Germany opens labour market for skilled workers from non-EU countries

04.12.2019 - Article

New rules for the immigration of skilled workers to Germany will enter into force in early 2020. The new law extends the opportunities for qualified professionals from outside the European Union to come to work in Germany.

Before applying for a visa under the new rules, interested candidates need to obtain official recognition of their professional qualification from the competent German authorities. Information about the procedures can be found here. Interested professionals should start these procedures early. This is possible even before the new regulations enter into force.

Once they have the official recognition document, qualified professionals may apply for a visa to come to Germany to take up a specific job offer for which they are qualified. If the German authorities have only partially recognised the professional qualification, candidates may obtain a visa to do further training and exams in Germany and, under certain conditions, already work in the meantime.

Those with adequate German language skills and the financial means to make their living will also have the opportunity to apply for a six-month visa as job seekers. High school graduates under 25 years of age may come to Germany for up to six months in order to look for vocational training if their graduation certificate would allow them to study at a university, they are advanced German speakers (level B2) and they have the financial means to support themselves.

Slightly different rules will apply to professionals over the age of 45. In order to come to work in Germany, they will need to provide a work contract with a certain minimum salary or proof of adequate retirement provisions.

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