Germany is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, estimated at around two million people. Various sectors, including healthcare, IT, carpentry, and technical roles, are particularly affected by the shortage.
Reforming Immigration Laws
To tackle the skilled worker shortage, Germany plans to reform its immigration laws. Lawmakers from the governing parties, including the Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats, have finalised the details of a skilled labour immigration law.
Streamlined Visa Processes and New Opportunities
Germany aims to attract up to 400 000 foreign workers annually to fill the skills gap. The proposed bill seeks to create new opportunities for qualified individuals from non-European Union countries. It introduces streamlined visa processes and a point system for job seekers without existing employment contracts.
Recognition of Degrees and Qualifications
Recognising foreign degrees has been a significant obstacle to immigration to Germany. However, under the proposed changes, skilled immigrants would no longer be required to have their degrees recognised in Germany if they have at least two years of professional experience and possess a degree recognised in their country of origin.
A new provision would allow foreigners with a job offer to start working while their degrees are being recognised.
The Opportunity Card and Point-Based System
Foreigners without a job offer would have the opportunity to enter Germany and search for employment within a year through a point-based system called the “opportunity card.”
The card assigns points based on criteria such as language proficiency, connections to Germany, and the potential to bring spouses or life partners. Individuals with the opportunity card can engage in part-time work while seeking suitable employment.
Additional Changes and Implications
The proposed bill specifically targets skilled workers above a certain salary threshold. Asylum applicants and visa-holding tourists who meet specific qualifications may be granted permission to enter the labour market and participate in vocational training.
Written by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor