Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Current information on the Skilled Immigration Act

The German Bundestag has taken the decision to broaden opportunities for qualified professionals to work in Germany. The Skilled Immigration Act will make it easier for qualified professionals with vocational qualifications from countries outside the European Union (third country) to come and work in Germany. The current provisions for qualified professionals with university degrees will remain unchanged.

When does the Skilled Immigration Act enter into force?

The Skilled Immigration Act is expected to enter into force on March 1, 2020. The bill was adopted by the German Bundestag on 7 June 2019 in the third reading. On 28 june 2019 the Bundesrat approved The Skilled Immigration Act. In the next step, the Federal Government will send the Act to the Federal President to sign it.

What changes will the Skilled Immigration Act introduce?

The Skilled Immigration Act will create the framework under which qualified professionals from third countries can come to work in Germany. The key changes that the Skilled Immigration Act will introduce are as follows: 

  • Qualified professionals will include both university graduates as well as persons with a vocational qualification. As a qualified professional, you will be able to exercise an occupation for which you are qualified. Irrespective of whether you have a university degree or a vocational qualification, you will first be required to have your qualification officially recognised. Under certain conditions, IT specialists can also be given access to the labour market without a formal qualification.  The new Act does not offer any new opportunities for unqualified or low-skilled workers to gain access to the labour market in Germany. 
  • It will be easier to enter the labour market: In cases where a qualified professional has an employment contract and a qualification recognised in Germany, no priority check will be required.
  • The occupations in which qualified professionals with a vocational qualification are eligible to work in Germany will no longer be restricted to occupations experiencing a skills shortage. As long as their qualification is officially recognised, qualified professionals will be eligible to work in Germany in the occupation for which they are qualified no matter their specific profession.
  • Persons with vocational qualifications will be able to come to Germany whilst they look for a job provided that they have sufficient German language skills and are able to sustain themselves financially.
  • Opportunities to come to Germany in order to undertake training will be improved. Recognition procedures will be able to be carried out within Germany from start to finish provided that the Federal Employment Agency (BA) has agreed a placement.

I am a qualified professional. What do I have to do to work in Germany?

The first important thing you need to do is have your qualification recognised in Germany. For further information on how to do this, please click here

Information on the internet

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

Frequently asked questions on the Qualified Professional Immigration Act (German, English)


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