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German Cabinet Approves Changes to the Skilled Immigration Act in a Bid to Attract More Foreign Workers

The German cabinet has given the final green light to an updated Skilled Immigration Act that will enable more skilled third country citizens to come and work in Germany.

The draft law on the reform of the Skilled Immigration Act had been submitted previously by the Ministry of the Interior and Homeland and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to the government, and the same has been approved by the cabinet today, on March 29, reports.

The changes have been initiated in a bid of the responsible Ministries to make it easier for foreign workers who are specialized in skilled fields for which Germany has a lack of workers, to come to the country, settle and work.

Commenting on the approval of the Act’s reform, the Minister of Interior Nancy Faeser has called the move a first step towards the creation of a modern immigration law.

We will ensure that we bring the skilled workers into the country that our economy has been urgently needing for years. Anyone who speaks to small and medium-sized businesses and the trades knows that that this is the only way we can ensure the prosperity of our country,” she said.

Whereas the Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil called the task of securing the skilled labor base one of Germany’s greatest economic tasks for the next few decades.

While he pointed out that the country should make better use of the existing domestic potential, like offering more training and further education to its citizens, he highlighted the importance of skilled workers from abroad.

“With the Skilled Immigration Act, we are laying the foundation for a modern immigration country that not only accepts qualified immigration, but also wants it,” he said.

Amongst the main changes that will be made to the existing Skilled Immigration Act are as follows:

  • The EU Blue Card will become accessible to more specialists with a university degree
  • Foreigners with at least two years of professional experience and a state-recognized professional qualification in their home country, will be permitted to come for work in Germany. A salary threshold, however, will be observed for this category.
  • Professional qualification no longer have to go through recognition procedures in Germany.
  • Those who wish to have their professional qualifications recognized in Germany may do so upon arrival, and no longer are obliged to complete it before.
  • A new Job-Seeker visa for people who wish to go to Germany and search for a job in their field. Employment of up to twenty hours per week will be permitted with this kind of visa.
  • Short-term employment for up to eight months will become possible for sectors with a particularly high demand, though under a quota.

According to a statement of the Ministry of the Interior, in 2022, there were around 1.98 million open vacancies in Germany, the highest ever marked. Germans and EU nationals are unable to fill in many of these positions, as a result of which the country has been on the hunt for new ways to attract foreign workers for years now.

Some of the fields with the most evident shortages of labour are health and care professions, childcare, the IT sector and in many other production and service professions.

>> Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act Marks Its Third Anniversary



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