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Immigation of skilled workers: New law coming 1.3.2020

The Skilled Worker Immigration Act was passed in 2019 and creates the framework for a selective and increased immigration of qualified skilled workers from third countries. The aim is to ensure that skilled workers urgently required by companies in view of the large demand for personnel and empty applicant markets can come to Germany. These are university graduates and people with qualified vocational training.

Who is a qualified professional according to the law?

Skilled workers or qualified professionals under the Skilled Workers Immigration Act are foreigners who are third-country nationals and who

  1. possess a domestic qualified vocational training or a foreign vocational qualification equivalent to a domestic qualified vocational training or
  2. have a German university degree, a recognised foreign university degree or a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree

What are the main changes introduced by the Skilled Workers Immigration Act?

  • A standardised definition of skilled workers is introduced. Skilled workers are now both university graduates and employees with qualified vocational training.  If there is a contract of employment, skilled workers will now be able to enter the country without a preliminary examination.
  • A preliminary examination in the case of a recognised qualification and employment contract is relinquished. This means that it is no longer necessary to determine whether a domestic or European applicant is available before recruiting a specialist from a third country.
  • The limitation to understaffed occupations in the case of qualified vocational training is omitted.
  • It is now possible for skilled workers with qualified vocational training to come to Germany for a limited period to look for a job in accordance with the existing regulations for university graduates (prerequisite: German language skills and livelihood security).

Where approved foreign qualification is available, improved opportunities for residence for qualification measures in Germany have now been created with the aim of recognising professional qualifications, simplifying procedures by bundling responsibilities at central foreigners authorities and accelerating procedures for skilled workers.

The law comes into force on 01.03.2020.

If you would like personal advice on the subject, you can contact Johannes Brandstäter of the Diakonie.

He can be reached by phone as well as by email.

+49 30 65211-164

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