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New German law takes effect that lowers bar to entry for skilled workers

Many a prospective user of an umbrella company and payroll vendor in Germany, such as Link Global Management, will be interested to learn of the central European country’s new Skilled Immigration Act, which makes it easier for professionals from outside the European Union (EU) to live and work there.

The law took effect from 1st March 2020, and mainly applies to qualified professionals, including workers like electricians and plumbers who have some form of vocational training, and those who have completed a university degree.

The training course must be at least two years in length, and the resulting degree should be recognized as equal or similar to a German degree. Nor will such professionals be able to apply for a visa until they have received an offer for skilled employment in the country.

The German government has set up an online portal that enables potential movers to check whether their qualification is recognized in Germany.

What is the background of the new act?

It has long been notoriously difficult for citizens of non-EU countries to move to Germany, with the country’s political leaders insisting for decades that they weren’t pursuing active immigration policies, as reported by public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

However, there has been a change in stance in recent years, due to Germany lacking more than a million of the skilled laborers that its economy needs.

In principle, it was already possible for professionals from outside the EU to work in Germany if they had a work contract with a German-based firm and the relevant professional qualification for the job.

However, it was also previously the case that a non-EU worker was only able to take on a job in Germany if there was no German or EU citizen who was able to do it instead. It is this particular regulation that the new law has removed.

A notable change in tone – but are you abreast of the latest requirements?

The German labor ministry said of the new law: “Germany is now open to anyone who has completed vocational training – regardless of whether that profession is in demand.

“Now all qualified professionals with a suitable occupation can be employed in Germany.”

There’s much about the latest changes that may be of appeal to independent workers who are considering making Germany their next professional stop. It is now easier, for example, for skilled immigrants to take up jobs in Germany where an acute shortage of skilled professionals exists.

That means the likes of medical doctors, registered certified nurses and IT specialists, for instance, don’t need to have their qualifications recognized by German authorities, provided that they can prove at least five years of on-the-job experience.

Workers are also now permitted to bring their spouses and minor children to Germany, subject to proving that they can support their family members financially, and providing them with sufficient living space.

We’re the only tax and accounting experts that you’re likely to need

Are there any aspects of your own potential relocation to Germany that you would like to discuss with skilled and experienced accountants and payroll professionals?

If so, don’t look any further than making Link Global Management your choice of umbrella company and payroll vendor in Germany; simply email or call +44 (0)203 829 7221 for further advice and assistance.


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