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new german skilled worker immigration law

01.11.2023  |  Application, European Visas, Helpful

In our October newsletter "Global Insights" we inform you about the following topics:

  • Lower minimum salaries in skilled immigration from November 2023
  • Eligibility criteria will be dropped on 18.11.2023, employment agency will remain involved
  • Bottleneck occupations – more occupations on the new list
  • ETIAS is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2023

Minimum salaries in skilled immigration:

With  the legal changes brought about by the law and the ordinance on the further development of skilled immigration for skilled workers, the salary thresholds are also falling as a result.

Salaries for the EU Blue Card in standard and bottleneck occupations will be significantly reduced. In future, a minimum salary of 45.3% of the annual contribution assessment ceiling in pension insurance (in 2023: 39,682.80 euros) will apply to bottleneck occupations and career starters, as well as 50% (in 2023: around 43,800 euros) for all other occupations.
What does the elimination of eligibility criteria from 18.11.2023 mean for employers?

With § 18a and §18b, the qualification criterion is deleted with effect from 18.11.2023.

With Art. Nos. 5 and 6 of the Act on the Further Development of Skilled Immigration delegate the qualification criterion as a criterion of residence law from the standards with effect from 01.06.2024.

With effect from 18.11.2023, skilled workers with vocational training that is recognised in Germany will be given the opportunity to pursue any qualified employment in non-regulated professions with the amendment to § 18a sentence 1.

However, both standards will still remain subject to approval by the Federal Employment Agency until 29.2.2024 for the time being.

Why this?
The corresponding amendment will only be made with Art. 2 No. 16, and will enter into force on 01.03.2024.

It is only from this date that IT specialists, for example, will be able to receive an EU Blue Card if they do not have a university degree but can prove at least 3 years of comparable experience. We will be happy to explain how to you in an individual information appointment.

List of bottleneck occupations in Germany:

The list of bottleneck occupations is published annually by the German Employment Agency.  In addition to the current shortage occupations (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, engineering and human medicine), skilled workers in the following occupational groups will also be able to receive an EU Blue Card in the future if the other requirements are met:

  • Executives in manufacturing, manufacturing, manufacturing, mining and construction, and logistics
  • Executives in the provision of information and communication technology services
  • Executives in the provision of specialized services, such as childcare or healthcare
  • Veterinarians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Academic and comparable nursing and obstetrics professionals
  • Teachers and educators in the school and extracurricular sector

The detailed list of bottleneck occupations can be found here: German List of Shortage Occupations

Here, too, the lower salary threshold applies to bottleneck occupations (45.3% of the annual contribution assessment ceiling; in 2023: 39,682.80 euros).

Important information on ETIAS registration on entry from 1.1.2024

From 1 January 2024, the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) registration will be mandatory for travel to the Schengen area.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is an electronic travel information and authorisation system introduced by the European Union. It is designed to increase border security while making it easier for travelers to access. 

ETIAS allows competent authorities to identify potential risks in advance and inform travelers in a timely manner. This system will be required for travel to the Schengen area.

How do I apply for ETIAS?

Applying for ETIAS is a straightforward process. You can do this online through the official website of ETIAS. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Go to the ETIAS website.
  2. Fill out the electronic application form. This includes basic information about yourself, your travel plans, and your passport.
  3. Check your details carefully before submitting the application.
  4. Pay the processing fee. This can usually be done by credit card or other accepted payment methods.

After completing the application process, you will receive a confirmation email.

Most applications are approved within a few minutes. However, in some cases, it can take up to two weeks, so we recommend applying for ETIAS well in advance.

When do I need to apply for ETIAS?

ETIAS must be applied for prior to your planned trip. It is recommended to submit the application at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure. However, in most cases, approval is granted more quickly.

Who needs to apply for ETIAS?

The ETIAS requirement applies to all citizens of visa-exempt countries who wish to travel to the Schengen area. This includes travelers between the ages of 18 and 70. Children under the age of 18 and adults over the age of 70 are exempt from the requirement.

Please note that ETIAS is required for travel for tourism, business, medical or transiting purposes.

If you are going to work as a professional for a European company and are allowed to apply for a residence and work permit in Germany, the ETIAS registration is also required.

MOVES consulting offers advice and support for a quick and smooth immigration of skilled workers for companies and their employees. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact us by phone at: +43 1 956 59 19 or +49 5473 959 23 40 or by e-mail at: immigration@moves-consulting.com

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