Bring a Translator, But Try to Speak the Language
If you don’t speak German, definitely find a translator to accompany you to your interview. They don’t need to be a professional—a bilingual friend is more than enough. Since this is your first time, the process is pretty straight-forward, and they’ll cover some fairly basic ground: what you do, why you’ve chosen to work in Germany, your employment history, etc. There’s no guarantee that your interviewer will speak English (which is good to remember when dealing with German bureaucracy in general), so being able to express yourself clearly is of the utmost importance. That being said, if you do have even a basic grasp of German, this is a good opportunity to practice. The immigration office wants to see that you are committed to building a life here, and even a few rehearsed lines just to set the mood typically go over very well. During my interview, I introduced myself and my translator in German and used a few simple sentences, and the interviewer commented on my language skills. It’s not a slam dunk, but it helped us both feel more at ease with the process.
You’re Not Going Anywhere Without Healthcare
In order to be approved for your visa, you will need comprehensive German healthcare. Recently, the rules regarding this have changed slightly, and temporary insurance such as “traveler’s insurance” is no longer accepted. Before even setting foot in the country, research healthcare options based on your income and coverage needs, because often the application process can be lengthy. Do not, I repeat, do not leave this until the last minute. When I was looking for a healthcare provider, I found an affordable broker who was able to fill out my application forms in German and walk me through the (at times convoluted) German healthcare system. You’ll have to pay for healthcare out-of-pocket (although there are certain state-run programs, like the Künstlersozialkasse , that provide financial assistance to freelance workers), so make sure you are choosing the most cost-efficient coverage. Also, the only way to have your visa status automatically revoked is to fall behind on your healthcare payments, so be sure to make it a priority.
Popsure ex-pat health policy
This type of policy is perfect for new arrivals to Germany since most of you, as mentioned above, cannot apply for public health insurance. It's inexpensive coverage that works for your visa. You can stay on this policy for up to 5 years, but most people seem to find a job and switch to Public health insurance. This type of coverage is accepted at the visa office, and so far helped hundreds of people obtain their freelance visas. Sounds like an option for you? Look into popsure now.