The Skilled Immigration Act & Changes to the Blue Card Application Process
The new Skilled Immigration Act boasts a variety of positive changes for Blue Card Applicants. These six changes became effective in November 2023.
Change 1: Lower Salary Thresholds
The minimum salary or earning requirements have been reduced to a pre-tax annual salary of 43,800€ (previously 58,400€).
For applicants applying for in demand or bottleneck jobs (Engpassberufen) and young professionals, the minimum salary or earning requirements have been reduced to a pre-tax annual salary of 39,682€ (previously 45,552€).
Change 2: Broader Range of Potential Applicants
More foreign skilled workers will have the opportunity to apply for the EU Blue Card under the new Skilled Immigration Act. In the future, any non-EU citizen who has obtained a university degree within the last three years, may apply for an EU blue card. The minimum pre-tax annual salary is 39,682€ (a minimum salary of 45.3% of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for pension insurance). This applies to both bottleneck professions and regular occupations.
Change 3: IT Specialists
IT specialists can now apply and receive a Blue Card under the new Skilled Worker Immigration Law without a college degree. Applicants must have at least 3 years of comparable professional experience, written documentation must be provided at the time of application. The minimum pre-tax annual salary in 2023 is 39,682€.
Hopefully this change will alleviate the particularly high shortage of skilled workers in the IT industry throughout Germany.
Change 4: Additional Occupational Fields now considered in demand or bottleneck professions
The number of in demand occupations will be increased with the new Skilled Immigration Act.
In the future, the following professional groups will be considered as in demand or bottleneck occupations: veterinarians, pharmacists, nursing and midwifery specialists, teachers and educators, child care and healthcare, information professionals and communication technology, executives in the manufacturing and production of goods in mining, construction and logistics.
Change 5: Mobility
Holders of an EU Blue Card issued by another EU Member State will be entitled to short-term and long-term mobility in Germany.
Short-term mobility: For a maximum stay of 90 days, Blue Card holders from other EU countries will be able come to Germany and stay here for the purpose of a business activity directly related to their employment. Neither a visa nor a work permit from the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is required for such short stays.
Long-term mobility changes: After a minimum stay of twelve months with an EU Blue Card in another EU country, long-term residence in Germany is possible without a visa. After entering Germany, the professional must apply to the Immigration Authority for a German EU Blue Card.
Changes 6: Family Reunification
EU Blue Card holders who have already lived in another EU Member State with their family will be entitled to privileged family reunification. If these family members require a visa due to their nationality, they will be entitled to enter and reside in Germany as family members of an EU Blue Card holder with the residence permit issued in a previous Member State without having to undergo a visa procedure beforehand. When a residence permit is issued in Germany, the requirements of sufficient living space (Section 29 para. 1 no. 2 of the Residence Act ) and the requirement to secure one’s livelihood (Section 5 para. 1 no. 1 of the Residence Act) will no longer apply.