FAQ – „Points-based Model Project for Foreign Skilled Workers (PuMa)“

1. During what period will the model project take place?
The project will take place over a period of three years. The placement of foreign skilled workers to interested employers is possible from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2019.
2. Is it also possible to work in a different German state within the scope of PuMa?

No, the model project is limited to Baden-Wuerttemberg. Business travels are allowed.

After a period of two years a foreign skilled worker can be employed by the same or another employer. They can also be employed in another state within Germany.

3. How can I participate in PuMa?

To participate in PuMa, you need a vocational training qualification and knowledge of the German language of at least level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. To learn how to achieve the 100 points for your integration ability, follow the link to the participation criteria.

4. How are the points assigned in the model project?

The model project’s focus is on the integration ability of the foreign skilled workers. German language proficiency is the central criterion in this context. However, lacking German skills can in part be compensated for by other integration criteria, for example by a legal previous residence in Germany or relatives living in Baden-Wuerttemberg. But also English or French language skills and a previous residence in another EU country for educational or professional purposes can partly compensate for the missing points in the German language section.

5. What changes does the PuMa model project entail for third-country nationals in terms of job opportunities?

For the first time, PuMa gives skilled workers with a recognised vocational training qualification access to all occupations not included in the White List of the Federal Employment Agency provided that the foreign skilled workers satisfy certain requirements with regard to their integration capability. The White List is updated regularly and is here available. A concrete job offer is still required.

6. Is it possible for foreign skilled workers without German language skills to immigrate?
German language skills below A2 level of the Common European Framework of References for Languages cannot access the labour market within the scope of the model project even if they meet other criteria.
7. I am interested in participating in PuMa. Where can I learn more about the model project?

For all questions about the PuMa model project and about working and living in Germany, please contact the Make it in Germany – Migration Support Center of the International and Specialized Services ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

8. Who can I consult about having my job recognised and about the points-based assessment?
Your first point of contact in this matter should also be the Virtuellen Welcome Center. It will inform you about admission requirements, the points model and further details about living and working in Germany. Tel.: +49 228 713-1313 E-Mail: make-it-in-germany@arbeitsagentur.de Webseite: www.make-it-in-germany.com
9. Why is the model project located in Baden-Wuerttemberg?
Baden-Wuerttemberg was chosen as the model region for the pilot project because the state has a low unemployment rate and high demand for skilled workers. Furthermore, operating eleven Welcome Centers, the region moreover has a good infrastructure for foreign skilled workers.
10. Do I have to pay for the costs of professional recognition and proving my integration ability/language certificates?
Yes, you have to pay for the German language certificate and for the recognition procedure. Moreover, you have to pay for the visa procedure and any costs related to proving that you meet the integration ability criteria (e.g. English or French language certificates).
11. When am I allowed to enter Germany?

After your vocational training qualification has been recognised and you have passed the 100 points test and we have placed you with a employer. Once you have a concrete job offer, you can apply for a visa in the Germany embassy and travel to Germany.

12. Where can I get local help after my arrival in Baden-Wuerttemberg?
After arriving in Baden-Wuerttemberg, you can contact one of the Welcome Centers. There are eleven Welcome Centers that provide initial orientation and advice concerning residence permits or everyday life in Germany such as finding accommodation, taxes, insurances and leisure activities.
13. Where can I find out whether my vocational training qualification exists in Germany?

If you are not sure, whether the job you have been trained in exists in Germany, you can look it up here or you can find out whether there might be a reference occupation that is the nearest equivalent as far as qualification and requirements are concerned.

14. Is it possible for me to participate in the model project with a university degree?

Basically yes. A foreign university degree may also be recognised as a vocational training qualification in Germany if the skills and knowledge acquired during the foreign university education are equivalent to the skills and knowledge learned during vocational training. However, this does not apply to third-country nationals who have a foreign university degree that is recognised in Germany or a university degree that is comparable to a German university degree. University graduates can access the German labour market for example through the EU Blue Card. For detailed information on the eligibility requirements for the EU Blue Card, go to www.make-it-in-germany.com.

15. How long can I stay in Germany?
The model project is limited for a period of three years. If after the end of the model project the foreign skilled worker has been employed for less than two years in Baden-Wuerttemberg within the scope of the model project, he or she may continue this employment. The residence permit is issued by the pertinent aliens department initially for a limited period of time and has to be extended after expiry by the pertinent aliens department. If you have a residence permit and have been in legal employment subject to social insurance in Germany for two years within the scope of the model project, the Federal Employment Agency’s consent to be employed is no longer necessary when extending the residence permit. In that case, you may pursue any employment.
16. Date the language certificate is obtained?

In principle language certificates, which are obtained to certify a person’s language skills, should be no more than one year old. The one-year period is considered to start when the first contact is made with the Migration Support Center. A language certificate that was obtained more than one year ago can still be accepted as proof when under certain circumstances it can be demonstrated that the person continues to meet the required language level. Examples include if the person already has a high level of the language, a higher language level has been certified, the one year period has only been slightly exceeded or as part of their communication with the authorities it can only be shown that the applicant can master the language level specified in the language certificate.

17. How can I prove my native language skills?

The “Advanced English or French Skills” criteria can also cover native language skills. This can be proven by means of appropriate supporting documentation e.g., school certificates from a home country in which English or French is an official language. In this case submitting an official language certificate will not be required.