A hybrid Nd:YAG laser beam welding technique has been investigated in welding of aluminum alloy. Connecting the filler wire with one pole of a DC power supply and the workpiece with the other, a closed electric circuit is built. By this means, the wire is resistively preheated, so that less energy from the laser beam is dissipated in melting the filler metal. On the other hand, the current flowing in the weld pool generates a magnetic field and electromagnetic forces which affect the fluid flow of the weld pool and then the welding process. It is found that the weld depth increases and the weld seam becomes slender when a certain current is supplied. To clarify which effect, the thermal effect or the electromagnetic effect, dominates, welding with pure hot wire was carried out. The experimental results demonstrate that the pure hot wire addition has no obvious affect on the welding efficiency and the weld cross section, but worsens the process instability. Thus we can conclude that the influences of the current do not result from the resistive heat from the wire, but the electromagnetic effects. This new approach provides a possibility to increase the processing efficiency and flexibility, improve the process stability and weld quality, and also shape the seam cross section.