Germany is taking steps to address the issue of vacancies in its workforce. The workforce needs qualified workers. For this, the country is inviting people from non-EU countries. These are people who want to work overseas. Visa rules have been made more attractive for them by Germany.
Non-EU nationals who desire to work in Germany can now take advantage of the new German Skilled Immigration Act. It has taken effect on March 2, 2020. The new regulation lets non-EU nationals get those jobs in Germany that could be filled by Germans or EU nationals. It permits foreigners to come to Germany for a maximum period of 6 months to seek work. The new rules provide easier access for qualified workers coming from non-EU countries to the German labor market.
Another aim of the new immigration rules is to add people to the workforce in Germany. For this, the many positions vacant owing to lack of skills and workers will have to be filled. There are many important changes to the rules made for qualified non-EU nationals.
Definition of qualified professionals
The new law has expanded the list that says who are considered as qualified professionals coming to Germany for work. Non-EU nationals with vocational training qualifications are also considered qualified professionals. The qualification must be obtained after a training course that lasted at least 2 years. Like those with a tertiary education degree, these people are also eligible to seek work in Germany.
Besides this, for the worker to be allowed to work in Germany, he/she must meet the following conditions.
- The worker must have a foreign qualification that’s officially recognized by the relevant authority in Germany
- The worker should have a job contract/offer from an employer in Germany in their field of work
Until now, non-EU workers weren’t permitted to get a job that a German or EU national could fill. The Federal Employment Agency has stopped practicing such prioritizing in this regard.
The new rules expand the fields of employment for foreign workers too. This permits a foreign worker to work in a job related to their profession. It need not belong to their field of study. They can also work in jobs for which a tertiary education degree is not compulsory. They may as well work in other professions related to their qualification, excluding auxiliary and semi-skilled occupations. For this, a non-academic, vocational qualification is usually required.
Qualified professionals holding vocational qualifications are those with non-academic training. Now, their employment isn’t limited to jobs that are facing a lack of skilled EU nationals.
New six-month visas for job search in Germany
It’s now made possible for non-EU nationals to move to Germany for not more than 6 months to seek a job. They only need to have their qualifications recognized by the relevant body in Germany.
Foreign workers can apply for Germany Jobseeker Visa if
- They have enough funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay
- They have German knowledge of at least B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The 6-month visa allows its holder to work for a maximum of 10 hours in a week. This will enable the potential workers and their potential employers to decide if they are suitable for each other.
Training and developing skills in Germany
Those who have been unsuccessful in procuring a visa in Germany earlier may have had the issue of insufficient qualification. They can now arrive in Germany with a visa for Training and Skill Development. They must however fulfill the condition of having the necessary German language skills. The language skill must be of A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
This kind of visa can fetch you a residence permit. It would be valid for 18 months, extendable for another 4 months. The visa holder can also apply for a residence permit for training, study or work, by the end of the visa validity.
Reaching Germany as a trainee
The new rules allow non-EU students to seek a training place in Germany if they
- Are younger than 25
- Have a B2 level of German language knowledge
- Can financially support themselves
For this opportunity, they must
- Produce a school-leaving certificate from a German school abroad, or
- Produce a school-leaving certificate which grants him/her the right to receive higher education
A foreigner can also attend a German language course with a residence permit for a vocational training course. The course may be general or related to the occupation.
Changing residence status made easier for students
Students in Germany can now switch their residence status more easily than before. They can start a vocational training. Then, they can get a residence permit to attend such a course. They can otherwise get a job as a qualified professional. This they can do while studying or undergoing vocational training (subject to conditions).
Foreigners who have completed a vocational training course in Germany, can apply for a permanent settlement permit. They can do this over a period of 2 years in Germany. This is the same period that’s applied to graduates.
Changes for companies hiring non-EU workers
Under the new immigration law, companies that hire workers outside the EU can follow easier procedures and rules. The facilitations include hastened procedures for qualified professionals. This is done through the relevant foreigner’s registration office in Germany. The procedure works like this:
- Firstly, the hiring company and the foreigner’s registration office come to an agreement. It must include the procedures, deadlines, parties, and powers of attorney. It must also state the obligations for the employer, the qualified professional and the relevant authorities.
- Secondly, the foreigner’s registration office gets the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. This happens within few deadlines.
- The office then issues an advance approval to the employer if all conditions are satisfied. The employer then gives the approval to the qualified professional.
The qualified person will then follow the procedures to get an employment visa for Germany from his/her country of residence.
Now, under the new rules, even athletes and coaches of e-sports can apply for a visa. The visa will allow them to come to Germany and get residence permits for working in the country. For this, the approval of the German Federal Employment Agency won’t be needed. Applicants will have to meet several conditions like:
- They must be above 16 years of age
- They must have a salary amounting to at least 50% of the income threshold of the statutory pension insurance.
The athlete’s athletic qualification or the coach’s professional competence can be confirmed by the German Sports Federation and the responsible central association for the sport. This will happen through mutual agreement between the bodies.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Germany, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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