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EXCLUSIVE: Germany's new skilled worker law to come into force 'in March 2024'

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
EXCLUSIVE: Germany's new skilled worker law to come into force 'in March 2024'
A man works in a factory in Dresden. Germany is desperate for skilled workers in manufacturing and elsewhere. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Kahnert

A new law making it easier for skilled workers to move to Germany will likely be implemented on March 1st, 2024, an Interior Ministry spokesperson has confirmed.


Responding to a question on the timeline for the Skilled Worker Immigration Act, the spokesperson told The Local that the highly anticipated changes were scheduled to come into force in March next year.

"On June 23rd 2023, the German Bundestag approved the Federal Government's draft bill on the further development of skilled labour immigration in its second and third readings," the spokesperson explained.

Referring to new plans to ease family reunification for foreigners, he added: "It should be noted that the new regulations on family reunification are expected to come into force from March 2024."

This would mean that, from spring next year, more relaxed immigration rules would apply to qualified workers from non-EU countries.

In its correspondence with The Local, the Interior Ministry also revealed that some of the liberalised rules for family reunification detailed in the bill would only apply to people who moved to Germany on a skilled worker visa on or after March 1st, 2024.

These include giving this group the chance to apply for a family reunification visa for their parents and parents-in-law, provided their partner also lives with them in Germany.

READ ALSO: How foreigners will be able to bring their families to Germany under new skilled worker law

There will also be a significant easing of the rules for skilled workers who want to bring their "core family" to Germany the Interior Ministry explained.

"In the context of the subsequent immigration of the nuclear family (i.e. spouses and minor unmarried children) to a skilled worker, it will be possible in future to dispense with the proof of adequate living space that is required in principle," the spokesperson said.


Under current rules, third-countries nationals who want to bring their partners or children over to Germany to join them need to proof they have "sufficient living space" and that they are able to support their family on their current income without resorting to social welfare.

In future, they will only have to prove that they are able to provide for their family financially.

Encouraging immigration

The new Skilled Worker Immigration Act lays out a number of new immigration pathways, relaxations and incentives for people with qualifications and experience in a specific field to live and work in Germany.

It was drafted by the traffic-light coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP in order to promote immigration that it hopes will plug the country's ever-widening skilled worker gap.


READ ALSO: 8 things to know about Germany's new skilled worker immigration law

Last year, around 630,000 vacancies advertised in Germany lacked qualified applicants, with almost all career sectors desperate for additional staff.

Two Blue Cards for foreign skilled workers are on a table at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Bavaria.

Two Blue Cards for foreign skilled workers are on a table at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Karmann

The latest version of the bill, which is expected to be passed in the Bundesrat on Friday, lays out plans for a new jobseekers' visa known as the Chancenkarte, or Opportunity Card.

This will be a points-based system that will rank applicants based on qualifications, work experience, age, language skills and connections to Germany.

In addition, the government wants to make it more attractive for students to study in Germany and remain in the country afterwards, as well as reducing the salary threshold for applying for an EU Blue Card.


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