The lack of skilled workers has been affecting the economic growth of several countries and this situation tends to worsen. The OECD ( reported that there is a lack of 1.2 million skilled workers in Germany and predicts an extension of that shortage of up to 3 million by 2030. Engineering, healthcare and IT are the top 3  most affected sectors.

The main reasons for this situation are the life expectancy increase and birth rate decrease. As this problem affects most of the other EU countries, it is necessary for these markets to expand their scope of recruitment out of the EU region. In order to facilitate recruitment from non-EU countries, the regulations have recently changed.


In the past, people from non-EU countries would be only allowed to come and work in Germany by fulfilling specific conditions such as:

  1. Having already a German work contract;
  2. Being qualified to perform a specific type of work/skill.


To try to overcome partially this problem, in March 2020 a new Immigration Act for Skilled Workers came into force, relaxing some of the rules that existed before, in order to facilitate to the skilled workers from non-EU countries to come to Germany and find a job. This Act, therefore, has the goal of regulating the entrance of workers into the German labour market and at the same time to protect them from being exploited and work in illegal conditions.

To be considered a skilled worker you must have one of these qualifications:

  • University degree
    recognised in Germany
  • Qualified professional training
    recognised in Germany


What are the changes introduced by this new regulation?

  1. Employment contract: from March 2020 you do not need to have an employment contract to be granted a residence permit for six months, during which will have to find a job.
  2. The Federal Employment Agency does not require to the hiring companies to first check if there are German and EU applicants suitable to fill a position before to allow companies hiring a skilled worker from outside of the EU (please bear in mind that this can be reversed if the job market changes in the future).
  3. The categories of skilled workers that are allowed to come to Germany are not restricted to the ones in shortage.

What are the requirements to come to Germany under the Skilled Workers Immigration Act?

  1. Must have to have a qualification that can be recognised by the German authorities (you can check this on
  2. Achieved, prior to coming to Germany, a good level of German language (at least B1). This level must be proved by a valid certificate.
  3. You will have to prove that you can maintain yourself financially during the job search period as you can not apply to any maintenance benefits during this period. While searching for a job you can take a 10 hour/week mini-job, in order to help you to pay for your expenses.
  4. All job seekers must have mandatory health insurance, as well as an address where they live and that can be verified (Anmeldung).
  5. The salary earned when starting a job must provide for a normal standard of living.
  6. The new employment contract must be full-time (for at least 35 hours/week) and subject to all the contributions, including social security.

The changes in the Skilled Workers Immigration Act has broadened the scope of non-EU workers that can come to Germany, making also possible that both the qualification recognition and the visa permit to be obtained in a shorter amount of time.



If you are a qualified nurse and would like to know more about the process of coming to Germany to work in your field of specialisation, Care With Care (CWC) program – Your Journey to Germany is here to help you get your dream job. Our full program will take care of your qualification recognition and visa permit as well as will grant you an employment contract. It also includes a fully German training component, in case you do not have the required language knowledge (that must be at least B1 level*).

Subscribe to our weekly content

News and stories about nursing jobs in Europe