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At a Glance
As a reminder, the following changes to the German immigration
system will take effect March 1, 2020:
- A new departure notification
requirement for early terminations, for both employers and foreign
- Facilitated work authorization for
foreign nationals with vocational training and professional
- Fast-track skilled migration
immigration processing for local hires; and
- Review of overall compliance of
sponsoring companies during application processing.
new immigration bill will overhaul the German skilled migration
system starting March 1, 2020.
A closer look
The bill introduces the following key changes:
New departure notification
- Effective March 1, 2020, employers
will, for the first time in Germany, need to notify the local
immigration office of early terminations of assignments or
employment within four weeks of the employer's knowledge of
- Foreign nationals should notify the
local immigration office of early terminations within two weeks of
the employee's termination.
- Notifications need to be submitted
with the respective immigration office. Currently, information that
needs to be provided with the notification includes the name of
employer and employee, birth date and nationality of employee and
- Notification is not required if the
planned assignment or employment end date is less than one month in
Improved access to work authorization
based on vocational training and professional
- Vocationally-trained foreign
nationals will be able to obtain a six-month job search visa, where
no visa or permit option is currently available for these
- Vocationally-trained workers will be
able to obtain work authorization for non-shortage roles, where
they can now only obtain work authorization for shortage
- Workers with extensive relevant
professional experience will be able to obtain a visa in shortage
occupations such as information technology and engineering.
Fast track process and opportunity to
create central immigration office
- The Government Fast Track Processes
will only be applicable for locally-hired foreign workers,
including EU Blue Card applicants.
- The new Skilled Immigration Act
states that each of the 16 German States can create central
immigration offices, which would consolidate processes and function
as one-stop-shop for the newly implemented Government Fast Track
- In German States that will not create
a Central Immigration Office, the Government Fast Track Process
will be processed by the normal Central Immigration Office.
- The Federal Employment Agency would
review employer compliance with tax and social security, employer
solvency as well as other corporate information as a standard part
of the current work authorization pre-approval process through new
application forms requiring additional employer information.
- New forms have not been
- It is possible that after March 1,
2020, the Federal Employment Agency may request additional
documents after submission of the application.
The new law increases Germany's attractiveness for foreign
talent while increasing the compliance burden on sponsoring
During a transitional phase, Fragomen expects processing delays
of several weeks for all permit types for skilled migration,
including the EU Intracompany Transferee Permit and EU Blue Card.
Employers and foreign nationals are advised to plan for such delays
in determining work start dates.
The history of the bill is depicted below:
Over the coming months, German authorities have to adapt to new
processes and requirements – employer should therefore expect
inconsistent handling of requirements and new processes by German
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.
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