New Skilled Immigration Act
The Skilled Immigration Act is a new law which expands the possibilities for qualified professionals to come to work in Germany. It makes the task of migrating to Germany from non-EU nations in order to work. There has been some relaxations also done for the qualified professionals with university degrees.
so the question is:
What changes does the new law introduce?
The new law expands the framework under which qualified professionals from non-EU countries can come to work in Germany.
Persons who have a higher education degree which is comparable to a degree in Germany, or have completed qualified vocational training from Germany are considered as "Qualified Professionals" in book of German law.
For the qualified professionals, access to the German labor market is kept open with no restriction. They must possess an job contract or a job offer in Germany, there will be no priority check by FDA (Federal Employment Agency) , that means there would be no check to find an EU or German applicant for the specific job, but there can be local verification of the employment conditions. Earlier it was the biggest hurdle, to get the job in Germany.
A qualified professional may exercise an occupation for which he or she is qualified. That allows you to work in related occupations. In addition you can also work in a job that do not require a educational degree, you can work in related to your qualification with vocational training, non-academic work. This excludes auxiliary and semi-skilled occupations: the occupation must always require a qualification.
The employment of qualified professionals from outside the EU with vocational, i.e. non-academic training, is no longer restricted to occupations experiencing a skills shortage. If someone has a vocational training qualification recognized in Germany, their residence permit allowing them to work in a specific occupation will also allow them to work in Germany in all occupations covered by their qualification.
Professionals with a vocational training qualification are also able to come to Germany to look for a job. They will be granted a residence permit for up to six months. The precondition for this is that the foreign qualification is recognized by the relevant body in Germany, and that the person can support themselves for the duration of their stay and has the necessary German language skills for the desired occupation. Generally, German language skills at at least B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required. During the time spent in Germany looking for a job, employment of up to 10 hours a week on a trial basis is possible. This enables an employer and the foreign qualified professional to find out if they are suited to each other. Professionals with a recognized academic qualification, who as before are permitted to come to Germany for six months to seek employment, are also allowed to work on a trial basis.
Opportunities to come to Germany in order to undertake training are being improved. The basic precondition for this is that a recognition procedure is undertaken by the relevant body in Germany whilst the applicant is abroad, and the procedure finds that the person’s foreign qualification does not fully meet the requirements of a German qualification (in a recognition certificate, or “Anerkennungsbescheid”). Another precondition for the issuing of a visa to receive training is that the person has the necessary German language skills. These will usually equate to level A2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The 18-month residence permit can be extended, for example for this purpose, by six months up to a maximum period of two years. After the maximum period of the residence permit has expired, a residence permit for the purpose of training, study or work can be issued.
Permanent settlement permit for qualified professionals from around the world: Foreign qualified professionals are able to receive a permanent settlement permit after four years (previously: five years).
Trainees and students:
Coming to Germany to seek a training place: It is already possible for potential students to come to Germany to seek a place in higher education. According to the new rules, those interested in receiving vocational training are also able to come to Germany to find a training place. The precondition for this is German language skills at B2 level, a school leaving certificate from a German school abroad or a school leaving certificate which entitles a person to receive higher education, a maximum age of 25 years and the ability to support oneself financially.
German language course in preparation for vocational training: If a person has a residence permit for a vocational training course, they may attend a German language course (either general or occupation-related).
Improved possibilities for foreign students in Germany to change their residence status: Foreign students already have the possibility to switch to other types of residence permits even before they complete their studies. For example, rather than continuing their studies, they can begin vocational training and receive a residence permit to attend a vocational training course. The Skilled Immigration Act expands these possibilities to change status: under certain preconditions, and following consideration by the Federal Employment Agency, it is possible to accept a job offer as a qualified professional whilst a person is still studying or receiving vocational training. This entails a switch to a residence permit to work in a qualified occupation.
Permanent settlement permit for those who have completed a vocational training course in Germany: The new act enables foreigners who have successfully completed a vocational training course in Germany to receive a permanent settlement permit after two years, the same period as applies to graduates.
I am a qualified professional. What do I have to do to work in Germany?
Recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad: The first important thing you need to do is have your qualification recognized in Germany. Basic information on the recognition process and on migration to Germany can be obtained from the Working and Living in Germany hotline.
Language skills: You will need to speak some German if you wish to come to Germany to find a training place or to seek a job as a skilled worker with a vocational qualification, and you will also need some German language skills if you are to attend a training course in Germany.
Contact person for visa / residence: If you live outside Germany, the German missions abroad are responsible for issuing the necessary visa. The addresses of German institutions near you can be found on the world map. If you already live in Germany you need to contact the local foreigners registration office about residence and visas.