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intern remotely as a non-EU student

I have a question according to my possible internship. I am an international TU student from Russia, currently, I'm doing my 3. master semester. I was looking for an internship possibility and I found one in one international organization with an office in Berlin. However, there is one problem I cannot solve without your help since somehow I cannot find the information I need. I need to figure out what type of contract I should sign. The main issue I struggle with is that I have to be remotely employed (as an intern student) from Belgium, it is a is a Belgian NGO. And I'm gonna be working in Germany, not in Belgium 20 hours a week. Is there any solution? They offered me a freelance contract, however, "you are not allowed to be self-employed or work as a freelancer as an international student from outside the EU". But does it mean you cannot provide your services as a freelancer in Germany? Or does it mean you cannot provide your services in another country remotely being in Germany, even though it's official and taxed in another country? I was petty sure it's the first option because currently, I'm Russian taxes resident since I'm doing some freelance jobs from time to time there remotely. Is it possible to do the same with this Belgian NGO? So I'm just gonna work here while studying and pay taxes in my home country? I hope I'm quite understandable, I'm not in Berlin ATM and I cannot come and ask. It is a great internship opportunity and I really want to figure out how to deal with it. They have a willingness to offer either type of contract, but they don't know either how to solve this problem. Maybe you have some experience. Hope you can help me with that and thanks in advance.

Polina : 04.10.2018 17:06:19 |
  • RE: intern remotely as a non-EU student

    Hello Polina,

    thanks for your request.

    I'm not totally sure if I've got all your questions. The one with the freelance-regulation is quite clear, but your first question I don't get.

    So I start with the second: If you have a studentsvisa to stay in germany, you are not allowed to work as a freelancer in Germany - if you do it regardless you can lose your residence permit.
    If there is any possiblity to work as a freelancer in Belgium without living there, I can't say. Legally you have to get registered in Germany as a freelancer when you live and especially work here (no matter from which country your principal comes from).

    Why can't you get just a normal internship contract? Inside the EU it should not make any difference if you study in Germany or in Belgium...
    If it's a volunteer internship, just make sure, that you don't work more than 120 days/240 half days in a year (whole day is each day over 4h, half day is each day up to 4h working time).
    The 20h-rule is completely from another legal area. It is a specific rule concerning only the german social in-surance. Working students have a special status in the social insurance system when they don't work more than 20h/week. If they work regularly more, they get a different status and have to pay more social security contributions from their salary (but therefor they don't have to pay extra money for health insurance). If that plays any role in your case, depends on if you officially work in Belgium or in Germany...

    Concerning your other question(s?):The belgium NGO doesn't know which kind of contract they should offer you? Is that the Problem? If it's an internship I would say an intership contract. But why you (or they) think there might be any problems to solve, I don't get. Sorry...

    If you have further questions, you can get personal advice in one of our bureaus near you https:/​/​​-/​X2y or you can write us again. Although you're not in Berlin, please try to get a specialized counseling, at least contact them via email! There is an offer of the AStA of your university: https:/​/​​service/​stud-int

    Best wishes
    students at work

    This is a service of your tradeunion, please recommend us and like us on Facebook! https:/​/​​dgb.studentsatwork

    S@W: 08.10.2018 10:41:56

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