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Freelance Permits

 
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dannenbr



Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Freelance Permits Reply with quote

This may be a dumb question, but I am still trying to understand all the details of freelance permits...

To obtain a freelance permit, most foreigners' offices ask that you first have two letters from two different employers saying they would be willing to offer you work, correct?

Say you get the freelance permit, does this mean that you can then offer your services to more than just the two institutes who offered you work (without going back to the Ausländerbehörde and asking them to update your permit)? Or can you only work for those two institutes?

Thanks again for all your help.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a dumb question; just hard to answer with certainty unless there is someone else who has experienced exactly the same situation as you. Gii or JN would probably be better placed to answer this. You could try PMing them if they don't answer. I'm not sure just how much goes on a case by case basis (and whichever official you happen to get) and what's standard overall. Presumably there should be one piece of legislation that outlines the position of freelancers who are language teachers.

As far as I know, freelance teaching in Germany means you should be able to work for more than one - or any number of - 'employer'(s). I think it's more problematic to have only one. However, unless someone else knows for certain, the only way to be really sure is to ask at time of getting the permit. Therefore speaking German - or having someone with you who speaks German - when you're organising the paperwork will be really important. I imagine they would have to state the names of the two 'employers' on the permit if you're not free to work for others.

Why don't you try calling the German embassy/consulate wherever you currently live and ask them what the legislation is? They should know or be able to find out, and if you find out, updating this thread would be good.
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ioamosalerno



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I attempted to get one, I brought a letter of intent, and they also spoke with another potential employer on the phone. Unfortunately, that was back in September, and since then, I was issued the wrong type of work permit, and have been in the middle of a bureaucratic nightmare since. My recommendation: make sure that you register yourself in a kreis that is a larger sized city. My visa office is in the sticks, and it seems to me that they have no idea how to handle a freelance visa as they submitted it like it was a work permit for a contracted job.... so many problems
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dannenbr



Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject: Freelance Permits Reply with quote

I will definitely write a detailed post about my experience in the next few months.

I am going to Berlin--hopefully they will know how to handle freelance permits :/
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esl4everever



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 38
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:46 am    Post subject: freelance permit confusion... Reply with quote

thank you for spelling out what a freelance permit is in Germany.

I was trying to understand why I would want one.
Now i understand i can work at multiple places.
Sounds good to me.
I'm going to call the german consulate tomorrow about this.

i think the only question I have left would be...

hopefully someone who is in germany with a freelance permit can answer this...

is it still possible to set up a job or jobs before you get to germany?
or do you have to wait til you get there and go to places in person?
would schools in germany be more motivated to hire you because i already have a freelance permit?
if i have to wait til i get to germany to look for work is it possible i get hired sooner rather than later with freelance permit?
is there really a need to that many esl teachers in germany?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
is it still possible to set up a job or jobs before you get to germany?

No - it's very unusual to find jobs before you get to the country. As with other European countries, there are lots of English language teachers around and most reputable employers will not need to take a chance on someone sight-unseen. This is true at entry level and less so to the degree that a teacher has higher-level qualifications (related MA, etc). I'd beware any entry-level job where the employer was willing to hire someone sight-unseen; there is likely to be a very good reason teachers already there are avoiding that employer.

Quote:
or do you have to wait til you get there and go to places in person?

Yes. See above.

Quote:
would schools in germany be more motivated to hire you because i already have a freelance permit?


(Yes, they would be more motivated to hire me than you with a freelance permit;-))

Seriously, possibly. If you can get a permit without already having a job offer. If it comes down to a candidate with a work permit and one without, the school is obviously going to opt for the easier option, which won't require them to go through any paperwork hassles.

Quote:
if i have to wait til i get to germany to look for work is it possible i get hired sooner rather than later with freelance permit?


Maybe, but do keep timing in mind. Most job contracts are Sept/Oct through June, and there is very little work around in the summer months. If you time your arrival for end of August or early September, you can maximise your chances of getting work earlier.
Don't bother to try to find work in July or August. It would be very difficult to find anything at all!

Quote:
is there really a need to that many esl teachers in germany?


Well, kinda 'no.' Qualified 'no.' There is a need, don't get me wrong, but it takes commitment and legwork and patience and energy to find the jobs. They don't fall into one's lap.

There's not a need like in parts of Asia, where you can easily get hired from abroad sight-unseen because they seriously need native speakers.

One major difference between the Asian job market where it's easy to get hired, is that Germany does a mostly pretty good job of teaching English in their regular state schools. German teachers do the vast majority of this work. It means that most young Germans come out of regular school with passable basic English. Most of the work for EFL teachers is with businesspeople who need to take the next step to keep up with an international workplace.
This means that the job market is smaller, more specialised, and generally at a higher level than in Asia - and makes the job market smaller and tighter so far as new teachers.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, your certification will matter here. If you've got a CELTA or equivalent (100+ hours on site, including supervised teaching practice with real students) you should be fine. If you've got something online, or very short, you are looking basically only at the 'method' schools like Berlitz until you can upgrade quals.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
. . . If you can get a permit without already having a job offer. If it comes down to a candidate with a work permit and one without, the school is obviously going to opt for the easier option, which won't require them to go through any paperwork hassles.



When I was looking into applying for a freelance work permit in Germany, I had to have two letters of intent in order to qualify for the permit. (I heard stories of people who obtained a freelance permit with only one letter, however.) As others have already said, enforcement varies from place to place, and even from clerk to clerk. Note that this was over two years ago, and I don't know how things might have changed since then. But it was necessary to first secure the job offers.

It should make little difference to potential employers--they aren't the ones who have to do the work to get the permit, unlike some (all?) other EU countries. The first two just have to provide you the letter of intent, or in some cases just confirm their intent by phone. However, it might still be easier for employers to hire you after you have your permit in the sense that they will know you can start immediately, and that there will be no delay in the permit process.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious about the reasons that Germany offers this route to American teachers. Western Europe appears to offer very few paths to non-EU teachers to work legally--student visas, Ministry of Ed programs in France and Spain, marriage, dual citizenship, and perhaps truly exceptional qualifications when the employer is willing to take on the extra paperwork.

But Germany's free-lance visa system seems to be an exception, and I've been wondering what their rationale is, in view of EU labor regs. How do they justify it? Perhaps so few EUers want to move to Germany (compared to Italy and Spain, for example) that Germany can argue a shortage of qualified applicants? Does anyone happen to know?
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read some more on old laws enacted on freelance teachers re: pensions, plus all the costs such teachers have to pay (health insurance, organise own tax payments) and add in a fairly high cost of living. Then decide how freelance teacher-friendly it is for anyone these days regardless of political relationships between various countries. Certainly, there's no damage done to the German economy by letting in teachers who provide a useful service to Germans.
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misterkodak



Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 166
Location: Neither Here Nor There

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a German steuernummer, had the freelance visa, and taught in 2 different cities in Germany. As a freiberuflicher mitarbeiter, you really won't make money. I know people who thought they could work a few years and "skate the tax system" who were actually summoned before the taxman. As things get tighter in Germany, the worse conditions will get for freelance teachers.
Don't ever believe the rubbish most schools spout that "things in the East are cheaper" or that they will give you "more than enough work hours". Aldi is still Aldi and the Euro is still the Euro, health insurance isn't free, and inflation is inflation.

Germany is a great place to visit but a difficult (darn near impossible) place to make a living as a freelancer. I don't understand why so many people seem to want to even bother working there.
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