The law is an implementation of EU policy to break down former barriers for scholars studying in other member state countries. It means, for example, that an Indian researcher with a visa for France will also be able to easily travel to Germany for a semester.
Employees of international companies will also be able to move more easily from one EU country to another.
The Bundestag also simultaneously implemented another EU directive to allow seasonal workers from outside the EU to have more rights. Their permanent stay will not be allowed, and before entering the country, they will need to have a valid work contract or set job offer under wage and working hour regulations.
The new regulations must still be approved by the Bundesrat, also known as the upper house of parliament.
At a time when the EU is grappling with its future as a cohesive unit in the wake of last year's Brexit vote, the new policies are supposed to “harmonize” regulations among the member states.
The rules are also supposed to “make it easier and more attractive for people from third countries to study or do research”, the European Parliament said in a statement last year.