Das Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz

The Immigration Law for Professionals

PROGEDO – your first friend abroad. For us this is not just a statement but a commitment! That is why we regularly keep our customers informed about current events and developments that we consider particularly important for them.

The Immigration Act is designed to facilitate the immigration of qualified workers from “third” countries and will take effect on March 1, 2020. It is not an independent law, rather partial adjustment to the existing laws.

The Skilled Immigration Law in Germany

“Third countries” in the sense of the German right of residence are generally those countries that do not benefit from so-called free movement – i.e. all member states of the European Union (EU) plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Third countries are according to German law USA, China, India, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, Serbia, Australia and Canada among others.

Das Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz

First of all, the new law does not change anything for professionals with a university degree! The numbering of the paragraphs shifts a bit, but this has no effect on the content. Whereas the priority test i.e. first determining if a EU citizen or a citizen of the aforementioned free movement countries is available for the position in question, will be abolished.

Approval of qualifications will remain a requirement for specialists with vocational training. In some areas, however, the new law will make it easier.

The most important regulations at a glance:

  • University graduates and employees with qualified, approved vocational training are uniformly regarded as specialists
  • For specialists from third countries with an employment contract and recognition of their qualifications, there is no priority test.
  • Waiver of the restriction for occupations in shortage for employees with qualified vocational training by dropping the positive list (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/atei/dok_ba015465.pdf)
  • The limitation for professions with a shortage does not apply. These mainly include technical professions and some health and nursing professions. Under certain conditions, IT specialists can get access to the German job market without formal qualifications.
  • The opportunities to stay in Germany for training measures are improved. Acceptance procedures for professional qualifications can be carried out entirely within the framework of placement agreements with the Federal Employment Agency (BA).
  • Anyone who can demonstrate qualified vocational training can get a residence permit for six months to find a job, even without an employment contract. So far, a similar permit has only been available for university graduates. During this time, job seekers can work up to ten hours a week on a trial basis or do an internship. The prerequisites are proof of a livelihood during this time as well as German language at B1 level
  • Employers can ini/ate the accelerated specialist application procedure for a visa or residence permit with the immigration office using a power of attorney from the professional they wish to employ.

For employers, the elimination of the number restriction for professions with shortages of skilled workers and the elimination of the priority test is one of the most important elements of the Immigration Act. This opens up considerably more opportunities to find foreign workers from third countries and to offer employment. However, the required language skills at the B-1 level for specialists with vocational training (not for university graduates) will become the main obstacle when looking for employees in third countries.

Further information can be found here: https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/

PROGEDO has been supporting its customers nationwide for 25 years with all issues related to relocation. We provide support in applying for a visa for specialists and managers. We can find accommodation and help with all the necessary procedures related to moving. And in addition we advise companies that are dealing with the problem of filling a position with an employee from abroad and all the related administrative steps. Feel free to request further information or ask for a free initial consultation.