Greater Opportunities for Foreign Students, Scientists and Researchers
The DAAD welcomes the new German right of residence law
Bonn, 1 August 2012. Germany’s Act Implementing the EU Directive on Entry and Residence of Highly Qualified Workers entered into force today. It far exceeds the EU targets and presents foreign students, scientists and researchers with new opportunities in Germany. The President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Professor Margret Wintermantel, explains: ”This new law gives foreign academics more freedom of choice as to whether they extend their stay in Germany or stay here permanently after completing their studies. This is an important step at a time when we are urgently in need of skilled workers. The DAAD expressly welcomes this development.”
The German Act Implementing the EU Directive on Entry and Residence of Highly Qualified Workers brings far-reaching changes to the right of residence in Germany: for example, after completing their studies, foreign students may remain in Germany for 18 months, instead of previously only 12 months, to look for qualified jobs. They may work without time limits during this search phase. Once they have found work in keeping with their qualifications, they no longer require the consent of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA). Another novelty is that, under certain circumstances, they will be eligible for a settlement permit, in other words an indefinite right of residence, as early as after two years. Foreign students can now also work alongside their studies for 120 days, instead of previously only 90 days.Foreign academics can obtain a new right of residence giving them up to 6 months’ time to look for work in Germany. Among other things, this entails having a secured livelihood for the period. In addition to this, anyone able to present an employment contract as an academic or qualified professional with a minimum salary of around €44,800 (around €35,000 for certain scarce professions) may now work in Germany for up to 4 years on the basis of holding an “EU Blue Card”. Holders of an EU Blue Card may, as a rule, apply for a settlement permit after 33 months and, on presenting proof of B1-level German language skills, as early as after 21 months. It was also made easier for the family members of foreign skilled workers to take up employment, for example by no longer requiring the approval of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA).Foreign students and graduates/postgraduates who have individual questions regarding application of the new rules are advised to refer to their local Ausländerbehörde (German Office for Foreigners). The DAAD has put together the most important details for download via the internet.
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