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Tuesday, November 13

Self Employment

I’ve already written about how difficult it is to obtain a work permit without a job offer or get an offer without a work permit. After some research and speaking with some friends, I had an idea to apply for a work permit on my own. I intended for this to be a self employment or a freelance contractor permit. I submitted my basic information for the application 10 weeks ago, more or less. Within a short period, I received a letter from the Einwohneramt (Residence Registration Office) asking for more information. They required a resume, a business plan (what I intend to do with the permit) and my German language course information. I revised my resume to reflect the food experiences, created a basic one page business plan to reflect my plans and submitted all the necessary paperwork within few days. I had read (and heard) the review process takes 4- 8 weeks so I patiently waited. (Thankfully mom was visiting so I didn’t think too much of it.)

On week 5, I went into the office to inquire about my application. The information desk referred me to the person who was in charge of my application. The door to his office was slightly ajar, implying, he was inside and free to speak. I knocked and then entered. Once inside he asked if I had an appointment and I uttered no. He asked why I was there so I explained my dilemma; I submitted my paperwork 5 weeks prior and had not received a response. He looked at the letter I had brought and pondered over my name. He then said he remembered my name because he just created a letter to send to me. He showed me the letter (while in his hand) that was to be mailed shortly. Since it was already Thursday, he would send it next week. The letter is an invitation for a meeting with him, he explained. I asked if I could have the letter in his hand and he looked at me, puzzled. He declined and said the letter has to be mailed. (I hope the expression on my face didn’t say “Useless!”)

I obliged and left.

The next week came and went and I still hadn’t received the letter. 2 weeks after I met the guy, I called to ask about the letter and the meeting. He politely offered to send the letter, again. Then I suggested if there was a meeting, could he share the meeting time and location on the phone so I could have it on my schedule? He gave it to me (a week from our conversation), told me all the details would be in the letter. I impolitely told him if I didn’t get the letter, I would still be present for the meeting next week.

Thankfully this time, I did get the letter. It asked me to bring my passport and 30 Euros on arranged time.

That meeting was last Wednesday at 8:30am. I took a close German friend with me, for support and questions. I was called into an office and the woman explained she would handle my case. She took my passport and typed some things on the computer. She told me to pay 30 Euros at the cash machine. After returning, she was ready with a paper. She took my old form and gave me the newest version, had me sign a paper and had me out of there in 20 minutes. The new form is my work permit and affirms I can work independently and as a freelance contractor in the city.

After this long (10 or so weeks), overdrawn process, I am ecstatic to have the work permit in my hand.

I recently taught a group of women, friends, a cooking class. I loved it and miss the class format very much. My intension with this permit is to teach on a larger scale, to friends and strangers. I would love nothing more than to teach cooking classes on weekly basis (on various cuisines, foods and subjects), cater dinner parties and be a personal chef to busy, working families. As a Personal chef, I can create home cooked meals for clients to pickup, enjoy and have on hand for evenings there aren’t enough hours in the day to cook for the family.

Do you need a cooking instructor?

Do you want to have a dinner party catered?

Hire me!


  1. Yay! That's fantastic news. Congrats ,and good on you for sticking to it after all of the ridiculous bureaucracy

  2. How did I miss this post?! Congratulations on your very hard earned work permit! I can't wait to hear more news about what you cook up. Can I help with ideas?

  3. Thank you Kate and Neeli. I am stoked to finally be able to work legally. Neeli, I am always open to ideas, email them away or feel free to leave comments.