies.

✅ Pros of the digital nomad visa for Germany

  • The duration of the visa is up to 3 years.
  • You can take your partner and children with you as long as the visa is valid.
  • Germany is one of the most digitised countries in the world and has plenty of companies that will allow you to develop professionally.
  • There is a great working environment, and it will be easy for you to expand your professional network.
  • You can provide your services to both domestic and international clients.

❌ Cons of the digital nomad visa for Germany

  • The delivery of the visa takes between 4 and 6 months.
  • There are fees to be paid for the entry visa and for the residence permit.
  • You have to prove a minimum income as a self-employed person in order to be approved for the visa.

Germany digital nomad visa application

As I have already mentioned, the digital nomad visa for Germany is divided into two types of permits and, therefore, there are two different ways to apply for it.

Don’t worry, here is a step-by-step guide for each of them.

Applying for a visa to enter Germany

  1. Go to a German embassy or consulate in your home country and make an appointment.
  2. Present all the necessary documents for the application. These will be described in more detail below.
  3. Submit the application form and all supporting documents during the scheduled appointment.
  4. Pay the visa fees. In some cases, payment will be made online, and in others, by bank transfer.
  5. Wait for acceptance of the application.

Application for a residence permit for Germany

  1. Make an appointment at the German Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde). Remember that all these steps must be completed once you are already in the country and after registering with the German tax registration office.
  2. Send all necessary documents, including letters from potential clients, your tax identification number, and the residence registration certificate.
  3. Go to the office for an interview.
  4. Wait for the processing of the residence permit.

Once the residence permit has been issued, you will be able to live and work in Germany as a digital nomad.

Delivery time of the visa

The delivery time for the Germany digital nomad visa is between 4 and 6 months, including the visa for the applicant’s accompanying persons.

This is because, for this visa, approval from other government agencies such as the Federal Employment Agency, or Bundesagentur für Arbeit, is also required.

However, you should be aware that a file number is provided during the application process, through which you can follow the status of your visa.

Requirements for the Germany digital nomad visa application

The requirements for being approved for the digital nomad visa for Germany are crucial.

Below, I have prepared a list for you, so take note! Also, remember to have all documents ready before you start your application.

  • Have a valid passport.
  • Correctly fill in the application form, known as the Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels.
  • Prove that you have an income of at least €9,000 per year.
  • Have at least two letters from clients indicating their intention to hire you for services.
  • Submit your curriculum vitae.
  • Take out health insurance to cover medical expenses during your stay in the country.
  • Have a tenancy confirmation for your accommodation in Germany.
  • Obtain proof of a retirement plan or pension entitlement, if you are over 45 years of age.
  • You may need to prove a basic command of the German language.

What activities are permitted and prohibited?

Through this visa, Germany allows digital nomads to work as freelancers in the country, either for international or domestic clients, as long as the person meets the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate that the work is in the economic interest of the country.
  • Have clients, in advance, interested in working with you.
  • Have a completely legal residence in Germany.

These are the only aspects to be taken into account in relation to the activities permitted to be carried out in the country.

What nationalities are permitted and prohibited?

The German digital nomad visa is designed for all freelancers who are not citizens of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.

Don’t forget that citizens of these countries already have the possibility to live and work freely in Germany.

Therefore, this type of visa has been completely designed for all those who do not have EU status, and gives them the opportunity to develop their professional careers in the country.

Can you apply for the digital nomad visa if you are in Germany?

As mentioned above, the Germany digital nomad visa is applied for in two parts. The first part is the entry visa, and this cannot be applied for in the country itself. You need to go to the German embassy in your home country.

However, the residence permit is processed once you are in Germany at the German Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

Is it possible to bring a partner or children with you on a nomad visa to Germany?

The Germany digital nomad visa for self-employed persons and freelancers allows you to bring a partner or children with you to live in the country for the duration of your visa.

In addition, you should know that the applicant’s spouse is not exempt from one of the usual requirements for this visa: a basic command of the German language.

Nomada digital Alemania

Is travel insurance mandatory for Germany?

Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for the Germany digital nomad visa application to be approved.

In fact, the German Tourist Board recommends that you always travel to Germany with an insurance policy, in order to ensure a smooth and worry-free stay.

Below, I have set out the best insurance option if you are going to spend some time in Germany as a digital nomad. Take note!

Best travel insurance for Germany

In order to find the best travel insurance for Germany, I have taken into account all the criteria that digital nomads should consider when relocating.

Specifically, I’ve set out an offer with extensive medical coverage, as well as legal and sports cover, to protect even the most adventurous travellers.

Get a 5% discount on Heymondo until 16/07/2024. Get in quick!
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  1. Fill in your trip info
  2. Click on “Calculate Price”.
  3. All done! The discount will be applied automatically.

Some of the most useful benefits of Hey Mondo travel insurance for digital nomads include:

  • 24/7 assistance platform.
  • Repatriation and early return.
  • Travel expenses for a family member if you are hospitalised for over a week.

To give you more tools to make the right choice, here is a table comparing policies for digital nomads:

heymondo logo
chapka assurance
iati seguros logo
logo safetywing
world nomads logo
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️
Long Stay Premium
Cap Adventure
IATI Insurance
Nomad
Explorer
Price for 3 months
210€
174€
338€
126€
195€
Discount in July 2024
– 15%
– 15% for families
– 5%
Activate Discount
Activate Discount
Activate Discount
Get a Free Quote
Get a Free Quote
Legal assistance
12.000€
13.000€
3.000€
Medical expenses
500.000 €
1.000.000€
200.000€
222.600€
£10,000,000
Hospitalization
200.000€
Actual costs
500.000€
250.000€
£10,000,000
Theft or loss of luggage
Optional
2.500€
2.000€
2.670€
£2000
Repatriation
Actual costs
Actual costs
Actual costs
17.800€
Actual costs
Sports activities
Optional
Phone theft
Camera or drone theft
Recommended
All types of stays
All types of stays
All types of stays
Digital nomad
All types of stays
Review
HeyMondo insurance
Chapka insurance
IATI travel insurance
SafetyWing insurance
Word Nomads Insurance
Discounts
Promo Code HeyMondo
Promo Code Chapka
Promo Code IATI

How to travel to Germany at the best price?

Living in Germany can be a financial shock. Salaries are high, but the cost of living is high as well.

Eating out, going out for a drink and, of course, housing costs are all higher than the European average. That’s why saving when travelling, and booking your car, accommodation, and leisure activities in advance are a big help!

Learn how to save money with the following tips.

Find cheap flights to Germany

Did you know that… flights don’t cost the same from all countries? Yes, a flight from London to Berlin doesn’t cost the same if you buy it from the UK or from India.

To find flights at the best price, I use NordVPN. Basically, it’s a private network that allows you to access websites from locations other than your own.

In July 2024, get an immediate 70% discount on AtlasVPN
Click here to Activate Promo Code

Once you’ve got your VPN, head over to Skyscanner to find flights at reduced prices!

Find cheap accommodation in Germany

There are also ways to save money by booking your accommodation with Booking. All you have to do is register on their website and accumulate a minimum of 2 bookings. From there on, you can enjoy benefits such as discounted room rates.

Access Booking.com now and get discounts of up to 15% in July 2024 by becoming a Genius user.

There are also ways to save money when booking your accommodation with Booking. The first of which is becoming a Genius user, something you get from making 2 bookings (Genius level 1), and 5 bookings (Genius level 2).

As a Genius user in Booking.com, you can enjoy:

  • Discounts on room rates.
  • Free breakfast.
  • Upgrades to superior room categories.
  • Free parking.
  • Late check-out.
  • Welcome gifts.

In addition, there are hotels in Booking.com that directly offer you a 10 to 15% discount on your rate for being a Genius user.

Access to get discounts of up to 15% by becoming a Genius user.

Finally, Booking.com has a Minimum Price Guarantee program, so if you find a cheaper price for your hotel on any other website, they’ll match it!

How to book activities in Germany at the best price

GetYourGuide is an indispensable tool for organising any trip to any destination. It’s a platform that helps you book tourism and leisure activities for your trip.

With GetYourGuide, you can book your activities online to avoid queues, and take advantage of a discount for online bookings. This way, you save time and money, so you can enjoy more activities during your trip!

Which card to use in Germany

If you travel frequently, the Revolut Metal Card is another great way to save money. For starters, they offer you unlimited currency exchanges without paying any fees!

This Card allows you to make unlimited domestic transfers free of charge, and withdraw up to £800 a month from international ATMs.

If you spent £650 abroad in a month using a standard card, and withdrew £350 at ATMs, you would have paid around £44 in fees.

With the Revolut Metal card, you would have paid £0 in fees.

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Countries with digital nomad visas in July 2024

In addition to Germany, there are already many other countries that offer digital nomad visas, and the opportunity to live and work there for a fixed period of time.

In the following table, I will introduce you to these countries and their most important elements.

logo planet nomad
Planet-Nomad.com
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Trend in
Duration
Tax
Mandatory insurance
Proof
COUNTRIES
July 2024
in month
to pay
See recommanded
of income
Anguila
12
$2000
Yes
Yes
Antigua Barbuda
24
$1500
Yes
Yes
Aruba
3
$75
Yes
No
Barbados
12
$2000
Yes
Yes
Bermuda
12
$260
Yes
Yes
Brazil
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Cape Verde
6
$60
Yes
Yes
Colombia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Costa Rica
24
$550
Yes
Yes
Croatia
12
$155
Yes
Yes
Curaçao
6
$300
Yes
No
Cyprus
12
$65
Yes
Yes
Dominica
18
$900
Yes
Yes
Ecuador
24
$450
Yes
Yes
United Arab Emirates
12
$610
Yes
Yes
Estonia
12
$100
Yes
Yes
Georgia
12
$35
Yes
Yes
Germany
36
$100
Yes
Yes
Grenada
12
$1500
Yes
Yes
Greece
12
$90
Yes
Yes
Hungria
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Iceland
6
$60
Yes
Yes
Indonesia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Italy
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Latvia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Cayman Islands
24
$1470
Yes
Yes
Seychelles Islands
12
$50
Yes
Yes
Malta
6
$315
Yes
Yes
Malaysia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Mauritius
12
$0
Yes
Yes
Mexico
12
$45
Yes
Yes
Montserrat
12
$500
Yes
Yes
Norway
48
$630
Yes
Yes
Panama
9
$300
Yes
Yes
Portugal
12
$165
Yes
Yes
Czech Republic
12
$165
Yes
Yes
Romania
12
$125
Yes
Yes
Saint Lucia
12
$70
Yes
Yes
Spain
🆕
🆕
Sri Lanka
12
$500
Yes
Yes
Thailand
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes

If you want more information about these digital nomad destinations, I encourage you to read the following article on visas for digital nomads. There, you will find an updated map that can help inform your decision.

I wish you the best of luck in applying for the German digital nomad visa!

Picture of Michaël Louis

Michaël Louis

I am a digital nomad with a passion for new technologies and travel. We created Planet Nomad to help you on your way to geographical freedom: digital nomadism and online entrepreneurship.

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