Visa for Self-employed

09.08.2018 - Article


If you wish to set up a business you can apply for a residence permit for self-employment if you satisfy the following requirements:

  • There is commercial interest or regional demand for your products or services.
  • Your business activity is likely to have a positive impact on the German economy.
  • You have secured financing for your business by way of capital or a loan commitment.
  • If you are over 45 years old, a residence permit will only be issued to you if you can also provide proof of adequate provision for old age.


  • If you want to be self-employed as a freelancer e.g in the arts field you can apply for a residence permit for freelance work. This residence permit is granted if you can prove that you have the means to fund your project, to support yourself and you are qualified to exercise your profession. If you are over 45 years old, you must also provide proof that you have adequate provision for old age.

Where and How to apply?

Visa applications can only be lodged in person by prior appointment with the German Embassy in Wellington. Honorary Consuls do not handle any visa applications.

Appointments have to be booked via our online appointment booking system

New Zealand citizens can travel visa free to Germany and can apply for the necessary permit after arrival at the local immigartion office.

What do I need to fill out and provide?

Please have your complete application ready for your appointment and do not include staples, post it notes, paperclips and folders of any kind. The photograph is not allowed to be stapled, glued or blue tacked to the form.

1. Please print out your completed Visa application form twice

2. required documentation according to information sheet

Please note that you need two copies of all required documentation for your application

3. Information on preparation for a business plan

4. Please read the data protection regulation

and print out and sign the data protection signature sheet

5. Visa fee

What happens after your application
The Embassy reserves the right to request personal attendance and further documents or information deemed necessary for processing your application at any time and assumes no responsibility for applications submitted too close to your planned departure.
Applying for a visa does not guarantee that a visa will be issued! Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application.
Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay.

Helpful links:

Make it in Germany

your guide for the first weeks in Germany: Arrival App

Bundesagentur für Arbeit

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