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Germany Immigration Rules Changing in November

Germany Immigration Rules Changing in November

Germany is planning to introduce significant changes to its immigration rules this November with the aim of simplifying pathways for qualified professionals to live and work in the country. These changes are part of a broader effort to address labor shortages and promote immigration, turning Germany into a true country of immigration. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the key changes set to Germany Immigration Rules Changing in November.

Easing Up Blue Card Requirements

The EU Blue Card scheme has long been a popular route for skilled workers seeking to relocate to Germany. The government has announced the introduction of a “new EU Blue Card” in November, which will not only make it easier to obtain but also grant Blue Card holders increased mobility rights and simpler family reunification. Here are the main ways the Blue Card is set to change:

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1. Lower Salary Threshold

Previously, individuals applying for a Blue Card needed to earn a minimum of €58,400 per year before taxes. However, this threshold is being significantly lowered, and it will be tied to the pension contribution assessment ceiling. In essence, workers in high-demand “bottleneck” professions will now have their salary requirements for Blue Cards set at 45.3 percent of the pension contribution ceiling. For all other occupations, the salary requirements will be set at 50 percent. For example, individuals in sought-after fields like mathematics, healthcare, and IT will only need to earn €39,682.80, while other workers will require a minimum income of over €43,800 to be eligible.

2. Expanded Eligibility

Previously, only a narrow range of professions, including IT, human medicine, mathematics, engineering, and science, were eligible for Blue Cards. This list is expanding to include nurses, teachers, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, professional service managers, and individuals in manufacturing, mining, or construction. Career entrants who have graduated within the past three years and IT professionals with at least three years of experience (even without a degree) will also be eligible.

3. Freedom of Movement Rights

Blue Card holders from other EU countries can visit Germany for up to 90 days for work-related trips without a visa. Individuals living in another EU country with a Blue Card for at least a year can live and work in Germany long-term without a visa, only needing to apply for a German EU Blue Card at their local foreigner’s authority.

Streamlined Family Reunification

Families of EU Blue Card holders who previously resided with them in another member state will no longer need to undergo the process of applying for a reunification visa in Germany. They can use their previous permit to live and work in Germany. Additionally, they won’t need to prove sufficient living space or the means to support themselves.

More Flexibility for Qualified Workers

From November, individuals with vocational or academic qualifications can work in Germany even if their job is not directly related to their field of study. This change aims to reduce bureaucracy around foreign qualifications, opening up opportunities for a broader range of professionals. In Germany, individuals can now recognize foreign degrees, and they can obtain residence permits without requiring formal recognition.

Simpler Visa Routes for Professional Drivers

Professional drivers, particularly lorry drivers and logistics workers from non-EU countries, will benefit from simplified immigration rules. The previous requirement for employers to prove a lack of available German nationals for these roles is being removed. The same applies to the lack of available EU nationals for these positions. Additionally, foreign drivers will no longer need to prove their German language skills. They can also obtain a work permit without possessing an EU or EEA driving license or initial driving qualification.

These changes will reshape Germany’s immigration landscape, making it more accessible for skilled workers and professionals from various fields. They will contribute to the country’s goal of becoming a more welcoming and diverse nation. These reforms are a significant step toward addressing labor shortages and facilitating a more flexible and inclusive immigration process. Stay tuned for further updates as the changes take effect in November 2023.

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