Beware of Paying Too Much for your Berlin Artists Visa

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There are consultants in Berlin charging between 750EU and 900EU to prepare your paperwork and talk you through the process of getting an Artists Visa (Freelance Visa) in Berlin. Red Tape Translation was surprised to discover that some consultants will offer to fill out your paperwork for you, potentially influencing your answers on the application form to ensure that you will be defined as an artist, and issued a work permit on the spot.

While Red Tape Translation can certainly understand the appeal of avoiding bureaucracy, I find the practice concerning for a number of reasons:

  1. It is against the law in Germany to offer legal advice unless you are qualified to do so. The law is called the German Legal Services Act. Read more about that here: http://www.rechtsdienstleistungsregister.de/en/index.php?button=fragen If someone is filling out your paperwork for you and influencing your answers to fulfill certain legal requirements, they should be registered and qualified to do so.
  2. Manipulating your answers regarding work activities to make sure you fulfill the requirements to be considered an “artist” could be considered fraudulent.
  3. No-one can guarantee with 100% certainty that your Artists Visa or Freelance Visa will be approved.
  4. There are qualified English speaking immigration lawyers who charge much, much less.

The German Legal Services Act is there for your protection. If you’re given questionable legal advice from someone who is not registered and qualified, and you suffer as a consequence, you might be out of pocket, or you might not get to stay in Germany.

If you want a cost-effective and safe solution to getting your Berlin Artists Visa, or any other type of work permit, here are some much cheaper options:

  • Contact Red Tape Translation or expath.de for general advice about freelance work permits, artists visas, or residency permits at a fraction of the cost.
  • If you want case-specific legal advice about your situation, contact an English speaking immigration lawyer. Red Tape Translation has plenty of recommendations. You’ll still be saving a LOT of money, and you’ll have the security of knowing that the person giving you this advice is qualified and registered to do so.

If you do decide to go ahead and pay 750EU or more to work with a consultant who claims they can help you get your Berlin artists visa, first ask them whether they are qualified and registered to complete your paperwork for you and give you the advice they’re offering. 

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