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GERMANY – Dependent Work Permission

Effective immediately, the dependents of foreign nationals in Germany will be given permission to work, after an amendment to the law (§ 27 AufenthG, paragraph 5), published in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) on 5 September 2013.

Amendment to the Law

§27 of the German immigration law (Aufenthaltsgesetz), which deals with the rules for residence permits issued for family reunification; i.e. to qualifying dependents of foreign nationals resident in Germany, has been amended. A new paragraph has been added stating Der Aufenthaltstitel nach diesem Abschnitt berechtigt zur Ausuebung einer Erwerbstaetigkeit, or A residence permit granted under this section grants the holder the right to take up gainful employment.

Previously, although dependents of Blue Card holders were given permission to work in Germany, dependents of foreign nationals in Germany with standard residence permits issued for employment purposes were not automatically granted permission.

Dependent Work Permission

The change will make Germany a more attractive destination for highly skilled individuals, for whom spousal work permission can be a key factor in deciding whether to accept an assignment or employment offer in a new country.

Several countries already offer dependent work permission, sometimes only for the dependents of applicants who qualify for highly skilled or highly paid immigration routes.

For example, France gives dependents of Salarié en Mission (intra company transfer) permit or Blue Card holders the right to work, but does not allow family members of temporary workers or lower paid locally hired foreign nationals working permission. The U.S., likewise, allows for a dependent work permission application to be made for spouses of L-1 visa holders (i.e. managerial or highly skilled applicants) but not for spouses of H-1B visa holders.

Action Items

  • Note the change in dependent work permissions in Germany and advise your colleagues in Germany or employees with upcoming assignments/transfers accordingly.

This alert was drafted using information provided by Sterling Relocation in Germany

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.