Germany: Further new provisions for Skilled Workers now in force

The second stage of Germany’s new Skilled Immigration Act came into force on 1 March 2024.  The new law will make it easier for foreign skilled workers to come to Germany.

This follows the first stage of the new regulations, which came into effect in November 2023. The third stage, due to be implemented from June 2024, will include the introduction of a job search opportunity card.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that the new regulations are an important building block in countering the skills gap in Germany, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and making Germany more attractive for foreign skilled workers.

The recently effected second stage includes the following provisions:

Skilled workers with practical work experience 

Workers with two years’ practical experience in non-regulated careers are now able to work in Germany without needing to get official recognition for their qualifications.

They only need to hold a degree or similar vocational qualification recognised by the country where the qualification was awarded. The vocational training must have lasted at least two years. Certain qualifications from German Chambers of Commerce Abroad may be valid.

Nurses and carers from non-EU states

In future, people who have trained as nursing assistants for only one or two years will be able to take on permanent jobs in the healthcare system in Germany.

This was previously only possible for nurses who had completed three years of training. The condition for this is that applicants have trained as a nurse/nursing assistant in Germany or hold a foreign nursing qualification which is recognised in Germany.

Residence for recognition of foreign vocational qualifications 

In regulated professions such as nursing and education, skilled workers will still be able to travel to Germany before their vocational qualification has been officially recognised. This opportunity is now being widened to other groups.

To take advantage of the new rules, the skilled worker and their employer enter into a “recognition partnership”. The requirement for this is that the skilled worker holds a state-recognised vocational qualification (of at least two years’ duration) from their country of origin, or a university degree. The skilled worker also needs German language skills.

Further information on how foreign vocational qualifications are recognised can be found here.

Support with German immigration

If you are looking to work in Germany and require support with the immigration process, Smith Stone Walters can help.

Our team of immigration advisors in Frankfurt can assist you every step of the way, from assessing your eligibility to filing the visa application on your behalf. To find out how we can help, please contact us today.


Disclaimer: In accordance with the German law governing legal advice and services (RDG, section 2 subsection 1) our services do not include any legal advice.

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