The German rules regulating immigration for citizens of a number of West Balkan states has been extended and amended.
The West Balkan Immigration regulation currently enables citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to obtain a combined work/residence permit for Germany if they apply for it at the competent German mission abroad (s19c paragraph 1 of the Residence Act, s26 paragraph 2 of the Employment Regulation). The required consent of the Federal Employment Office can be granted for any work (e.g. on a local employment contract or on a secondment) regardless of the person's qualification, but is subject to a labour market test.
The West Balkan regulation was initially limited in time until 31 December 2020; the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has now approved its extension and amendment until 31 December 2023, with a new maximum number of 25,000 Employment Agency consents to be issued per year.
The West Balkan Immigration Regulation does not concern applications for other work/residence permits from citizens of the above-mentioned countries, such as for students and (highly) skilled workers (e.g. Blue Cards).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.