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GERMANY – Skilled Worker Immigration Act Amended
November 22, 2023
In response to an urgent need for qualified foreign employees, lawmakers in Germany have authorized changes to the Skilled Worker Immigration Act. These changes will be implemented on a rolling basis, beginning on 18 November.
Changes to the EU Blue Card will include the following:
- The minimum duration of an employment contract will be six months
- Salary thresholds for both standard and shortage occupations have been reduced to the following levels:
- Shortage occupations, young professionals, and IT specialists without a degree: 45.3% of the annual social security contribution ceiling for pension insurance (EUR 39,683 instead of the previous EUR 45,552).
- All other professions: Minimum salary reduced to 50% of the annual social security contribution ceiling (EUR 43,800 instead of the previous EUR 58,400)
- There is a broader range of covered occupations:
- IT specialists without a university degree qualify for an EU Blue Card if they can prove that they have at least three years of comparable professional experience within the last seven years.
- Under new shortage occupations:
- Skilled workers in goods production, mining, construction, and logistics
- Executives in the IT and communications technology service sector
- Academic and comparable nursing and obstetrics specialists
- Other academic and allied health professions (e.g. dentists, pharmacists)
- Teaching and educational staff in schools and extracurricular activities
For Blue Card holders from any EU country, they may travel to and conduct business activities in Germany which are directly related to their employment without getting a German work visa or permit. The minimum stay requirement for long-term relocation to Germany for Blue Card holder from other EU countries without a visa has been reduced from 18 to 12 months.
Further, holders of an EU Blue Card now only need to notify the immigration authority of a change of employer within the first 12 months of their employment.
Newland Chase Insights
Additional changes to the law will be implemented in March 2024. We will provide details as they are released.