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Germany eases administrative procedures for global talent

On 30 November 2022, the German federal government published a position paper on the new Skilled Immigration Act, which is in force since March 2020. This paper outlines actions aiming to attract more highly-skilled workers from third countries and to accelerate their integration into the labour market based on more transparent and flexible administrative procedures. The demand for skilled workers is growing in Germany as the country passes through a turning point with demographic change, war in Ukraine, decarbonisation, and digitalisation.

To boost and reinforce the previously adopted legislation, the position paper draws the roadmap under three pillars:

  1. Skilled workers pillar
  2. Experience pillar
  3. Potential pillar

The first pillar remains the central element of the new Skilled Migrants Act encompassing the EU Blue Card framework as well as work permits granted to foreign nationals with a degree awarded or recognised by German higher education institutions. Within this pillar, the government aims to further encourage highly qualified professionals to look for opportunities in the German labour market by lowering the threshold salary required for granting an EU Blue card. Similarly, recognition and accreditation procedures for qualifications acquired abroad will be facilitated and shortened.  Under the second pillar, the government plans to enable third-country nationals with a two-year work experience and vocational qualification to immigrate to Germany. To this aim, no proof of German language competence will be required and the salary thresholds will be lowered for IT and other professionals with highly demanded skills . Furthermore, employers will have a stronger voice on administrative procedures.  Lastly, under the third pillar, the government will provide third-country nationals with a possibility to look for a job with the introduction of so-called opportunity card. The selection criteria for this new card will include candidate’s qualifications, linguistic competence, age and work experience.

For more information, see position paper (in German) & press release (in German) by the German Federal Government and press release by DAAD.