The immigration conditions for IT workers are to be improved even further under the proposed legislation/ Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Germany: Minister presents proposed skilled labour immigration law

Germany wants to tackle the shortage of skilled workers by making it easier for qualified foreigners to work in the country. Federal Labour Minister Heil has now presented the key points of a proposed immigration law

Germany’s Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil, a member of the SPD, has presented the key points of an immigration law proposal put forward by his ministry. Germany needs qualified skilled workers to remain economically successful, Heil told the “Evangelischer Pressedienst”, a news agency. This also requires significantly more immigration of skilled workers, he added.

The federal governing coalition wants to clear the way for this, “in order to attract bright minds and helping hands” to the German labour market, the minister said. The federal cabinet is expected to pass the necessary legislative amendments for the new immigration law in the first quarter of 2023.

According to the proposed legislation, skilled labour immigration is to be based on three pillars in future. These are a skilled labour pillar, an experience pillar and a potential pillar.

As before, the EU Blue Card for university graduates and the national residence permit for skilled workers with a German degree or a degree recognised in Germany will remain the central elements of immigration (skilled labour pillar).

A new regulation, however, is to provide that a skilled worker may in future pursue any qualified occupation. Accordingly, a mechanic should also be able to work as a logistician.

Immigrants who have at least two years of professional experience and a state-recognised professional qualification in their country of origin should also find it easier to work in Germany in future (experience pillar).

According to the paper, the immigration conditions for IT workers are to be improved even further. Now, they are able to come to Germany without a recognised qualification, but in future the salary threshold is to be lowered. In addition, they will no longer have to prove their German language skills before being granted visa.

A third plank of the proposed law is the so-called “Chancenkarte” (opportunity card) that is intended to make it easier for people who do not have a work contract to immigrate to Germany (potential pillar). Interested persons can receive the “Chancenkarte” if they fulfil certain criteria: a degree, professional experience, language skills or a previous stay in Germany.

The paper does not include the so-called “change of track”, which Heil has already announced on several occasions. This is supposed to enable asylum seekers to get a secure perspective in Germany by taking up a job. According to the spokesperson of the interior ministry, there will be a separate departmental agreement on this. This is a training or employment toleration according to the Residence Act, which is the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Sola Jolaoso with agency reports

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