The Immigration Act is designed to facilitate the immigration of qualified workers from third world countries. The act was passed into law since March 1, 2020.

“Recognition of the qualification remains a requirement for specialists with vocational training.
However, there are reliefs in some areas. For specialists with a university degree, the new law does not change the existing rules”.

Germany has opened opportunities for qualified skilled professionals through the new Skilled Immigration Act that has just been signed and would be effective as from 1st of March, 2020. It
implies that skilled professionals with vocational, non-academic training from non-EU countries can migrate to Germany easily in order to work. This act with significant changes in the
procedures of migration into Germany has opened doors for many skilled professionals and prospective trainees seeking a place to receive vocational training. This act considers
immigrants from non-EU countries with no academic training which makes immigration into Germany easier. 

Furthermore, the significant changes in the framework under which qualified professionals from non-EU countries can work in Germany include;

  • Qualified Professionals: As explained in the act, a qualified professional is a person with a tertiary degree or a vocational training qualification following a training course lasting at least two years. It should be noted that the official recognition of the foreign qualification by the relevant authority in Germany is required irrespective of the possession of a university degree or a vocational qualification. In essence, non-EU applicants with no academic training can migrate to Germany to work after their foreign qualifications are officially recognized by the appropriate authority in Germany.

  • Germany Labour Market: the qualified professionals who possess an employment contract or a specific job offer and qualification recognized in Germany would gain easy entry into the labor market. No priority check will be undertaken by the authority (i.e. no check as to whether Germany or EU applicant is available for the job). It further increases the chances of getting jobs by qualified professionals. It gives room for non-EU applicants with no academic training to apply for jobs related to the qualifications without the fear of nepotism as a result of the absence of a priority check.

  • Qualified professionals with vocational qualifications: qualified professionals won’t be restricted to occupations with a skills shortage. Thus, if someone has a vocational training qualification recognized in Germany, their residence permit allowing them to work in a specific occupation will also allow them to work in Germany in all occupations covered by their qualification. They are not restricted to the specific job alone which implies that they can work in related occupations.

  • Migration to Germany to seek a job: qualified professionals from non-EU countries with a vocational training qualification with or without academic training can also migrate into Germany to seek for a job. They will be granted a residence permit for up to six months. However, the applicants are required to possess foreign qualifications that are recognized by the relevant body in Germany and can support themselves for the duration of their stay. Also, they are required to possess German language skills of at least the B1 level of the Common European Framework of References for Languages for the desired occupation. Professionals with recognized academic qualifications, who have been permitted to come to Germany for six months to seek employment, are also allowed to work on a trial basis.

  • Period of residence for training and skill development: Opportunities to come to Germany in order to undertake training are being improved. The basic precondition for this is that a recognition procedure is undertaken by the relevant body in Germany whilst the applicant is abroad, and the procedure finds that the person’s foreign qualification does not fully meet the requirements of a German qualification (in a recognition certificate, or “Anerkennungsbescheid”). Another precondition for the issuing of a visa to receive training is that the person has the necessary German language skills. These will usually equate to level A2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The 18-month residence permit can be extended, for example for this purpose, by six months up to a maximum period of two years. After the maximum period of the residence permit has expired, a residence permit for the purpose of training, study or work can be issued. Also, the new act enables foreigners who have successfully completed a vocational training course in Germany to receive a permanent settlement permit after two years, the same period as applies to graduates.