Germany has introduced a new skilled immigration act which was effected on the 1st of March 2020 due to the shortage of skilled workers in the country. This new law allows skilled workers with vocational training from any non-EU countries without academic qualifications to migrate to Germany for work. The German labour market is in dire need of skilled workers to improve and help boost the country’s economy.
Prior to March 1st, 2020, migrating into Germany for work as a foreign national was never easy, as the immigration rules for skilled workers was restricted to only people with educational qualifications like a university or college degrees. The old law also put restrictions on jobs for people who are non-German / EU citizens, stating that people from outside the EU can only get jobs German and EU citizens are unable to do. With the new law in place, there have been some changes in the rules making it easier for skilled workers to apply for work in Germany.
Whoever has acquired a 2 years vocational training with a certificate similar or equivalent to a German degree to show as proof, will be able to apply to work in Germany. When you must have provided all the necessary documents required for your application, your recognition process will be done within 3 months.
Who can work in Germany?
Any non-EU national with the relevant qualifications and a work contract from an organization or a company based in Germany are allowed to work. For people looking to work in Germany with a qualification lower than vocational training, you might not be able to work in Germany unless you get a job offer or a work contract from an organization based in Germany. Your employer has to be willing to train you and ensure you obtain a professional certificate in two years.
If you have a work contract or a job offer from your employer, you will be given a residency status for the period of your stay in Germany, it could be four years or the duration of your work contract. You will also be able to apply for a permanent residency after 4 years.
Can I bring family members?
With the new law, skilled workers can bring in their family members with them into Germany. i.e. spouses and children. To bring our family members with you, you will need to show proof that you have the financial means to support your family and provide them with an adequate living condition because your family will not be able to access social welfare payments.
Are refugees and asylum-seekers also allowed into Germany?
The new immigration regulation also applies to asylum seekers and refugees who are granted exceptional leave to remain. Since they are allowed to remain in Germany without being deported, they can qualify to start training with some conditions;
- They are required to work for a period of 18 months, 35 hours a week.
- They must be able to support themselves
- They should have a B2 level in Germany.
- And must have a clean criminal record.
People coming into Germany to look for a Job
If you are looking to come into Germany to seek employment with vocational training or professional qualifications, you will be granted a 6 months resident permit if you meet with the requirement and conditions needed. To discuss these conditions or seek advice, you can contact an immigration solicitor or an immigration firm.
These conditions are listed below;
- Your qualifications should be recognized by the appropriate authorities
- Proof that you can support yourself for the period of stay in Germany
- German language skill is required. At least a B1 level
You can work 10 hours a week employment trial period when searching for a job in Germany. This will help you and the employer find out if you can work together. You are also allowed to work on a trial basis if you are a professional with a recognized college or university qualification. To discuss the requirements for working and seeking employment in Germany or seek advice, you can contact an immigration lawyer or a certified immigration firm.
Trainees and New students
To acquire a professional qualification or a university degree in Germany as a foreign national, you must be 25 years old and must have obtained a school-leaving certificate from a German school abroad or any degree that qualifies you for a university or professional education. You will also be able to apply for a permanent residence after working in Germany for two years.
The conditions to be met are;
- German language skills at B2 level.
- Age of 25 years and above.
- And you should be able to support yourself financially
Can students change their residence status?
With the new law into effect, students in Germany can now change residence status by switching to other types of residence permit before the completion of their studies. With some conditions, as a student, you can get jobs as qualified professionals while you study or receive vocational training or you can also decide to acquire a resident permit for a vocational training course in place of continuing your studies. After you successfully complete your 2 years vocational training course in Germany, you can apply for a permanent residence.
On a final note, if you are a qualified professional, you can take up a job that is not in your field of expertise, or if you are a qualified professional with an academic degree, you can work in places or jobs that do not require tertiary education. And for foreign skilled workers aged above 45, you will need to provide proof that you will meet up with the salary requirement of €3,685 monthly paid by their employer when you come into Germany or own an adequate pension fund to support yourself when you retire.