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Regulations on executive employee immigration amended

Written by
Kliemt.HR Lawyers, the first port of call in employment law for top-class and future-proof advice.
The rules on employing executives from abroad in Germany have changed. This article provides details.

Regulations regarding the immigration of executive employees have recently changed. Under these rules,

  • leading employees (who meet specific criteria, e.g. with power to hire and dismiss employees or who have general power of attorney for the company);
  • managing directors and CEOs entitled to legal representation of the company; and
  • specialists with company-specific knowledge for the exercise of qualified local employment;


are eligible for a combined residence/work permit for the purpose of employment if their working conditions are not less favourable than those of comparable domestic employees. Regarding salary, this will usually be assumed if the employee will earn at least EUR 82,800 gross salary per year in the new position (2020 threshold).

Alternatively, executive employees may also be eligible for a ‘Blue Card EU’, the newly introduced residence/work permit for the purpose of qualified employment pursuant to the Skilled Immigration Act, or an ICT Card.

Please note that the above only applies to employees, while self-employed executives (often applicable to managing directors) will require a residence/work permit for the purpose of self-employment.

Companies should assess in each individual case which residence/work permit the employee is eligible for and which is the most advantageous.

Julia Uznanski
Julia Uznanski
Associate - Germany
Kliemt.HR Lawyers