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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My husband and I (both US citizens) are planning/hoping to move to Germany in the next few years. He is self employed and conducts most of his work online. His biggest client is actually based in the US, but it would be mutually beneficial for both him and this client if he were to relocate to Germany to be closer to some of their larger customers. His salary will be roughly 60,000 euros give or take. This will be our only income because I am a teacher here in the US, so my qualifications will mean little to nothing in Germany.

My questions are:

1. Would he qualify for an employment visa as self employed even though he technically is not required to physically be in Germany to conduct his work?

2. Will the authorities see his salary as sufficient means to support ourselves?

3. Will I be able to move with him by applying for a family reunion visa? Do I need to wait until his employment visa is granted before I apply?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I have heard that it can be difficult to be granted a visa through our local consulate, so I want to make sure I have a solid understanding before we begin the application process.

Thank you so much for your help.
 

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I think your odds are quite good. Being US citizens, you don't need to go to the consulate to apply for visas beforehand, you can just show up in Germany, register your address, then within 90 days of arrival get yourself off to the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners' office) to request a residence permit. You would apply for the permit together, no need for a separate family reunion thing.

Various thoughts:

The situation you describe is reasonable for a freelancer visa, because it involved working with German customers of a US client, so there is some reason to be physically located in the country (as opposed to purely working online for an American employer). I don't think it would be difficult to make that case.

60k euro would be enough to get you a residence permit. It's maybe not much for two in the middle of Munich but more than sufficient if you're somewhere with a lower cost of living.

You will need to have your own health insurance, presumably private if your husband is self-employed. Do some research, this is not cheap, though probably better than in the US.

Unless you're planning on this being a short 6-12 month sabbatical, your husband will need to set up as a freelancer and figure out how to pay German taxes. He'd be well advised to hire a Steuerberater (tax accountant).

You might have some possibilities for work teaching at a private or international school. Worth looking into if you're interested. Otherwise, depending on how much German you both speak and where you are located, life can be very isolating, with one person working online and the other not working at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for providing all of this information! We will definitely be following your advice about hiring a tax accountant.

One more question:

We are planning on traveling to Munich in November and would like to scope out a few neighborhoods while we are there. What neighborhoods around Munich would you suggest? We will be renting out our house in the US and will use that money to pay our rent in Germany. We'd like to spend less than $3000 per month and have a yard for our dogs. We will not have a car, so easy access to public transportation and a location that is within walking distance of shops and restaurants are our priorities. I know that (clearly) this is something that we will need to decide for ourselves, but it would be nice to have a recommendation for where to start.
 

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I don't know Munich all that well, sorry. Probably best to do some in-person scouting and talking to rental agents etc. about what is and isn't possible.
 
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