The German Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, has passed a new law allowing foreigners with a short-term “tolerated stay” status to apply for a permanent residence card.
Germany has changed its immigration laws in response to the country’s serious labor crisis. Individuals under the age of 27 will be awarded an 18-month permit with the possibility of obtaining permanent residency after only three years. “We want people who are already well integrated to have a fair chance of staying,” Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, in a statement.
Criminals and those who use false claims or active identity deception to avoid deportation will be barred. The Bundestag also resolved to expedite asylum proceedings on Friday. This means that the individuals will have legal status for a year and a half, allowing them easier access to the work market. This, in turn, will make it easier for these migrants to meet the requirements for a long-term stay permit.
These conditions, which are part of the Residency Act, include primarily German language skills (A2), confirmation of identity, and the ability to pay their own living expenses for older persons (though there are some exceptions to this, mainly if they are attending school or university, or raising children alone).
The new “opportunity right of residency” permit cannot be extended, which means that if people do not meet the residency permit conditions within a year and a half, their status will revert to “tolerated stay.”
Europe’s largest economy is aging, and there is a severe shortage of skilled workers.
To attract more foreign workers, income limits for the Blue Card for work migration would be reduced. A so-called opportunity card for persons with high potential will also be introduced. “In the competition for talent and helping hands, we are offering new, and above all easier, ways to work in Germany,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said, when he outlined the proposals on Wednesday.