I am a German citizen with a German passport and I currently hold a J1 US Visa for 6 months. I am planning to buy a purse and import it into the US. Can I use Global Blue for this since my visa is more than 3 months valid? This page for Germany sounds like I can participate in Global Blue.

Shoppers eligible for Tax Free Shopping

● If you have a permanent residence in a non-EU country.

● If you have a valid long term Visa (more than 3 months) in a non-EU country.

● If you are older than 18 years.

  • 4
    Do you satisfy the first requirement -- permanent residence outside the EU? Where is that? Apr 20, 2016 at 22:56
  • Global Blue might be a bit self-serving in their description, it's not only a matter of staying longer than three months abroad, you must have your ordinary residence outside of the EU as described on official sources and you will need to convince a customs agent of that (as you need a stamp from the German customs).
    – Relaxed
    Apr 20, 2016 at 22:57
  • Incidentally, in the Schengen area, a visa valid for longer than 3 months is usually a long-term visa and people who have such a visa from an EU country are not eligible for tax-free shopping in the EU, which might be the source of the confusion. But US visas work differently, visitors visas can be valid for up to 10 years and stays on a visitor visa can also last 6 months. And I doubt the German customs would accept a B-visa as a proof of foreign residence.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 20, 2016 at 23:01
  • @HenningMakholm I thought there must be only one requirement fulfilled because if all the requirements need to be fulfilled it is almost impossible for US Americans to use Global Blue on vacation since they don't need a visa.
    – Freddy
    Apr 20, 2016 at 23:02
  • 3
    @HenningMakholm I know. I find this very misleading. I think it is (1or2)AND3. Since why would a out of EU passport holder hold also a out of EU visa?
    – Freddy
    Apr 20, 2016 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Have you de-registered (Abmeldung) yourself? If yes, then you can do tax-free shopping, since that is what Germany considers as not living in Germany anymore. I'm a German citizen living in Switzerland since 6 months, and a few months ago I got tax reimbursements for my shopping.

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