Immigration Germany Inbound: BREXIT NEWS
It’s the end of January 2019 and the UK Parliament is still heading for a hard BREXIT, due to happen on March 29ththis year. While we all hope for a different solution, German employers and their UK employees should act in preparation for better and worse. EU nationals are entitled to the EU Freedom of Movement and do not require any kind of permit to live and work in Germany. When the UK leaves the Union, however, UK nationals’ immigration status immediately changes from EU citizen to that of an unprivileged third country national who by law requires a visa or immigration permit in order to enter the Schengen Area and work in Germany.
What if a No-Deal Hard BREXIT happens?
The German government has announced their intent to allow a 3-months transition period for UK nationals registered in Germany on March 29th. According to their information, UK nationals residing in Germany on March 29thmay remain in Germany and continue their current occupation for the duration of 3 months while applying for a permit. Details of the planned transition regulation are however still unclear. The following questions remain unanswered:
- Will UK nationals that are planned to start their employment in Germany after February 29thneed to apply for a visa?
- Will their accompanying spouses be obliged to present an A1 German language certificate?
- Are UK nationals under the transition regulation free to travel within/abroad Schengen borders?
- Will UK nationals, that do not qualify for an immigration permit under German immigration law with their current employment, be able to continue to live and work in Germany after the transition period?
While we try to clarify these details with the German government, we nevertheless German employers prepare for a hard BREXIT.
We recommend all German employers to:
- Immediately identify their UK population (including third country nationals married to a UK national) in Germany
- Start collecting the relevant immigration documents (please contact us if you require checklists)
- Prepare immigration applications in order to register and file shortly before / after March 29th
- Already prepare & file visa applications for UK national employees with a start date after March 29th
- Postpone business travel of UK nationals scheduled for April to a later date.
Draft Law on Corporate Immigration Law
The German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community introduced a draft for a new law on corporate immigration. The draft law has been published for discussion of the civil associations and shall be put forth into regular law making process on December 19th.
The draft law does not change the existing rules on immigration of highly qualified workers, acclaimed by the OECD as being a very good immigration law. It also keeps the notion that immigration in principle requires an employment contract prior to entering Germany and that all foreign workers must be employed with working conditions at least equal to those of German personnel. The draft law does introduce new categories for qualified workers without an academic education reflecting on the shortage of employees currently experienced by the German employers. Workers with limited vocational training may obtain required additional qualifications within a period of several years after arrival in Germany during employment. Furthermore the new law introduces a fast track to expedite workers migration and restructures the administration in order to streamline the processing. Finally, it enables workers with a vocational training as well as workers with academic qualifications to enter Germany for a limited period of six months in order to search for employment if they can sustain their costs of living using sufficient funds. The draft also introduces an obligation to employers to notify the authorities if an employment relationship ends prematurely and clarifies that the work permit contained in the immigration visa / permits shall be automatically transferred to allow employment with the new employer when a corporate restructuring affects the employment relationship.
With the draft law Germany clearly defines the country as open for employee migration and welcomes qualified workers. The draft provides some answers to the administrative problems and shortcomings that employee migrants currently experience in the process. Hopes are high that employee migration to Germany will improve in the coming years.
Increase of the required minimum salary for the Blue Card EU 2019
Please note that on 1stJanuary 2019, as every year, the income threshold for contributions into the German public pension scheme will be raised on the basis of general wage developments.
Given that the minimum salary for a Blue Card EU is set as a percentage of this reference amount, this threshold will be adjusted as well.Thus, from 1stJanuary 2019 on, an applicant will presumably have to receive a minimum annual salary of EUR 53.600 (instead of the current minimum of EUR 52.000) in order to obtain a Blue Card EU. A reduced salary threshold for certain shortage occupations will presumably be set at EUR 41.808 (instead of currently EUR 40.560).
Additional prerequisites for the Blue Card EU remain an offered local employment by a German company and a university degree comparable to German standards that fits the job description.
The new thresholds are not relevant for Blue Cards that have already been issued, but will have to be complied with for any new or renewal applications from 1stJanuary 2019 onwards.
Summary of reports to the press conference "Recruitment of skilled workers: Is an immigration law sufficient?" From 20.11.2018 in Berlin
Who is Who Legal Thought Leaders - Bettina Offer
Bettina Offer is now represented with her biography as a Thought Leader by Who is Who Legal.
Please follow this Link to the website of Who is Who Legal
Bettina Offer in an interview for Welt.de - Only the immigration law is not enough for Germany's success
Read here the article in the economic section of Welt.de on the occasion of the draft for a new immigration law. Bettina Offer shares her practical experience in an interview.
New Legal Weekly - What is missing for an immigration country
Bettina Offer has published an editorial titled "What is missing for an immigration country" in the latest issue 43 of the New Legal Weekly
Click here for the article: