Germany introduces dedicated visa for esports

22 December 2019


Germany has introduced a dedicated visa that accommodates esports athletes from outside of the European Union.

Though the visa has been approved by the German Federal Government and the States, it won’t be implemented until spring in 2020.

ESL One Cologne
Photo credit: ESL One

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Professional players will have to meet certain conditions to be eligible for the visa, this includes being at least 16 years of age, earning over a particular amount of money as a salary, and receiving a confirmation of professional activity. The German Esports Federation has announced that it will “set up a streamlined procedure for this procedure” in cooperation with “relevant stakeholders.”

The federation welcomed a new draft regulation by the German government in October that posited this exact development. At the time, prospective requirements for successful applicants also involved them competing in a national or international league and being employed by an esports team that’s registered in Germany.

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Hans Jagnow, President of the German Esports Federation commented on the development: “The German esports visa will be a big advantage for events hosted in Germany. We are the first country to establish a dedicated visa category for esports. There are more international esports events expected to take place in Germany.

“This development also may serve as a model for other nations. The visa requirements for esports professionals should be harmonized internationally in order to allow easy access to tournaments and leagues for esports athletes all over the world.”

Esports Insider says: This is a great development for both Germany and the esports industry, making it much easier to compete and live inside the country for those that would have had a much harder time staying for longer than 90 days previously. The country doesn’t recognise esports as a sport still, however, so more work is to be done on that front but this is a solid step forward regardless.