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A Chinese nurse learning German in Beijing. Skills shortage is also a big issue in German hospitals. According to a recent report, the federal government is trying to woo nurses abroad. For example in the European countries such as Spain or Portugal - but also in the Philippines or China / Photo: Screenshot/DW

Immigration of skilled workers from non-EU countries to Germany on the rise

Last year, about 38,000 migrants from third countries received a residence permit in Germany because of their work experience and skills. Compared to 2009, it’s an increase of more than 50 percent. Most came from India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA, Serbia and China.

The immigration of skilled workers from non-EU countries to Germany is increasing. Last year, more than twice as many skilled workers from non-EU countries came to Germany as in 2009, according to a study published Friday (23 November) by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Gütersloh. However, this form of immigration is still at a low level.

According to the information, about 38,100 skilled immigrants from third countries received a specific residence permit in 2017. This corresponds to seven percent of the 545,000 who migrated to the country from outside the EU last year. Most of these professionals came from India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the USA, Serbia and China.

According to the study, more people from EU countries came to Germany than from third countries in 2017 – as was the case in the years before 2015. Immigration has normalized after the wave of immigration of refugees in 2015 and 2016, according to the study. The proportion of refugees among all immigrants fell between 2015 and 2017 from 23 percent to 10 percent.

The majority of the 635,000 people who moved to Germany from EU countries in 2017 were, according to the study, Romanians, Poles, Bulgarians, Croats and Italians.

All in all, many immigrants from EU countries are skilled workers: more than 60 percent of migrants from EU countries living in Germany, for example, have a university degree or vocational qualification.

However, Germany did not gain new skilled workers only through immigration. Students from abroad increasingly stayed on in Germany after their studies to work in the country.

Sola Jolaoso


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