Short-term employment: businesses can now recruit staff from abroad for busy periods on a temporary basis

The second stage of the new Skilled Immigration Act enters into effect on 1st March. One component is known as the “short-term quota-based employment”, which supplements the Skilled Immigration Act. This enables employers to hire foreign workers at short notice during busy periods.

20 Feb 2024 | Press release no.8

“The new short-term employment offers employers – such as those with seasonal businesses – the possibility to recruit foreign workers and to employ them subject to social security contributions and according to collective wage agreements. This can help during busy periods when the sufficient domestic potential isn’t available,” explained Vanesa Ahuja, executive board member and responsible for International Business at the BA.
The new regulation gives employers the opportunity to hire foreign workers for up to eight months to cover shortages at peak times – in the hotels and catering industry or at airports, for example. Vocational training or a degree are not required. In principle, the BA can grant consent and/or a work permit for any employment in Germany.
It is often the case that jobs in the catering industry, for example, can’t be filled by domestic single parents who have children because the working hours fall in the evenings or at weekends.

Recruitment by the businesses

The workers are recruited and hired by the businesses themselves, while the BA is responsible for checking that the requirements are fulfilled.
These requirements include employment in Germany in a role with at least 30 hours per week, the employer’s commitment to a collective wage agreement and pay in accordance with the applicable collective wage agreement, as well as the covering of the travel expenses by the employer.

BA sets the quota

The regulation also provides for a quota that is set by the BA. For 2024, the BA has set a quota of 25,000 approvals for all industries. This does not apply to harvest workers in agriculture.
From March, employers can also conveniently apply to the BA for a work permit or for a preliminary approval for a residence permit for workers from abroad online at