Coronavirus Covid-19 and the implications for visas and work permits

Coronavirus Covid-19 and the implications for visas and work permits

PROGEDO – your first friend abroad. We take this promise very seriously indeed! That’s why we like to keep our clients informed about current affairs and events we think might be particularly important and relevant to them.

Corona – Update, May 25, 2020

Corona – Update, April 21, 2020

Updated Corona-information – April 16th, 2020: Entry stop is extended

The entry stop imposed on 17.03. was extended until 15.05.2020. The regulations remain unchanged.

Since March 17th there is an entry stop of, for the moment, 30 days for Germany! (until April 18, 2020). It is currently being considered to register all nationals from third countries who arrive by plane or ship and to commit them to a 14-day quarantine. A corresponding decree will probably be issued in the next few days.

The following persons are currently authorized to enter Germany:

  • German citizens
  • Family members of German nationals from third countries when they return to their common place of residence in Germany. In all other cases, family members of German nationals can only enter Germany forimportant reasons (e.g. caring for relatives). Appropriate evidence must be presented
  • EU nationals and their family members and nationals from Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland as well as their family members
  • Third-country nationals with habitual residence in Germany
  • Third-country nationals with “essential functions”:
    • Health workers and researchers, nursing professions
    • Diplomats, employees of international organizations, military personnel, humanitarian workers, insofar as they perform their functions
    • Passengers traveling for compelling family reasons (funeral, emergency medical treatment, court appointments), proof must be provided before entry

The following persons are currently authorized to travel through Germany:

  • EU nationals (as well as nationals of Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and their family members who return to their usual place of residence
  • Third-country nationals with a permanent residence permit in another EU or Schengen country
  • Third-country nationals with “essential functions”:
    • Health workers and researchers, nursing professions
    • Diplomats, employees of international organizations, military personnel, humanitarian workers, insofar as they perform their functions
    • Transit passengers (including those who are returned to their home country through consular assistance)
    • Passengers traveling for compelling family reasons (funeral, emergency medical treatment, court appointments), proof must be provided before entry

The coronavirus has now arrived in Germany too and is leading to increasingly momentous restrictions in public life, the likes of which haven’t been seen in Germany’s history since World War II. This does, of course, also affect all foreign qualified professionals and expats who are currently planning to move to Germany, as well as those who have recently arrived and still have to complete necessary formalities with the authorities.

Whether it’s attempting to contact embassies, consulates, registration offices or immigration authorities, whether it’s applying for a visa, officially registering your residency or making an appointment to obtain a residence and work permit – hardly any of this is possible with any degree of certainty. This can lead to serious problems and high costs, both for the foreign employee and their employer. Employment contracts have been signed, apartments rented, international removals organised. Many expats coming from overseas have already given notice weeks ago to terminate the lease on their apartments in their former home country, and their belongings are currently in a shipping container en route by sea route to Germany. Or they’ve already rented a new apartment in Germany, which now needs to be cancelled again. Often with three months’ notice. For those who get particularly unlucky, a new employer will give notice of termination of an employee’s contract the moment they start their job, and send them off into short-time work until this notice period is up and they enter unemployment.

Nobody can foresee how the situation will develop, but it is wise to be prepared for a crisis lasting several months.

In order to make sure you, as a citizen of a so-called third country*, have a full understanding of the current situation and its consequences, at least with regard to the visa process and issues relating to residence permits, you will find an overview here. To be followed by our recommendation about how best to proceed from here. Please also subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed with our updates on developments. Of course, we are also glad to support you or your new employer in speeding up the procedure as soon as the situation has returned to normal.

* “Third countries” (or “Third States”) in the sense of the German Residence Act are generally those states that do not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA) – i.e. all member states of the European Union (EU) and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (such as the USA, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Serbia, Australia, Canada).