Germany introduces dedicated esports visa; effective spring 2020

▲  photo by Michal Konkol for Riot Games


The German Federal Government has approved the changes in regulation in correspondence to the new Skilled Immigration Act, which will introduce a dedicated esports visa in spring of 2020. Germany, specifically Berlin, is a hotspot for premiere esports events, specifically for League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and PLAYER UNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG).

Before today, Germany did not recognize esports as an official job or competition despite its popularity in the country. Germany has hosted many a CS:GO major in years past, and Riot Games' premiere European LoL Esports league, the LEC, moved to Berlin ahead of the 2015 EU LCS season. 


Organizations like German Esports Federation ESBD have worked hard for the past few years in trying to legitimize esports vocations to the German government. President Hans Jagnow gave his thoughts on how the new visa regulations would benefit the esports community at all levels: 


“The German esports visa will be a big advantage for events hosted in Germany. We are the first country to establish a dedicated visa category for esports. There are more international esports events expected to take place in Germany. The visa requirements for esports professionals should be harmonized internationally in order to allow easy access to tournaments and leagues for esports athletes all over the world.”




Certain conditions apply for the new German esports visa: a minimum age of 16 years, a certain salary and a confirmation of professional activity by the federation responsible for esports. The revised visa regulations will become effective in conjunction with the Skilled Immigration Act, presumably in March 2020.

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