German Residency by Investment

German Immigration Lawyers

German Residency by Investment

German Immigration Lawyers

As an economic powerhouse at the heart of Europe, Germany offers excellent opportunities for investors worldwide. Gaining German residency, and even citizenship, is, therefore, an attractive proposition and is possible through initially gaining residency by investment in Germany. There are many advantages of German residency and citizenship, from the ability to reside in Germany and other EU countries to the benefits of Germany, such as its excellent education system, integrated transport network and high standard of living.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers advise individual investors and business owners about suitable investment programs for foreign investors. Our legal team possesses extensive knowledge of German immigration and investment laws and regulations. We are dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the intricacies of the residency-by-investment process. Please, do not hesitate to contact us directly for expert legal support.

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Gaining German Residency by Investment: The Legal Requirements

Under § 21 German Residence Act, gaining a residence permit in Germany for self-employment is possible. Under this Act, there are possibilities for the following individuals to gain residency in Germany:

  • Foreign entrepreneurs who aim to establish a business in Germany
  • Foreign entrepreneurs who seek to set up an overseas branch of a pre-existing company
  • Freelancers

The self-employment criteria under § 21 German Residency Act is fulfilled under the following conditions:

  • an economic interest or a regional need applies (to the company in question),
  • 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 realise the business idea.

When applying for this form of residency, the candidate must:

  • Be over the age of 18,
  • Make a specific investment in a German business or project that is authorised under the relevant investment program,
  • Not have a criminal record.

Applicants over the age of 45 should be aware that there is a requirement to have sufficient provision for old age. It should also be noted that there is no language proficiency requirement compared to other residency by-investment programs.

The visa application process can be measured in months instead of years, generally taking between four and six months to see through to the end.

Once the visa has been obtained, the holder will be able to reside in Germany for a period of three years which can be extended to a longer period from there. The visa holder will, from there, have the option to gain permanent residency in Germany. Following eight years in Germany, they will have the opportunity to gain German citizenship through the process of German citizenship by residency. Our lawyers support applicants in achieving German citizenship and can provide all the required information.

Financial Investment Requirements

When applying for German residency by investment, there is no set minimum figure for the planned investment; however, preparing for an investment of at least €350,000 is recommendable. Such a figure often demonstrates that the business will fulfil the stated criteria. Your commitment to the investment reflects well in your application and will allow you to answer the relevant questions by the German immigration offices with confidence.

This fee is quite reasonable compared to other European countries and their residency by investment schemes. Of course, investors can also plan on heavier investments when seeking to gain in the German real estate market and appropriate projects. Although the Golden Visa is not an option in Germany, whereby citizenship can be acquired from an investment, gaining residency can lead to permanent residence, and citizenship is not far away.

Investors can consider:

  • Business Investment,
  • Real Estate Investment,
  • Government Bonds,
  • Investment Fund.

Allow our lawyers to provide examples of such projects to invest in and advise you on where these investments should be considered. Our immigration team has deep experience in successfully supporting applicants through the residency-by-investment application process.

The Benefits of German Residency by Investment

There are many benefits applicable to gaining German residency by investment can offer several benefits, and they include the following:

  • Right to live and work in Germany,
  • Family reunification in Germany,
  • Access to the European Union and the possibility to gain the right to travel, work, or study in other EU member states.
  • A high standard of living, especially regarding the quality of education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
  • A favourable investment climate due to a stable economy, business-friendly policies, and access to international markets.
  • German citizenship eligibility for the applicant is based on the period of residency.

Regarding German citizenship, the German government is considering changing the rules relating to citizenship by residency and dual citizenship. Should the changes happen, they will significantly reduce the required time spent living in Germany needed to gain German citizenship. The proposed changes in citizenship law will also dramatically impact dual citizenship requirements.

However, there are risks in investing, and they should be examined in detail before making any significant decisions. Our team will support you by investigating the potential risks involved with the investment and the surrounding regulatory and political risks.

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Practice Group: German Immigration Law

Practice Group:
German Immigration Law