Foreign businessmen moving to Germany for the purpose of developing a business activity can apply for a visa through which they can obtain a residence permit in this country. Currently, there are several categories of immigration documents that can be issued for investment purposes and they vary based on the value of the investment.
At the moment, foreign investors have the possibility of applying for an investment visa program or for an entrepreneur visa program in Germany, the main distinction between the two programs being represented by the value of the investment and the conditions the foreigners must fulfill. Below, we have presented the main characteristics of these programs, but additional information can be obtained from our immigration lawyer in Germany. The investor visa can lead to a residence permit in Germany.
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The main laws providing for immigration by investment in Germany in 2023
Germany does not have a specific legal framework through which residency or citizenship by investment can be acquired, however, the Immigration Law and the Residence Act provide for conditions under which entrepreneurs can relocate here and through a minimum amount of money injected into the local economy, they can be granted residency.
|Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)||
Non-EU citizens can apply for the German investment visa program
|Business investment option (YES/NO)
Real estate investment option (YES/NO)
|YES, there is also a real estate acquisition option for the German investor visa|
|Other investment options
|Minimum investment||EUR 250,000 plus the creation of 5 jobs, additional fees also apply|
|Residence or direct citizenship option||
Residency is available through an investment visa in Germany
|Direct immigration with family mmebers (YES/NO)||
YES, there is also a real estate acquisition option for the German investor visa
|Family members allowed to join the program||YES, it is possible to relocate with family members to Germany|
|Residence visa/citizenship||After 3 years of living in Germany|
|Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)||NO, there are no additional requirements for family members|
|Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment||8 years of living in Germany|
|Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO)||YES, dual citizenship is permitted|
|Reasons to choose Germany||The most advanced and powerful economy in Europe, the leading engine of the European Union, access to great business and labor markets|
|Personal income tax rate||0% to 45%|
|Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)||Approx. 120 countries|
In order to qualify for the 2023 German investment visa, a foreign citizen must start a business in Germany which enables them to be self-employed. The company must be registered with the local office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs or Chamber of Commerce or the Berlin Senate Administration for Economic Affairs.
The most suitable business form that can be employed for obtaining the German investor visa is the private limited liability company (GmbH) which requires at least 25,000 euros as share capital for the business, out of which 12,500 euros must be paid upon registration. However, a change in the legislation implies an investment of 250,000 euros and the creation of a minimum number of 5 jobs in order to obtain an investor visa. Having managerial experience will increase the immigration chances of a foreign applicant, even if this is not a mandatory condition.
Applying for an investment visa is subject to less stringent requirements compared to other countries which are why our immigration lawyers in Germany are at your service if you decide to relocate here. We can also assist in obtaining residency through employment. If you need these types of services in another country, such as Finland, we recommend our partners who have an experienced team of Finish attorneys.
An EU Blue Card is a residency card given to residents of third countries in order for them to work in highly skilled positions in Germany or another EU nation. It can be used for up to 4 years after it is issued. This is a special type of German residence permit for which additional requirements must be met by the applicant.
What is the entrepreneur visa program in Germany?
The entrepreneur visa in Germany is addressed to businessmen who want to set up their own company in this country or to invest in a business venture that is already active. The German investment visa can be obtained if one provides a business plan that shows the benefits of the respective business for the German economy, or it can also be obtained if the person buys real estate property (the value of the property must of EUR 250,000 – EUR 300,000).
The entrepreneur must also create jobs on the local market and this type of visa allows the right of bringing the person’s family in Germany. The foreign businessman will be entitled to receiving a permanent residence permit after three years of consecutive living in this country (as opposed to five years, as it is the standard situation). However, the family members moving to Germany will be able to obtain a permanent residence permit after 5 years of living here.
When making an application for Germany migration, the foreign entrepreneur must satisfy basic legal requirements; he or she must have an age of at least 18 years old and must have a clean criminal record. If the applicant has a family, he can include on the application the spouse and the child/children with an age below 18 years old, but more details concerning this procedure can be offered by our immigration lawyer in Germany.
The entrepreneur visa can also lead to citizenship. Another way to obtain German citizenship is descent. You can become a German citizen if your direct ancestors were German citizens. Only your parents and not any other family members are included in this right of blood. However, this is a more complicated procedure, case in which you are recommended to use specialized immigration services.
Our immigration services also include assistance in moving to Germany from Canada, as you can also see our infographic below:
Conditions for obtaining an investment visa in Germany in 2023
Apart from starting a business, the approval of the visa that can lead to German residency by investment in 2023 depends on a few other aspects. Among these:
- the business idea must be of strategic interest for the region in which the company operates;
- the applicant must also prove he or she has gathered the funds to create a company;
- he or she must declare that the business requires his/her presence in Germany.
Based on these criteria, the foreign citizen will be issued a residence permit that will have a validity of 3 years. The advantage of obtaining German residency is that the foreign citizen will be allowed to bring other dependents here. These can be close family members, such as the spouse and minor children. These will be able to work, respectively study here. Provided that these do not want to stay in Germany, they must visit the country at least once every 6 months.
It takes around 6 months for the entire German investment visa procedure to be completed, however, if you have any questions about it, our immigration lawyer in Germany can answer them.
How can a foreigner apply for the Investor Visa Program in Germany?
Another way through which foreign businessmen can acquire the right of residing in Germany is by registering for the Investor Visa Program in 2023. This program allows the investor the right to receiving a German passport and German citizenship, but it must be noted that the minimum investment required for this type of program is EUR 1 million.
The minimum threshold can be invested in a business started by the foreign investor living in Germany or it can represent an investment in a business that is already active on the local market. However, the requirements for this program state that the foreigner must be able to create 10 new jobs, employing German citizens.
The permanent residence permit can be obtained after three since the business became active, but the respective company must also be profitable. The German investment visa application process must include a standard application form, the company’s business plan, the valid passport of the investor, the health insurance, the company’s articles of association, documents related to the person’s business expertise and other papers that might be required by the local authorities.
This program also grants the right of bringing the person’s family here. Those interested in relocation to Germany should also know that if they will have children while living in Germany, those children will receive the German nationality as long as the foreign person has been living in Germany for at least eight years and has a permanent residence permit, this regulation being available since 2000, as presented by the Federal Foreign Office.
If you have questions about the residence permit in Germany, please contact us.
Obtaining permanent residence through investment in Germany
We remind foreign investors that in the first phase, the German residence permit will be issued for a period of 3 years, and during this timeframe, the businessperson must prove that the company he or she has run has had a positive economic impact on the region operated in. However, the proof associated with the positive effects depends on the size of the city the business operates in.
In large cities, a company is required to generate around 1 million euros in revenue during the second and third years of activity, while in other smaller ones, these can prove their financial worthiness if the companies generate at least 600,000 euros in revenue.
After 3 years, the investor can apply for German permanent residence, while his/her dependents can apply for it after 5 years of living here. They can also obtain German citizenship after living here for 8 years.
There are several ways through which foreign citizens can obtain citizenship and our immigration law firm in Germany can help you.
Real estate as a route to the German investment visa in 2023
Even if the German program resembles up to a point to golden visas issued by other European countries, this is in fact an investor visa that also enables commercial real estate investment as a way to move here and obtain permanent residence in 2023.
The minimum amount to invest is set at 250,000 euros and it must generate a return in order for the foreign businessperson to obtain German residency. Before generating profits, the applicant must prove he or she has sufficient funds to sustain him/herself during the stay here.
Compared to other European countries, the German investment visa program for 2023 is much simpler in terms of paperwork, but also in terms of financial requirements. However, the period during permanent residency is obtained is longer.
If you decide to apply for an investor visa for Germany and need guidance or information, you can direct your questions to our immigration specialists who will answer them as soon as possible. We also invite you to watch our video below:
Why should foreign businessmen invest in Germany?
Germany is one of the largest economies in Europe, with a high standard of living. This is the reason why numerous foreigners have opted for Germany migration. The country is one of the leading jurisdictions at the level of the EU for the issuance of visas or residence permits as well. Foreign investors should choose this country for investment purposes due to the following:
• it has a gross domestic product of EUR 2,2 trillion and it represents the 3rd most powerful economy at a global level;
• the country has more than 22,000 foreign businesses, employing more than 2,7 million employees;
• it has the highest level of innovation in the world, more exactly, 277 international patents per 1,000,000 million inhabitants;
• it has a consumer market of 82 million persons, and it provides access to the EU market, represented by more than 500 million persons;
• Germany accounts for approximately 20% of the EU’s gross domestic product.
Germany has been ranked as the 5th best nation to relocate to. Its successful economy, educational system, and employment possibilities account for this favorability. Individuals seek the chance to relocate to Germany from all over the world. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to support themselves financially in Germany regardless of the immigration purpose for which they are applying. You need to have the initial finances to pay your expenditures till you receive your salary, even if you will be working in Germany.
We invite foreign businessmen to contact our immigration lawyer in Germany for more information on the process of entering one of the programs for investment mentioned above. Our lawyer is prepared to provide legal representation and advice on any of the steps related to the issuance of the documents needed for relocation and German citizenship.