Germany relaxes worker immigration rules

14 February 2024

Germany recently announced new rules which will make it easier for skilled overseas workers to enter the country.

The first part of the new Skilled Immigration Act means skilled workers with a university degree (and experienced IT specialists without a degree) will find it easier to move to Germany to work.

Salary limits have been significantly lowered, the group of persons has been expanded, the list of professions has been extended, short and long-term mobility is now possible and family reunification is easier.

In future, skilled workers with vocational training or qualifications will be entitled to a residence permit if all requirements are met. Skilled workers with a qualified vocational qualification or university degree may pursue any qualified employment in the non-regulated sector. In addition, there is no longer a requirement for training and employment to be related.

From March 2024, people with practical professional experience can enter Germany to work in all non-regulated professions. They will need a qualified vocational or university degree and at least 2 years’ experience in the desired profession (except IT specialists who still will not need a degree).

From June 2024, people who do not have a specific job but have potential for the labour market (and meet certain requirements around ‘professional recognition’) will be able to seek work and obtain a residence permit, valid for up to 12 months. It’s worth noting that skilled workers with full ‘professional recognition’ can find work with no further requirements.

All others must provide proof of a qualified vocational or university degree or, under certain conditions, a qualification from a German chamber of commerce abroad. Also, work seekers will need to generate 6 points based on a variety of factors including qualifications, language skills, professional experience, relevance to Germany and age.

This is, as you can see, a comprehensive revision to Germany’s previous rules. It will come as welcome news to recruitment businesses with experience in placing workers in Germany, or for those looking to start an international recruitment arm in a territory where the overseas labour market is likely to be buoyant for some time.

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