German Residence Permit for Athletes and Coaches

German Immigration Lawyers

German Residence Permit for Athletes and Coaches

German Immigration Lawyers

Professional sport today is characterised by a high degree of international mobility. However, such a transfer abroad is usually accompanied by numerous legal challenges – whether it is applying for a residence permit, family reunification or concluding an employment contract.

As a multidisciplinary full-service law firm, Schlun & Elseven has excellent expertise and many years of experience in dealing with the complex requirements of German immigration and residence law. Our lawyers will take care of the entire application process for the required residence permit and will also assist you in resolving any sports and employment law issues to ensure that your stay in Germany is a complete success. Please, do not hesitate to contact us for expert legal support.

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Our Services

Representation in the application process
  • Comprehensive counselling with regard to residence

  • Obtaining all necessary documents

  • Recognition of sporting qualifications

  • Applying for your residence permit

  • Clarification of all open questions with the competent authority

Information on
  • Your rights and obligations
  • Options for action

  • Analysis of prospects of success

  • Costs
Services in context

The Residence Permit for athletes/coaches

To come to Germany as an athlete/trainer from another EU country, you must first have a residence permit. This is a temporary residence permit that allows you to live in Germany for a certain time (Section 7 German Residence Act / Aufenthaltsgesetz ). To be allowed to work in Germany, the residence permit must have been issued for employment.

According to Section 22 German Employment Regulation, a residence permit for employment may be issued to professional sportspeople and professional coaches/trainers based on certain conditions. First of all, they must have an employment offer or contract with a German sports club or a sporting body. If this most basic requirement is met, the following three conditions apply:

  • The applicant must have reached the age of 16 years,
  • the association or institution pays a gross salary equal to at least 50 % of the income threshold for statutory pension insurance; and
  • the German umbrella association responsible for the sport confirms (in agreement with the German Olympic Sports Confederation -DOSB) the applicant’s athletic qualification as a professional athlete or their professional suitability as a trainer (depending on the situation).

To summarize; make sure that you are over 16 years old, that the responsible associations confirm your qualification and that your salary meets the minimum requirements. If you need support, our team will be happy to help you check whether you meet the legal requirements.

The Work Permit for athletes/coaches

To be allowed to work in Germany generally requires a work permit and the residence permit. However, as an athlete, you are exempt from this rule. In this case, granting a residence permit for employment does not require the approval of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency).

According to Section 9 No.12 of the Work Permit Regulation, the activity of a professional sportsman and trainer is considered employment – without requiring a work permit if:

  • They are employed in domestic sports