Rights of residence rules are more liberal now and broaden the individual’s freedom of choice, to stay and work in Germany for a certain period or indefinitely

Here is good news for students, researchers and scientists who plan to go to Germany for higher learning. Both the Houses of Parliament of Germany have passed an Act implementing the European Union Directive on entry and residence of Highly Qualified Workers.

The Act brings far-reaching changes to the right of residence in Germany. The students can hereafter take up odd jobs for 120 hours instead of 90 days per year. Also, after completion of their academic course, they could stay in Germany for 18 months instead of 12 months and seek qualified employment. They can work without time limit during this search phase. They need not seek the approval of the German Federal Employment Agency.

Another added advantage of the new visa rules is that students and researchers will be eligible for a settlement permit (Blue Card), in other words, an indefinite right of residence, as early as after two years.

Dr. Stefan Michael Weckbach, Consul General of Federal Republic of Germany in Chennai, says, “Though it is a step in the direction of a ‘welcoming culture’, there is still more to be done. Germany has more number of ageing population. We need strong young skilled workforce from foreign countries to live and work in Germany and enable economic prosperity.”

The new rights of residence rules that are more liberal now, are the result of many years of discussion on how to invite and facilitate skilled foreigners to come to Germany and seek permanent residence. “Thresholds have diminished and we are now more open to foreigners,” he says.

In Germany, all areas of industrial jobs, engineering and IT services are the sectors that have high shortage of skilled workers. After the simplified immigration process, professionals who already have jobs in Germany, can apply for the Blue Card for permanent residence. “Anyone with an employment contract in an academic or professional field with a minimum salary of 44,800 Euro (earlier it was 66,000 Euro) may work in Germany for up to four years using the Blue Card.  The family members of foreign skilled workers will also be allowed to seek employment without the approval of the BA,” Dr. Weckbach said.