The West Balkan Immigration regulation currently enables citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to obtain a combined work/residence permit for Germany if they apply for it at the competent German mission abroad (s19c paragraph 1 of the Residence Act, s26 paragraph 2 of the Employment Regulation). The required consent of the Federal Employment Office can be granted for any work (e.g. on a local employment contract or on a secondment) regardless of the person’s qualification, but is subject to a labour market test.
The West Balkan regulation was initially limited in time until 31 December 2020; the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has now approved its extension and amendment until 31 December 2023, with a new maximum number of 25,000 Employment Agency consents to be issued per year.
The West Balkan Immigration Regulation does not concern applications for other work/residence permits from citizens of the above-mentioned countries, such as for students and (highly) skilled workers (e.g. Blue Cards).