Germany’s quota for Western Balkan workers doubles

On June 1, 2024, Germany’s third stage of the Skilled Immigration Act entered into force, bringing several changes that will positively affect Western Balkan workers who want to reach the country for work purposes.

The two most important changes are the introduction of a new Opportunity Card and the increased number of work visas granted under the Western Balkans Regulation. As for the other changes, including some obligations for employers, the authorities explained that they will not start applying before 2026.

In line with the Skilled Immigration Act, the number of temporary work visas granted under the Western Balkans Regulation will double.

Germany will grant annually 50,000 work visas to nationals of the Western Balkan countries instead of the current 25,000.

This change means that nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia will enjoy easier and privileged access to Germany’s labour market.

The Opportunity Card is based on a points system. The document will be issued to foreigners who are recognised as skilled workers and to those who have at least six points using the points system.

To obtain an Opportunity Card, nationals of non-EU countries who want to reach Germany for work purposes must prove that they have completed at least two years of vocational training or hold a university degree as well as possess sufficient German or English language proficiency, at A1 or B1 level, respectively.

Through the Opportunity Card, applicants from third countries will be able to stay in Germany for up to 12 months to look for a job, with the possibility of extending the stay on the basis of the Opportunity Card for an additional two years.

(Euronews, Blic, 12.06.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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