The Skilled Immigration Act


What is the new specialized labor immigration law in Germany?

At the beginning of March, the Specialized Labor Immigration Act in Germany comes into force. The law aims to attract qualified professionals from outside the European Union to fill the shortage in the German labor market. What is the content of this law? And what are its conditions?

With the aim of filling the shortage of expert manpower, the German authorities have passed a new law that makes it easier for foreigners with professional qualifications to obtain job opportunities in Germany and move to live there legally. The new law, called the Specialized Labor Immigration Law, will come into force on March 1, 2020.

According to the “Make it in Germany” website launched by the German government to facilitate skilled migration, the law “expands the possibilities for qualified professionals to work in Germany,” adding that after the law’s implementation, it will be “easier for skilled workers with vocational and non-academic training from other countries.” Outside the European Union, immigration to Germany for work.

But the new law also raises some controversy, as critics believe that it is not enough for it to attract skilled workers, and others consider it a “failed attempt” to overcome some of the shortcomings of immigration laws in Germany, such as the long waiting times for asylum seekers with professional skills to obtain permits. the work.

What does the new law say?

The government hopes that the new law will contribute to attracting professionals from professions in demand in Germany, such as elderly care, information technology and engineering. The new law is modeled after existing laws in Germany designed to attract academics.

Under the new law, a work permit will be granted to anyone who can obtain a work contract in these professions. German employers – according to the law – will not have to give priority to German or European Union citizens with similar qualifications, and this is what has been done so far. However, the Interior Ministry says that German and European citizens may be given priority again in the future, depending on the situation on the labor market.

The law stipulates that those who do not yet have an employment contract are allowed to apply for a 6-month visa to search for work, provided that they possess professional skills in the areas needed by the German labor market. According to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, there are more than 1.5 million jobs in which Germany will find it difficult to hire skilled workers in the long term.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer believes that the new law is “very advanced and meets the needs of the national economy.” In addition to filling a shortage in the labor market, the government seeks through law to make Germany more attractive internationally.

Language requirement may be node!

There is a major problem that may make it difficult for the law to achieve its goal of attracting a large number of skilled workers, which is that the law stipulates that job applicants must prove that they are proficient in the German language (at least B2 level). Learners of German know that this is no easy task.

Another point is that it is not yet clear whether the new law will help adjust the legal status of some qualified immigrants who are in Germany and who are not allowed to work. If the recognition of foreign qualifications is simplified, they may also be eligible to work under the new law.

It is also not clear whether regularization of asylum seekers who are already working will be allowed. Many asylum seekers who eventually find work do not have their work permits renewed in Germany, which could put them at risk of deportation. The point remains problematic, as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party opposes it and argues that allowing it could make Germany attractive to illegal immigration.

The new law states that it is not intended to attract people without professional skills.

‘The law is very unpopular’

Critics of the law, such as the populist right-wing Alternative Party, say the government is trying by law to justify its policy of welcoming asylum seekers in 2015 by making it appear that the arrival of a large number of migrants in Germany helped solve the labor shortage, the party says.

It seems that the new law is not as popular as the government hopes, as the German newspaper “Tagesspiegel” found in a poll of more than 33,000 people that 44% of the respondents voted in favor of the law, while 47% of the respondents did not agree with it. .


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