Immigration of skilled workers: application processes, stumbling blocks, changes
So the same and yet so different: Residence and work permits. A proactive approach defuses related stumbling blocks. Today we present procedures from 2 countries: Germany and Austria and how you can avoid stumbling blocks.
The accelerated prior approval in Germany and the RWR card in shortage occupations in Austria.
Labour market versus residence authority
To bring a skilled worker into the country, you basically have to deal with 2 authorities: the Residence Authority, some also call it the Immigration Authority, and the Employment Agency.
The application processes for residence permits are basically the same in all EU countries. However, the labour markets differ locally in terms of their nature and industrial focus, which necessitates special features in the work permit procedure.
When an application for a residence and work permit is submitted, the employment agencies check whether a local skilled worker who is registered as unemployed is also suitable for the job in question. If this is the case, the expat who is to be brought into the country is usually rejected.
A stumble stone? The MOVES consulting team checks in advance whether the future job of the skilled worker can be classified as a shortage occupation in order to accelerate the procedure. This service is free of charge for our corporate clients.
Germany: accelerated procedure for skilled workers - prior approval according to § 81a AufenthG
The accelerated skilled worker procedure for applicants from shortage occupations or as key workers offers the possibility to obtain the approval of the employment agency in advance. The procedure is generally completed within 3 weeks and a visa D for entry is issued by the competent embassy in the applicant's home country. The applicant is authorised to work immediately after entry. The application for a settlement permit is processed in the background and usually takes another 6-8 weeks.
Pitfall? Some German employers mean well and apply for a certificate of equivalence at the same time as the accelerated procedure. This is supposed to officially confirm that the apprenticeship or degree completed in the home country is equivalent to the German one.
Many employers underestimate or do not know that the job profile, which must also be submitted, is used as a basis for decision-making. All knowledge, experience and training requirements listed in the job profile, as well as all tasks and duties listed in this profile, must be proven by the training to be evaluated. If this is not congruent, either an equivalence will be refused or granted with the requirement of additional training on a limited basis. In this case, the embassy will refuse to issue the D visa.
A further application will be necessary: Training measure.
We prefer the two-step procedure in which we check the eligibility of your desired candidate, if they have a relevant Bsc or Msc degree, apply directly for a D work visa via the German embassy and after entry apply for the settlement permit. The whole procedure takes between 3 and 6 weeks from submission of the application.
Ask our advisors.
Austria: The Red-White-Red Card "Shortage Occupation
The list of shortage occupations has grown considerably in Austria - to 100 shortage occupations. Cooks and sales assistants can be found here as well as plumbers and electricians. Depending on the province, this list varies again.
This means that if an expat can be assigned to a shortage occupation, no labour market check is carried out during immigration. So there is no check to see if an equally qualified native worker can be hired instead of the expat, and the procedure is shortened.
The proactive examination of whether a candidate is eligible for approval and in which category is a free service at MOVES consulting.
An application procedure in shortage occupations is the fastest immigration procedure, and between 6 and 8 weeks from submission of the application.
Europe-wide: The Blue Card EU
After 5 years in possession of the Blue Card EU, one has the right to permanent settlement permit if one fulfils further criteria, such as: Income, social security, accommodation, German language skills B1 etc. This applies to all countries. After one year in Germany, two years in Spain and two years in Italy, you can obtain a permanent settlement permit in Italy after two years, because all the years you have spent in other countries with a Blue Card EU are counted together - a great relief.
The minimum salary to which the Blue Card is linked varies in all countries.
Exact figures and detailed information can be obtained at any time by calling MOVES consulting:
+43 (0) 1 956 59 19 Head Office Austria or +49 (0) 5473 95 888 50 Germany Office.
Cross-national equivalence of education as an obstacle for expats
Employees who are to be immigrated by companies are often highly specialised or must have professional experience in exactly the field in which they are needed.
Local training standards are used as a yardstick: the content of apprenticeships, studies and the like must be congruent with the training content imparted in Germany. This also means that for each requirement in the job profile there must be a corresponding document, for example a certificate confirming English language skills - this is often underestimated by the expatriate and their future employer.
MOVES consulting advises and supports in all mobility management issues
MOVES consulting offers training for employers' HR and mobility managers. The aim of these trainings is to streamline processes and to proactively remove stumbling blocks.
A particular concern of ours is to raise understanding for the process of immigration. Skilled workers who are brought into the country must not only fit the companies that hire them, but also the country they enter. The formal requirements of the authorities have priority here, otherwise you won't get far.
There is plenty of potential for optimisation among the authorities, especially in immigration law. The massive increase in immigration in Europe is pushing authorities like MA35 to the limit.
Conclusion: Immigration is not difficult...
...if you know what to look out for.
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