The pathways for non-EU residents to live and work in Germany have generally been tight. The Skilled Immigration Act, which came into power on 1 March 2020, has eased access to the German labour market for qualified professionals, in addition to the category of the EU Blue Card work and residence permit.
Who is a qualified professional?
The new Act creates a uniform classification of “qualified professionals“, which incorporates both applicants with recognised university degrees and applicants with recognised vocational training. It likewise opens up the meaning of applicable skilled labour to incorporate occupations which ordinarily require vocational training in Germany and not simply those which for the most part require a University degree. Degrees from South African universities are usually recognised as equivalent in Germany. However, it remains a case by case determination of degree and university and IBN assists with the process of confirming that the qualifications are recognised.
A significant concession created by the Act identifies with IT experts. They are not required to hold a recognised qualification, if they can give verification of three years’ experience in the sector within the last 7 years, as well as sufficient German language abilities.
Key Elements of the Act
Before the Act, employers were commonly required to give preference to German citizens and EU citizens. The new Act has removed this necessity, and hence, on a basic level, permits any qualified professional to work in Germany.
An offer of employment in accordance with the qualification is required.
Commonly, no minimum salary is necessary, however the employment contract should be endorsed by the Federal Employment Agency ahead of time, to guarantee that it is in accordance with the overall standards of employment in the particular field. A minimum salary is required if the candidate is beyond 45 years old; alternatively, proof of sufficient provision for old age arrangement can be submitted.
The Act also creates another visa classification for qualified experts to look for work in Germany. This visa permits them to live in Germany for as long as 6 months. The essential requirements are sufficient German language skills for the employment sought and the financial ability to cover for the duration of their stay. Generally, no work is allowed on the visa. However, trial employment for up to 10 hours per week is allowed, to enable planned employers and the worker to decide if the position will be a solid match.
Germany might be your (next) destination
Germany may not be the traditional immigration destination for qualified experts, however the new Skilled Immigration Act positively pushes it up on the rundown of nations to be thought of. English-speaking occupations are becoming more frequent and except if specifically mentioned, there is no German language requirement to acquire the work visa.
Along with our expert partners situated in Germany, IBN can help with the full immigration process to Germany and help make it your destination.
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Written by: Hannah Mminele