Accelerated skilled worker procedure

Accelerated skilled worker procedure

Since the entry into force of the Skilled Workers Immigration Act, companies, in cooperation with the foreign skilled worker concerned, have had the option under Section 81a of the Residence Act (Accelerated Skilled Worker Procedure) of accelerating the administrative procedure for issuing the visa.

Requirements for the accelerated skilled worker procedure

In order to apply for the accelerated skilled worker procedure, the following requirements in particular must be met:

  • Equivalence of the professional qualification acquired abroad
  • Concrete job offer
  • If applicable, a professional practice permit
  • If necessary, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency

Recognized or equivalent foreign qualification

The accelerated skilled worker procedure serves to facilitate the immigration of skilled workers. A skilled worker within the meaning of the Skilled Worker Immigration Act is a person who has either completed domestic qualified vocational training (usually with a minimum duration of two years), has acquired a foreign professional qualification equivalent to domestic qualified vocational training, or holds a university degree comparable to a German university degree.

The question of equivalent foreign professional qualifications is particularly relevant here. In particular, shorter vocational training courses are equivalent if they do not show any significant differences to German vocational training, or if these differences have been compensated for.

The qualified specialist must therefore have a qualification recognized in Germany.

Employment contract or a concrete job offer

Furthermore, the specialist must have an employment contract or a concrete job offer.

Approval of the Federal Employment Agency

If necessary, the Foreigners' Registration Office obtains the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. In doing so, the Federal Employment Agency checks whether the working conditions correspond to those agreed by collective bargaining or to those customary in the region.

Professional license

In the event that the profession sought by the professional is a regulated profession (e.g. human medicine), the professional must prove the existence of a commitment to such a profession.

Pre-approval of the visa

Provided that all requirements are met, the foreigners authority issues a preliminary approval of the visa. This can then be forwarded by the employer to the skilled worker for submission to the German mission abroad. This will expedite the appointment to apply for the visa. An application appointment must be granted within three weeks. A decision on the visa will also be made within three weeks of the application date.

Procedure of the accelerated skilled worker procedure

Provided the requirements are met, the professional must authorize their future employer to apply on their behalf.

If the employer then initiates the accelerated skilled worker procedure, an agreement is concluded between the foreigners authority and the employer, which contains the precise obligations of the employer, the skilled worker and the authorities involved.

If the university degree is not recognized in Germany, the Foreigners' Registration Office initiates the procedure for recognition or equivalence testing of the foreign qualification.

Advantages: Accelerated skilled worker procedure

The accelerated procedure for skilled workers significantly shortens the duration of the administrative procedure until the visa is issued, thus simplifying the entry of skilled workers from non-EU third countries. Depending on the individual case, the accelerated procedure for skilled workers can also be carried out when applying for an EU Blue Card.

Costs of the accelerated skilled worker procedure

The fees for the accelerated procedure for skilled workers at the Foreigners' Registration Office are currently EUR 411. In addition, there are the fees for the visa as well as the fees for the recognition of the qualification. However, these vary from case to case.