What On-Line Work Can An American In Germany Do?
March 5, 2017 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I have an opportunity to spend three months in Germany with dear friends. I am choosing to work while I am there and am now doing research on what opportunities are available to me to work on-line. E-Lance, virtual assistant, etc. I am a writer, can do research, data entry, write copy and content and more. My first choice is creative opportunities. Am willing to explore other alternatives.
posted by goalyeehah to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of visa will you be entering Germany on?
posted by bimbam at 2:24 PM on March 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

No visa at this time. Friends implied one is not needed. US citizens in possession of a valid US passport do not need a visa for tourist or business trips to Germany for stays of up to 90 days.
If I am employed in Germany I would have a work permit.
posted by goalyeehah at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2017

If you come in like that, you cannot get a work permit. The 3 month entry without getting a visa in advance is for tourists, or "business" like visiting your American employer's clients, etc. It's not for working for a German employer.

You are also unlikely to be able to get a work permit for a short period of time or without an employer already lined up. So I think the sort of work you are talking about would have to be for American employers, and then you would count as being employed in the USA; it just happens you are travelling while working, which for short periods like 3 months is, I think, permitted.

I am not even a little bit a lawyer, but have experience with working and travelling in Germany.
posted by lollusc at 3:02 PM on March 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

I should say, there is of course a thriving industry of people working the sorts of jobs you mention without work permits, on visas where they are not permitted to work. People pay you in cash, and you hope no one reports you. But it is illegal, and can get you in a whole heap of trouble if caught. People would also expect you to work for much lower rates than people who legally can do the work.
posted by lollusc at 3:06 PM on March 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you are an American who lives in the US but is visiting friends in Germany and working remotely for an American-headquartered company while you're there, you won't need to do anything differently than if you had a local-to-your-home-city job that allowed you to telecommute several days a week. (Strictly speaking this may not actually be true--I don't know about German law, but for example in Thailand you're supposed to have a work visa even if you're working remotely for a non-Thai company--but practically speaking almost no expats do this and it's just fine on a short-term basis.)

You will not be able to get a German work permit without a job lined up, but this is not what you're asking--be clear on this with yourself, with your AskMe questions, and most definitely with German immigration. If you're interested in working under the table for a German business (washing dishes in a bar or whatever), the logistical questions you'll have to contend with will be completely different. But if you're just working via E-Lance or something like that, you'll tell them you live in the US (because you do).
posted by tapir-whorf at 4:37 PM on March 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

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