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Legal framework for immigration in Germany

Pursuant to Section 21 AufenthG/German Residence Act (as matter stand in October 2017), a foreigner may be granted a residence permit for the purpose of self-employment if an economic interest or a regional need applies, the activity is expected to have positive effects on the economy, and personal capital on the part of the foreigner or a loan undertaking is available to realize the business idea.

The law does not provide for a minimum amount of money to be invested or a minimum number of jobs to be created anymore. The local aliens’ registration authority reviews the legal requirements of the investment project.

Assessment of these prerequisites focuses in particular on the viability of the business idea forming the basis of the application, the foreigner’s entrepreneurial experience, the level of capital investment, the effects on the employment and training situation and the contribution towards innovation and research.

The competent bodies for the planned business location, the competent trade and industry authorities, the representative bodies for public-sector professional groups and the competent authorities regulating admission to the profession concerned are involved in reviewing the application.

The period of validity of the temporary residence permit will be limited to a maximum of three years. A permanent settlement permit may be issued after a period of three years, provided the foreigner has successfully carried out the planned activity and adequate income ensures the subsistence of the foreigner and the dependants living with him or her as a family unit and whom he is required to support.

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