Germany’s non-EU worker reform will arrive in March 2024
A watershed reform to Germany’s skilled worker immigration law will be implemented in March 2024, a government spokesperson has revealed.
Date set for German immigration law reform
Almost two weeks after German politicians waved the introduction of a points-based immigration law through the Bundestag, a date has been set for the new law to be adopted.
According to an exclusive interview with The Local, a spokesperson from the German Interior Ministry has said that the new law is likely to apply from March 2024 onwards.
The law is designed to encourage more non-EU skilled workers to move to Germany and help to plug the country’s record-high worker shortage. Currently, only non-EU citizens with a concrete job offer from an employer in Germany are granted a visa to work. The new law includes the introduction of a points-based Chancenkarte ("Opportunity Card").
The Chancenkarte will allow jobseekers who can financially support themselves to live in Germany for up to a year while they look for work. Unlike current visas, which bind applicants to certain positions, the Chancenkarte will also allow holders to switch jobs and engage in temporary or part-time work while they are looking for more long-term employment.
Rules will be relaxed around family reunification
As part of the new bill, non-EU skilled workers coming to Germany after March 2024 will also have greater opportunities to bring their families once they have made the move.
In future, people who arrive in Germany after the reform policy is implemented will be able to apply for a family reunification visa to bring their parents or in-laws to the federal republic.
It should also get easier for people to bring nuclear family members to Germany. "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 told The Local.
Non-EU workers who come to Germany under the new laws will still have to prove that they can financially support the family members they would like to have join them in Germany but will not have to prove that they have “sufficient living space” for them to occupy once they arrive.
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