What is the change? Non-EU nationals applying for work and residence permits or in need of other immigration-related services are continuing to see delays in Germany as authorities have shifted resources toward helping thousands of asylum seekers.

What does the change mean? Applicants should prepare for delays. Visa-exempt nationals – including nationals of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S. – may want to consider obtaining an entry visa before traveling to Germany. This option allows visa-exempt nationals to begin working immediately upon arriving in Germany while they wait for a work permit to be processed.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and residence permits, other immigration-related services.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for work and residence permits or seeking other immigration-related services in Germany.
  • Impact on processing times: Delays vary from location to location, but in some cases applications have been delayed several weeks.
  • Business impact: Employers may need to adjust start dates and timelines.

Background: Germany has been experiencing delays for months, as officials have shifted resources toward dealing with the migration crisis. Delays vary from location to location and have persisted into the new year as asylum seekers continue to enter Germany in huge numbers.

BAL Analysis: Non-EU nationals submitting applications for work and residence permits should apply as early as possible. They must also make sure they have completed their application properly and submitted the correct supporting documentation. Applications may receive heightened scrutiny, as German officials grapple with the migration crisis. Visa-exempt nationals should consider applying for and obtaining entry visas abroad in order to be eligible to work in Germany immediately upon arrival. Contact your BAL attorney to discuss the best options for those in need of urgent immigration services in Germany.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Germany. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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