Update Employment Law August 2022
Current opportunities for working migration of Russian nationals to Germany
The war in Ukraine is also having an effect on the Russian labor market. Many young and frequently well qualified Russians wish to leave their country and are attempting to obtain a work visa for Germany. This option is still available to Russian nationals. The German diplomatic missions in Russia, for example the German Embassy in Moscow itself, remain open and applications for visas are possible. This means that if the prerequisites for a residence permit are satisfied, for example an academic qualification recognized in Germany, or one recognized as comparable, plus a local (German) contract of employment, there are fundamentally no obstacles to the granting of a visa.
Jurisdiction of the diplomatic mission
Since February 2022 many Russians have left their country for various reasons. They have often travelled to countries such as Georgia or Montenegro, where Russians are permitted to enter without first having to obtain a visa. From there they then try to enter other countries, including Germany. This requires a visa in all cases.
As a fundamental rule, the application for a visa to enter Germany must be submitted to the responsible German diplomatic mission. This is generally the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the applicant's place of residence. In practice however, returning to Russia in order to submit a visa application to the German Embassy in Moscow is frequently not an option for these people. At the same time, the German diplomatic missions in Georgia or Montenegro frequently turn these people away immediately due to a lack of proof of residence and the absence of a residence permit.
However, the place of habitual abode - which determines the place at which the application must be submitted - can also shift on a purely defacto basis. If a person has given up his or her original address in Russia, residence in the other country can quickly become established. An important factor is that the applicant is able to await the outcome of this visa process locally. In practice however, it is understandably often difficult for the Embassy staff to check this. If the "stranded" persons explain the situation to the German Embassy in advance, the latter can declare itself responsible. Nevertheless, applicants should obtain confirmation of this at least in the form of an email, in order to prevent themselves from being turned away immediately by the security personnel, or at the latest by the counter clerk.
Global consent of the German Federal Employment Agency
Certain work visas require the consent of the Federal Employment Agency. The circumstances in which such visas can be granted is regulated by law and not left to the discretion of the Federal Employment Agency. To enable speedy entry of skilled employees from Russian branches of sister companies, the Federal Employment Agency has issued so-called global approval.
Applicants must satisfy the following requirements
- Place of residence or habitual abode in Russia, or relocation abroad as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine
- Employment with internationally operating companies in Russia
- Application for a visa for continued employment at a German subsidiary or site of the same company
- Application for a visa for the EU Blue Card, skilled workers or employees with pronounced vocational knowledge of information and communications technology, or with company-specific specialist knowledge
- Salary of at least 43,992.00 EUR gross per annum or 50,760.00 EUR gross per annum for employees with pronounced vocational knowledge
This global approval is valid for a limited period up until 30 September 2022. In this way, the German government is attempting to comply with the desire of German business to continue employing specialists from Russian branches in many cases. This can be for humanitarian or economic reasons, or even both.
Working migration from Russia to Germany is still possible. The diplomatic missions of the Federal Republic of Germany in Russia are open. There is no risk of rejection purely on the grounds of Russian nationality. Rather, by issuing global approval, the German government has endeavored to simplify and accelerate the procedure for well qualified skilled employees.