With the Skilled Immigration Act / Fachkräfte Einwanderungs Gesetz (FEG), Germany has launched a new law which expands the possibilities for highly qualified professionals to start a new job in Germany.

It is now much easier for professionals from NON-EU countries with work experience and qualifications or non-academic training to relocate to Germany for work. The current conditions for qualified professionals with university degrees will to the most extent remain as known, with some relaxations, however.

The key changes of the Skilled Immigration Act are

Revision of the definition “skilled worker”
The definition of what is considered a “skilled worker” or a “specialist” has now been changed. Before the new law was established, that title has been reserved for a person with a university or college degree only. Now, however, someone who has completed vocational (i.e. non-academic) training is also considered a skilled worker.

Employment no longer restricted
Before the new law, non-EU professionals with vocational qualifications could only come to Germany to work in occupations experiencing a skills shortage. Now anyone with a vocational training qualification recognized in Germany can work in any occupation covered by their qualification.

Priority check dismantled
A major difference with the new Skilled Immigration Act is that the employer no longer has to prove to the Federal Employment Agency that no suitable candidate from Germany or the EU was available to fill the position, this was called the “priority check” .

Language skills
Language skills still might be asked for, however if the employer states that the company language is English, this will be dropped and not requested. However, in case of family reunion the spouse needs to proof German skills A1 level. If the spouse has an own university degree, this is not necessary.

Validity of residence
The work and residence permit will be granted for three to four years, or the duration of the work contract, if less than this time. After four years, skilled workers can apply for a permanent settlement permit.

Family reunion with the new law
The new law also allows skilled workers to bring their family members with them – provided they can support them financially and provide them with sufficient living space. The spouse needs to prove German language skills A1 level. If the spouse has an own university degree, this is not necessary.

If you look for more details on the new Skilled Immigration Act (FEG) please check out the links below:

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