Imagility News

Germany’s updated immigration law is facilitating the movement of foreign workers to the country.

The initial phases of a new law, set to facilitate the entry of skilled workers from outside the EU into Germany, are anticipated to take effect in November. Approved by the German government in July, the law is scheduled to be implemented in three stages November 2023, March 2024, and June 2024.

The primary objective of the new law is to attract skilled foreign workers and address labor shortages in the country. The anticipated reforms to the Skilled Immigration Act are focused on individuals with vocational, and non-academic training, and will also relax existing rules for qualified professionals with university degrees.

Germany is undergoing these changes due to a shortage of skilled workers, reaching a record high in 2022 with 1.74 million vacant positions. The revised immigration policies aim to simplify and expedite the process for skilled workers from outside the EU to fill this gap.

The modernization of the visa process is a key aspect, aiming to streamline bureaucracy and enhance the digitization and efficiency of the system. The government recognizes the importance of attracting skilled workers to ensure the future efficiency of the economy and social security systems.

To attract skilled foreign workers, Germany is introducing an ‘opportunity card’ (‘chancenkarte’) utilizing a points-based system. This system considers qualifications, professional experience, age, German language skills, and ties to Germany. The card is part of a strategy proposed by Labour Minister Hubertus Heil and is designed for individuals without a work contract in Germany.

The ‘chancenkarte’ is expected to make it easier for people to search for jobs or apprenticeships in Germany without the need for a prior job offer. It will set annual quotas based on industry needs and require applicants to meet specific criteria.

The key changes to Germany’s immigration policies include facilitating entry for individuals with professional experience, recognizing job experience and qualifications from native countries, and making it easier for those without a job offer to seek work through the opportunity card.

Industries most affected by staff shortages in Germany include skilled crafts, electrical engineering, IT, caregiving, nursing, catering, and hospitality. The service sector, particularly accommodation and events, warehousing, manufacturing (especially food, data processing equipment, machinery, and metal manufacturing), retail, construction, and wholesale sectors are reported to be worst hit by shortages. The pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as automotive and mechanical engineering, experience comparatively lower shortages.

Source: Yahoo