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Immigration Germany: Skilled worker laws eased to attract foreign talent

Recruiting qualified non-EU workers will become easier from November 2023 when the latest changes to German immigration law take effect.

Posted in: Corporate News, Europe, Global & Relocation, Helpful resources Germany, Immigration news, Relocation
Published Date: 03 August 2023

German immigration laws

To counter a shortage of skilled workers in the country, the German cabinet recently approved significant amendments to the Skilled Worker immigration schemes.


Reduced minimum salary thresholds

A notable change concerns the EU Blue Card regulations. The occupations on the skills shortage list will be expanded, and the minimum salary threshold for these jobs will be reduced from EUR 45,552 to EUR 39,683. This salary requirement will also be applied to university graduates for three years following the completion of their degree, even for standard occupations. For normal occupations, the threshold has been lowered from EUR 58,400 to EUR 43,800.


Improved access to those with professional experience

Previously, IT workers without a higher education qualification could apply for a residence permit with at least three years of relevant professional experience in the preceding seven years. This has now been lowered to two years of experience in the preceding five years.

Moreover, residence permits based on two years of relevant professional experience will be expanded to cover all professions. Though non-IT applicants must also have at least two years of vocational education or a university degree.

German language skills will no longer be required to obtain this kind of residence permit.


Relaxed employment contract restrictions

Relaxed work restrictions in GermanyWhile employers will benefit from these changes, it’s important to note that they are designed to attract job seekers as well.

Individuals will be able to apply for a Blue Card with, at minimum, a six-month work contract instead of the current one-year contract.

There will also be reduced restrictions for Blue Card holders when changing employers or job roles. Where before the validity of the Blue Card was restricted to a specific employer or job role for 24 months, this limit has now been reduced to 12 months.


A quicker route to permanent residence

Blue Card holders with German language skills will qualify after just 27 months instead of the previous 33 months. Those under other Skilled Worker schemes and the spouses of qualified employees will be eligible after three years instead of four.


Improved avenues for family reunification

Blue Card facilitates family immigration to GermanyThe new rules will also make it easier for potential employees to bring their families to Germany. Before, dependent permits were issued to spouses only but now the parents of skilled workers will be able to apply for them as well.




Need advice on relocating your non-EU employees to Germany? Discuss their immigration and moving requirements with us!