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What Does Skilled Immigration Act Offer to Foreign Workers?

Germany's new law, effective March 1, simplifies the immigration process for foreign skilled workers.

What Does the New Skilled Immigration Act Offer to Foreign Workers?

Germany has introduced a new law called the Skilled Immigration Act (FEG). Which makes it easier for people with job training and hands-on experience to move to Germany. This law keeps helping people with university degrees, like before. Through the EU Blue Card and adds new ways for people from other countries to find job in Germany.

Understanding the Three Stages of the New Skilled Immigration Act

First Stage:

  • Initiated in November 2023. This initial phase was designed to streamline the process for skilled workers immigrating to the country. Making it easier for them to enter the workforce.

Second Stage:

  • Taking effect on March 1st.  The second phase of the Skilled Immigration Act was implemented in Germany. Building on the foundation laid by the first stage to further facilitate the immigration of skilled professionals.

Third Stage:

  • Scheduled for June 2024, the final phase will introduce the opportunity card for job seekers.
  • This innovative feature aims to simplify the process for individuals looking to find employment in the country. Marking a significant advancement in immigration policy.

Key Points of First Stage Law

EU Blue Card from November 2023:

  • This part of the law follows EU rules and makes some changes to the EU Blue Card. A special permission for skilled workers to live and work in Germany.

Lower salary needed:

  • The amount of money you need to earn to qualify for the EU Blue Card will be less than before.
  • For certain jobs that are in high demand and for people just starting their careers, you’ll need to earn at least €41,041.80 a year.
  • For other jobs, you’ll need to earn at least €45,300 a year in 2024.

Germany’s new rules are making it easier for skilled people from other countries to come and work there, especially if they have practical skills or are just starting their careers.

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Changes in Skilled Immigration Criteria

 Skilled Immigration Act

Germany’s new Skilled Immigration Act (FEG) is introducing changes to make it simpler for more types of skilled individuals to work in the country under the EU Blue Card system. Here are some of the updates:

Wider Eligibility for New Workers:

  • Now, more people can get an EU Blue Card.
  • If you’ve graduated from university in the last three years and get a job in Germany that pays at least €41,041.80 a year, you might qualify.
  • This salary rule is the same for jobs that have a lot of openings (bottleneck professions) and other types of jobs.

Special Rules for IT Specialists:

  • If you’re good at IT but don’t have a university degree, you could still get an EU Blue Card.
  • You need to show that you’ve worked in IT for at least three years. The salary you need to earn is the same as above.

More Jobs Listed as Bottleneck Professions:

  • The list of jobs that are in high demand (bottleneck professions) is getting bigger.
  • Now it includes jobs like managers in manufacturing, IT services, professional services like child care or health services, veterinarians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, and teachers.
  • People in these jobs need to earn at least €41,041.80 a year to qualify for the EU Blue Card.

Easier to Move Around Europe:

  • If you have an EU Blue Card from another EU country, you can come to Germany for short business trips without needing a visa or work permit.
  • If you’ve lived in another EU country with an EU Blue Card for at least 12 months, you can move to Germany and apply for a German EU Blue Card.

Family Reunification Made Easier:

  • If you’re an EU Blue Card holder moving from another EU country where you lived with your family, it will be easier to bring your family to Germany.
  • They won’t need a visa to join you if they have a residence permit in another country, and you won’t have to prove you have enough living space or money to support them when they apply for their residence permit in Germany.

These changes are making it easier for skilled people and their families to live and work in Germany, especially for those in certain professions or with specific skills like in IT.

New Rules for Skilled Workers

Germany’s new rules for skilled workers are making it easier for people with job training or a university degree to live and work in the country. Here’s a breakdown of what’s changing:

Right to a Residence Permit:

  • If you meet all the requirements, you now have a right to get a residence permit.
  • This means if you qualify, the government should give you permission to stay.

More Job Options:

  • Before, if you had training in a specific job, you were mostly supposed to work in that area.
  • Now, you can take any job that you want, even if it’s not what you were specifically trained for.
  • However, some jobs that have strict rules about who can do them, like doctors or lawyers, are exceptions.

Easier for Professional Drivers to Work in Germany:

  • The process for professional drivers from other countries to work in Germany is becoming simpler.
  • The government won’t check if drivers have the specific EU or EEA driving license and qualifications they used to need.
  • Also, they won’t prioritize hiring people from Germany or the EU over drivers from other places, and drivers won’t have to prove they can speak German or other local languages right away.

These changes mean that if you’re trained in a job or have a university degree, you have a better chance to live and work in Germany. You can choose from more jobs, and it’s easier for truck and bus drivers from other countries to start working in Germany.

March 2024 Employment and Recognition Rules

Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act is making big changes from 1st March 2024 to help skilled workers from other countries. Here’s what’s new:

Longer Stay for Qualification Recognition:

  • Now, you can stay for 24 months, up from 18, to get your foreign qualifications recognized in Germany.
  • This can be extended for another 12 months, making it possible to stay for up to three years. This gives employers more flexibility.

Work While Qualifying:

  • You can work up to 20 hours a week while you’re getting your qualifications recognized, which is more than before.
  • This helps you get into the job market easier.

Recognition Partnership:

  • You can now get a visa for qualified employment and sort out your qualification recognition after you arrive in Germany.
  • No need to start this process before coming to Germany anymore.
  • Need a job offer, at least two years of professional training or a university degree, and basic German language skills.

Skills Analysis:

  • If you need to check if your qualifications match German standards, you can get a visa for six months to do this.
  • You’ll need to show you can speak some German.

Easier for Skilled Workers to Get Jobs

Practical Knowledge:

  • There’s a new rule that lets people with practical skills work in any sector, not just their trained field.
  • You need at least two years of training and some work experience.
  • The job in Germany should pay a decent salary.

IT Specialists:

  • If you’re good at IT, you can now find work easier.
  • You need two years of experience instead of three, and you don’t have to prove your language skills right away.

Nursing Assistants from Abroad:

  • Nursing assistants with less than three years of training can work in healthcare if they have a recognized qualification.

Job Hunting After Training:

  • If you’ve trained in nursing or healthcare in Germany, you can get a visa to look for a job for up to 12 months, extendable by six months if you can support yourself.

Faster Permanent Residence:

  • Skilled workers can now get permanent residence after three years, down from four.
  • EU Blue Card holders can get it even faster, especially if they speak German well.

Easier Family Reunification:

  • Skilled workers can bring their families to Germany more easily, without needing to show they have enough living space.

Start-Up Grants:

If you get a grant from a German organization to start a business, you can get a visa for up to 18 months.

Germany is opening its doors wider for skilled workers from abroad, making it easier to work, stay, and bring families over. Whether you’re in IT, nursing, or have other skills, these changes are designed to welcome you to the German job market.

Germany’s New Pathways for International Students and Workers

Germany is making it easier for international students and those looking to work or train in Germany. Here’s what’s changing:

More Work Allowed for Students:

  • If you’re studying in Germany on a student visa, you can now work more.
  • You used to be able to work 120 full days or 240 half days a year, but now you can work 140 full days or 280 half days.
  • Or, you can choose to work up to 20 hours a week, no matter how much you earn or what job you do.
  • Even before you start your studies, while you’re preparing, you can work.

Jobs While Looking for University Places:

  • If you’re coming to Germany to find a university to study at, you can now work part-time, up to 20 hours a week, while you search.

Easier to Find Vocational Training:

  • Now, more people can come to Germany to look for vocational training.
  • The age limit has gone up from 25 to 35, and you only need to know a bit of German (level B1).
  • You can stay up to nine months (up from six), work part-time, and even try out jobs for two weeks.

Apprentices Can Work More:

  • If you’re an apprentice, you can also work up to 20 hours a week on the side.

Short-Term Work Based on Quotas:

  • Germany will let some workers come for short-term jobs, up to eight months, if there’s a specific need in certain jobs or sectors.
  • Employers have to agree to certain conditions, like paying travel expenses.

New Opportunity Card from June 2024 in Skilled Immigration Act

This card lets job seekers stay in Germany to look for work. You can get one if your qualifications are fully recognized or if you have certain qualifications and some knowledge of German or English.

You’ll need to score at least six points on criteria like qualifications, language skills, and experience. The card is good for one year and lets you work part-time or try out jobs. It can be extended for two more years if you find qualified employment but can’t get another type of work visa.

These changes mean more opportunities for work, training, and study in Germany for people from other countries.

Becoming a Skilled Worker in Germany

If you’re interested in becoming a skilled worker in Germany, here are the steps you should follow:

1. Get Your Qualification Recognized:

  • Your first step is to ensure your professional qualification is recognized in Germany.
  • This means you need a qualification from your home country that is state-certified or recognized, and your training should have lasted at least two years.
  • Depending on the situation, you might need to start the recognition process before you move to Germany, but sometimes you can do it after you arrive.

2. Prove Your Language Skills:

  • You must show you can speak German at a required level, especially if you’re coming to Germany to train, study, or work in certain jobs.
  • The level of German needed can vary depending on what you’re coming to Germany for, but it’s a crucial step for integrating and working in Germany.

3. Apply for a Visa/Residence Permit:

If Outside Germany:

  • Contact the German embassy or consulate in your country. They handle visa applications and can provide the specific details and documents you’ll need to apply. You can find the nearest German diplomatic mission on their global map online.

If Already in Germany:

  • If you’re already in the country, perhaps on a different type of visa and looking to switch to a skilled worker visa, you should contact your local foreigners authority. They can guide you through the process of changing your residence status and applying for the correct permit.

Additionally, if you’re from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, or Serbia, the Western Balkans regulation might apply to you, allowing easier access to the German labor market for non-regulated occupations. From June 2024, there will be a quota of 50,000 approvals per year for this scheme.

Remember, the process can vary slightly depending on your specific situation, your country of origin, and the job you’re planning to do in Germany. It’s always a good idea to check the most current information for Skilled Immigration Act available from official sources or seek advice from immigration professionals.

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Sumit Kumar

Loves playing with words and really enjoys coffee. Writes cool stuff and makes boring things fun to read about. When not working, you'll find Sumit enjoying music, reading cool stories, or hanging out with dogs.

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