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November 2020 4 min

Status update: Managing your international employees during Covid-19

Stay up to date with the situation at immigration authorities, entry restrictions and quarantine regulations

With the second Covid-19 wave currently leading to increasing restrictions and partly also lockdowns, we are receiving many questions about the status quo of global mobility and international relocation. Here's a summary of the status quo for you for Germany. Don't want to miss the next update? Sign up to our newsletter here.

Situation at German embassies and immigration authorities

The majority of embassies are currently open. However, some of them in non-EU countries have long waiting times due to the decrease in capacities or even closing of operations earlier this year. Countries with very long waiting times around 12 months are Pakistan and Iran. Other countries facing long waiting times around three months are Tunisia, Egypt and Nigeria. Many embassies are currently also only processing visa applications with high priority, e.g. Ukraine, Russia and Peru. On the bright site, countries with fast processing at the moment include Brazil, India, Ukraine, Canada, USA, Russia, Australia, UAE and the majority of countries from Eastern Europe. You can stay up to date and inform yourself about the respective country on the following sites:

Entry restrictions to Germany

For people coming from the majority of countries entry restrictions are in place. Generally, unrestricted entry to Germany is possible from EU member states, associated Schengen states, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay. Entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent need. Under this condition, skilled professionals and their family members can generally enter when presenting a letter from their employer stating the importance of their presence in Germany, i.e. indicating that the work cannot be performed from abroad.

Note that since November 8th, all travellers have to register online prior to entry, if they have stayed in a risk area within the last 10 days. You can check the website of the RKI to get up to date information on risk areas. A Covid test is always good to have, but not mandatory in all cases.

You can find more information on entry restrictions on the sites of the Federal Foreign Office.

Quarantine regulations in Germany

Generally, quarantine regulations are decided upon by each of the federal states (“Länder”). That means that they can differ between the states, so it is important before arrival to check which regulations apply for your destination. To find out which health authority is the relevant one for you or your employee, the RKI provides a useful postal code tool

If you or your employees are coming from one of the risk areas, quarantine is mandatory for at least 10 days. Please note that also immigration authorities might check whether you or your employees have fulfilled the quarantine period. The Business Immigration Service (BIS) Berlin for example requests to see an entry stamp in order to find out when the person arrived in Germany and they don’t give out appointments before the mandatory quarantine time is over. 

You can find more information on quarantine regulations on the sites of the Federal Foreign Office.

Do you still have questions or need help with a specific case? 

Send us a message or schedule a free consultation.

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