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Residence title / Visa for artists

Foreigners, who plan to stay in Germany for more than three month or who want to work here are generally required to have a visa, except for citizens of the other EU-countries,  EEA-countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein), and Switzerland. 

Apply for a long-term visa
In order to apply for a long-term visa the applicant needs to contact the embassy or general consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in the administrative district where the applicant resides. The visa needs to be approved by the relevant foreigner registration office (Ausländerbehörde) in Germany. For artists who want to live and work in Berlin the relevant office is the Ausländerbehörde Berlin. Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA do not need to apply for their visa prior to their stay in Germany but can do so after their arrival.

Visa requirements for Germany - list of countries:

Ausländerbehörde Berlin (german):

Fixing an appoinment:

Serviceportal Berlin: Residence permit for freelancers: 

Leaflet on the Health Insurance Coverage Required for Granting/Renewing German Residence Permits:

Berlin immigration authorities
For artists who want to live and work in Berlin for a longer term the regulation § 21 Abs. 5 of the Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG) is important. It deals with residence-permits for self-employed applicants. In Berlin according to „Vorläufigen Anwendungshinweisen der Ausländerbehörde Berlin (VAB)“ this regulation is usually  applied in a way favourable for artists. Because Berlin is considered as ‘the capital of arts and movies’  with an economical interest in the arts self-employed artists, musicians, actors, film-makers and others are usually granted a residence permit in Berlin.

Related Links

Touring artists:
Information on the visa application process provided by the foreigner registration office Berlin (german):
Information on the visa regulations provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:  
German missions abroad:

Register a domicile (german):
Apply for a certificate of eligibility to public housing/accomodation (Wohnberechtigungsschein /WBS):



Rundfunkbeitrag / licence fee if you have a registred address in Germany:


Office for artist consulting
Büro für Künstlerberatung

Kulturwerk des bbk berlin GmbH
Köthener Straße 44
10963 Berlin

Nina Korolewski • tel: 030.230899-15
fax: 030.230899-19


Office hours by appointment  

  Supported by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture