The German esports visa in “§ 22 Nr. 5 BeschV”
(= § 22 No. 5 of the Employment Regulation)

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The German esports visa in “§ 22 Nr. 5 BeschV”
(= § 22 No. 5 of the Employment Regulation)

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The law became effective on April 1, 2020


Content (translated version)

§ 22: Special Professions

No approval is required for the issuance of a residence permit to [...].
5. Players who professionally practice esports in the form of a competition between people, and whose employment is intended in German clubs or comparable institutions participating in competitions of esports, if they are
a) over 16 years of age,
b) receive a gross salary of at least 50 percent of the contribution assessment ceiling for statutory pension insurance (= 42.600€), and
c) the German umbrella organization responsible for esports confirms the professional practice of esports and that the form of esports practiced is of significant national or international importance

Content (original version)

§ 22: Besondere Berufsgruppen

Keiner Zustimmung bedarf die Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels an […]
5. Personen, die eSport in Form eines Wettkampfes zwischen Personen berufsmäßig ausüben und deren Einsatz in deutschen Vereinen oder vergleichbaren an Wettkämpfen teilnehmenden Einrichtungen des eSports vorgesehen ist, wenn sie
a) das 16. Lebensjahr vollendet haben,
b) der Verein oder die Einrichtung ein Bruttogehalt zahlt, das mindestens 50 Prozent der Beitragsbemessungsgrenze für die gesetzliche Rentenversicherung beträgt, und
c) der für den eSport zuständige deutsche Spitzenverband die berufsmäßige Ausübung von eSport bestätigt und die ausgeübte Form des eSports von erheblicher nationaler oder internationaler Bedeutung ist

Submitting Researcher

Note of the submitting researcher

According to the visa manual of the German Foreign Office, the eSport-Bund Deutschland (ESBD) is the leading association in Germany for esports.

According to the list of qualified tournaments ("Liste qualifizierter Spielbetriebe im E-Sport") from April 2021 following tournaments are considered to be “professional practice”:
• League of Legends European Championship (Riot Games, League of Legends)
• League of Legends Prime League Pro Division (Riot Games, League of Legends)
• ESL One Cologne (ESL Gaming GmbH, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
• ESL One Germany (ESL Gaming GmbH, Dota 2)
• ESL Meisterschaft (ESL Gaming GmbH, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Warcraft 3 Reforged, Clash of Clans)
• 99 Damage Liga (Freaks 4U Gaming GmbH, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
You can download the list here.

The content of the law is controversial in detail. Unlike the sports visa, coaches are not included. The federal government bases this on the fact that there are no corresponding training structures in esports. The esports definition refers only to precision esports and is therefore narrow. The required gross salary is not adapted to the conditions in esports. The ESBD is not (yet) an association comparable to traditional sports. It is unclear why - unlike traditional sports - an esports of "significant national and international importance" is necessary. Details can be found in following publications (in German): Das deutsche eSport-Visum (Teil I) - Eine kritische Analyse des § 22 Nr. 5 BeschV (The German Esports Visa (Part I) - A Critical Analysis of § 22 No. 5 BeschV) and Das deutsche eSport-Visum (Teil II) - Eine kritische Analyse des § 22 Nr. 5 BeschV (The German Esports Visa (Part II) - A Critical Analysis of § 22 No. 5 BeschV)



“The German esports visa in “§ 22 Nr. 5 BeschV”
(= § 22 No. 5 of the Employment Regulation),” Esports Research Network Legal Database, accessed May 27, 2024,