Immigration by investment

German Immigration Laws states in its § 21 German Residence Act („AufenthaltsG“) that a German residence permit may be granted to a foreigner to pursue self - employment if:

1. there is an economic interest or a regional need
2. the activity can be expected to have positive effects on the economy and
3. the financing of the implementation is secured by equity or a loan commitment.

The assessment of the prerequisites pursuant to these conditions is based in particular on the viability of the underlying business idea, the entrepreneurial experience of the foreigner, the amount of capital employed, the impact on the employment and training situation and the contribution to innovation and research.

There is no legal definition of "self-employment". The term is usually defined by the definition of non-self-employment (e.g. dependent employment). The relevant Case Law criterion is whether the activity is exercised after an overall assessment of all circumstances of the individual case, which gives the Authority a relatively wide discretion.

Self-employed in this sense are in general:

Sole proprietors who are commercial or professional shareholders of a partnership (e.g. OHG, KG, GbR), managing directors of legal persons (AG, GmbH, cooperative, limited partnership on shares) usually when they are majority owners or when they are entrepreneurially responsible and no other - inactive - co-owner holds a higher participation.

By contrast, a pure equity participation in a company is not sufficient to assume a self-employed activity within the meaning of § 21 Residence Act.

It can be problematic in the individual case whether managing partners of partnerships operate "independently" within the meaning of § 21 Residence Act. Among other things, for determining self-employment it is essential whether a real management function is foreseen and whether a formal representation in the Articles of Association is given.

The following documents must be submitted in general:

- Draft Articles of Association (if drafted)
- Commercial Register Extracts from foreign businesses (if available)
- Commercial foreign licenses (if available)
- Business plan (concept, earnings preview, investment plan, capital requirement plan)
- Capital proof (equity / debt capital); bank statement
- Curriculum vitae (including training certificates, proof of previous professional activity)
Executive employment contract (with salary information)
- Draft rental / lease contracts (if already available)
- Proof of business relations in Germany, if any

Besides the legal requirements an investment should be chosen which contains an active and sustainable character and the investment requires also accompanying measures. For more information, please let us a message.