Germany all set to make immigration reforms to make it simpler for foreign labourers to move there

To attract qualified non-EU workers, Germany is preparing to enact adjustments to its immigration laws this week. A law that will make it simpler for qualified workers to immigrate to Germany from outside the EU is expected to pass in Germany.

At the end of March of this year, the German cabinet unveiled draught legislation that it had passed last year in order to fight labour shortages and attract qualified foreign workers.

The coalition government in Germany said on Monday, June 19, that the law would be passed this week.

It is anticipated that the measures to update the nation’s immigration laws will make it simpler for foreign people to work in Germany. It might result in 60,000 more non-EU workers working in Germany each year. Workers with non-academic, occupational training are a major focus of the Skilled Immigration Act’s revisions. Also eased will be the standards already in place for university-educated competent professionals.

Why is Germany revising its immigration policies?

Germany is experiencing a skilled labour shortage, just like many other nations in Europe.

A record number of posts were unfilled in Germany in 2022, according to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), which reported 1.74 million open vacancies nationwide.

Nearly half of the businesses questioned by the Munich-based research institute IFO in July of last year were slowed down by employee shortages.

It seeks to replace this void with competent workers from outside the EU. Red tape, however, is currently causing the nation’s immigration process to lag.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that modernising the visa process would entail “turning it upside down” at a news conference held at the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs (BfAA) on January 17, 2023.

She advocated streamlining the system and enhancing digitalization and efficiency along with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. We are aware that having an adequate supply of talented people is the best way to ensure our future, the effectiveness of our economy, and the effectiveness of our social security institutions, added Scholz.

“Since there is freedom of movement within the European Union, that’s not so tough. It is a bigger challenge for the rest of the world,” he remarked.

How does Germany want to entice qualified foreign labour?

Germany has introduced a new “opportunity card” in an effort to address its skilled labour crisis.

The “chancenkarte” will employ a points system to make it easier for workers with the necessary abilities to enter Germany.

It is intended for those who do not yet have a work contract in Germany and is a component of a plan put forth by manpower Minister Hubertus Heil to alleviate the country’s manpower shortages.

The points-based system will include education, work experience, age, proficiency in German, and ties to Germany.

The industries that need workers will determine the quotas that will be set each year. To qualify for the programme, applicants must additionally fulfil three of the following four requirements:

  • a certification or professional training
  • Three years of experience in your field
  • language prowess or prior experience in Germany
  • 35 years of age or less

Currently, the majority of non-EU citizens must have a job offer in order to move to Germany. Even though there is already a visa specifically for job seekers, the ‘chancenkarte’ is supposed to make the process simpler and quicker for those looking for employment in Germany.

Visa-free entry into Germany is already available to citizens of some countries with visa arrangements, although they can only work temporarily.

Instead of applying from overseas, the opportunity card will enable people to come to the country and hunt for a job or apprenticeship while they are already there. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to cover their living expenses in the interim.

The scheme’s exact specifications have not yet been established. It’s anticipated that the chancenkarte won’t be accessible until at least the end of 2023.

How has Germany’s immigration policy changed most recently?

First off, the new process will make it simpler for anyone without a university degree to enter Germany and find employment.

Second, Germany will be more accepting of work history and credentials accepted in the workers’ home countries. The nation currently has severe requirements for which credentials it will accept.

Thirdly, using the opportunity card to look for work in Germany will be simpler for people without a job offer.

Candidates for employment who meet the requirements and hold degrees or professional certifications will be granted a one-year visa to remain in the nation. They will be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while seeking full-time employment.

For people who have a job offer and a validated diploma, the rules will also be relaxed. Salary ceilings will be decreased, bringing families to Germany will be simpler for workers, and obtaining permanent residency will be simpler.

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