Fraud Blocker Germany's progressive immigration reform

Germany’s progressive immigration reform: A closer look at the new law

Germany is set to embark on a significant journey of immigration reform, with the
implementation of a new immigration law starting November 2023. The changes aim to streamline and
simplify the process for non-EU residents to work in Germany, fostering a more inclusive and skilled
workforce. Let’s delve into the key aspects of this groundbreaking reform.

The three-tiered concept: Specialists, Experience, Potential (SEP-concept): Central to the new
immigration law is the adoption of a three-tiered concept – Specialists, Experience, and Potential (SEP-concept). This framework is designed to categorize immigrants based on their expertise, work
experience, and potential contributions, creating a more nuanced and flexible approach to immigration.

Reformed Blue Card process: In adherence to a new EU guideline, Germany is revamping its Blue Card
process to facilitate easier family reunification, permanent residence, and job changes. The reforms aim
to attract more skilled workers with university degrees to Germany.

Changes effective November 2023

  • Minimum wage requirement adjustment: The minimum wage requirement for Blue Card applicants has been decreased to €43,800 annually, with a lower threshold of €39,682.80 annually for bottleneck professions. This adjustment caters to university graduates within three years of graduation. The list of bottleneck professions has expanded, now including IT specialists without a university degree but with three years of relevant work experience.
  • Mobility for EU Blue Card holders: EU Blue Card holders from other member states can now stay in Germany for up to 90 days without a visa or work permit, fostering short and long-term mobility. Long-term relocation to Germany is simplified after a minimum 12-month stay in another EU country.
  • Facilitated family reunification: Family reunification is privileged for EU Blue Card holders, offering simplified entry procedures for family members.
  • Labour law adjustments: Crucial adjustments in § 18a and §18b of AufenthG ensure that residence permits are granted based on meeting all requirements, with job titles no longer strictly linked to university degrees or professional training.

Changes effective March 2024

  • Extended opportunities for qualification measures: Residence permits for qualification measures are extended from 18 to 24 months, with a possibility of further extension up to three years. This provides employers greater flexibility.
  • Increased secondary employment during qualification measures: Prospective skilled workers can engage in secondary employment for up to 20 hours per week during qualification measures, easing entry into the labour market.
  • New access routes for equivalence of foreign professional qualifications: The Skilled Immigration Act introduces new routes for achieving equivalence of foreign professional qualifications, emphasizing recognition partnerships and qualification analyses.
  • Specialists with work experience: Individuals with two years of practical experience in non-state-regulated professions can now work in Germany without local qualification recognition
  • Nursing assistants inclusion: Individuals with one or two years of training as nursing assistants can now work permanently in the healthcare sector.
  • Residency for recognition of foreign work qualification extension: The option to enter Germany before recognition of professional qualifications is extended, creating recognition partnerships between skilled workers and employers.

Changes effective June 2024

  • Chancenkarte (Chance-Card): The Chancenkarte allows skilled workers from third countries to seek employment in Germany based on a point system evaluating qualifications, language skills, work experience, age, and connections to Germany.
  • Western Balkan regulation extension: The Western Balkans regulation, offering access to the German labor market, is extended beyond 2023, with a quota of 50,000 approvals per year from June 2024.

What has changed?

  • Minimum annual salary: The minimum annual salary for Blue Card applicants has been adjusted.
  • Qualification-job equivalency: The link between job titles and university degrees of professional training has been loosened.

Germany’s new immigration law represents a progressive leap towards a more inclusive and
skilled workforce. By redefining criteria, easing entry procedures, and embracing a holistic approach,
Germany is not just opening its doors but creating a pathway for a diverse pool of talent to contribute to
its economic and cultural landscape.

The new immigration law in Germany signifies a bold step towards creating a more dynamic and globally
competitive workforce. Here are a few additional insights:

  1. Diversity and innovation: By broadening the list of bottleneck professions and allowing IT
    specialists without a university degree to qualify for a Blue Card, Germany is actively fostering
    diversity in its workforce. This not only addresses skill shortages but also injects innovation and
    varied perspectives into the country’s industries.
  2. Global talent pool: The provision for short and long-term mobility for EU Blue Card holders from
    other member states demonstrates Germany’s commitment to tapping into a wider pool of
    skilled professionals within the European Union. This not only promotes collaboration but also
    enhances the overall competitiveness of the European workforce on a global scale.
  3. Family-friendly policies: The facilitated family reunification and the option for individuals to
    bring their parents and in-laws to Germany after receiving a residence permit adds a family-friendly dimension to the immigration reforms. This acknowledges the importance of family
    unity and creates a more supportive environment for individuals establishing their lives in
  4. Recognition partnerships: The concept of recognition partnerships for state-regulated
    professions showcases Germany’s commitment to integrating skilled workers efficiently. By
    establishing partnerships between skilled workers and employers, the country is not only
    recognizing the qualifications of individuals but also creating a collaborative framework that
    benefits both the workers and the German economy.
  5. Chancenkarte for third-country workers: The introduction of the Chancenkarte (Chance-Card)
    in June 2024 further underlines Germany’s openness to talent from third countries. By awarding
    points for various qualifications and skills, the Chancenkarte ensures a fair evaluation process,
    attracting individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise.

In essence, Germany’s new immigration law is not just about simplifying procedures; it’s a strategic
move to position the country as a global hub for talent and innovation. By embracing diversity,
facilitating family integration, and recognizing qualifications from around the world, Germany is shaping
a future where skilled individuals from various corners of the globe contribute to the nation’s growth
and prosperity.

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