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German Council Approves Skilled Immigration Act Changes to Attract Foreign Labor

The German cabinet has given the ultimate approval to an updated Skilled Immigration Act, which will allow more skilled third-country citizens to come to Germany and work.

The Ministry of the Interior and Homeland and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs presented a draught law to reform the Skilled Immigration Act, which the cabinet passed today, March 29.

The responsible Ministries want to make it easier for foreign workers in skilled areas where Germany is short-staffed to live and work in Germany.

Minister of Interior Nancy Faeser termed the Act's reform a first step towards 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.

While Labor Minister Hubertus Heil called securing the skilled labour pool one of Germany's greatest economic challenges for the next few decades.

He stressed the importance of skilled foreign workers while urging the nation to make better use of its domestic potential by training and educating its citizens.

“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.

Changes to the Skilled Migrant Act include:

  • More university-educated experts can get the EU Blue Card.

  • Germany will hire foreigners with two years of professional expertise and a state-recognized professional qualification. This group has a salary threshold.

  • Germany no longer recognises professional qualifications.

  • Professional qualifications can be accepted in Germany upon arrival, no longer before.

  • A new job-seeker visa for Germany. This visa allows 20-hour workweeks.

  • Under a quota, areas with high demand will be able to offer eight-month short-term employment.

The Ministry of the Interior reported 1.98 million open positions in Germany in 2022, the largest ever. For years, Germany has sought new ways to attract foreign workers because Germans and EU nationals cannot fill many of these jobs.

Health, childcare, IT, and many other production and service areas have labour shortages.


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