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The Berlin Rathaus, the seat of the State Government of Berlin and Office of the Lord Mayor/Photo:AfricanCourierMedia

Berlin’s new State Office for Immigration takes off

The Berlin Ausländerbehörde (Berlin Foreigners’ Registration Office) became the Landesamt für Einwanderung (“State Office for Immigration”) on 1 January 2020. 

Berlin became the first German state to establish an independent agency for immigrants in anticipation of the new Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz (Skilled Labour Immigration Act), which goes into effect in March.

For the director of the State Office for Immigration, the new name means much more than just a new sign at the entrance. “It is the first time that a German agency has the word immigration in its name. We are entering uncharted territory,” explains Engelhard Mazanke with pride.

For the director, the new name is a political signal to further develop and restructure the office. After all, Berlin is the most popular immigration city in Germany and urgently needs specialists: “We want to make access easier. We want to make the procedures more efficient. We want the authorities to cooperate better.”

There will be a special section for skilled labour migrants from 1 March when the Skilled Labour Immigration Act enters into force. The law should help German companies and institutions to hire foreign skilled personnel, such as nurses or engineers, faster.

Since the Office for Immigration is taking on additional responsibilities, it will be hiring and training 73 new staff members in the months, it has been announced.

Sola Jolaoso

Visit Berlin’s State Office for Immigration at: https://www.berlin.de/einwanderung/

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