Immigration reform plans: Coalition wants to facilitate entry of skilled workers

Status: 20/07/2022 13:54

Interior Minister Faeser and Labor Minister Heil want to take action against the skilled labor shortage with a new immigration law. Among other things, it should be possible to recognize qualifications only after entry.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil laid the foundations for a new immigration law that aims to reduce the shortage of skilled workers. “We are abolishing the migration policy shaped by the CDU and CSU, which denied the reality of our immigration country and thus destroyed our business location,” they write in a joint guest article for Handelsblatt. The immigration system is “too slow, too bureaucratic, too disrespectful.”

Parallel recognition procedures to work

In their speech, both SPD politicians announce that the labor market will also be open to qualified workers who have an employment contract but do not yet have a diploma recognized in this country. They could then catch up with the help of a German employer, the ministers suggest. Unlike before, proof of academic degree and professional experience should suffice for registration. The recognition procedure can then be carried out after entry and in parallel with the work.

Skilled Immigration Act: Balance and Proposed Changes

André Kartschall, RBB, daily news at 12:00 Jul 20, 2022

Faeser and Heil’s designs go even further, according to the report. Experienced professionals should be able to enter Germany in search of work under two conditions, even without a contract of employment: they must still have confirmation from abroad that their qualifications are at least partially comparable with their German qualifications, and must prove that they are able to sustain themselves for security.

The minimum limit for the “Blue Card” should decrease

This should be a step towards the “chances card” that the SPD, the Greens and the FDP want to introduce in this term. The traffic light coalition also wants to facilitate the immigration of qualified workers with recognized qualifications. In the future, this should also allow employment in a non-specialized occupation, as long as the professional qualifications are recognized in Germany.

Moreover, in the future, young university graduates should no longer be expected to earn as much as experienced professionals in order to be able to enter the country from the so-called Blue Card. “We are lowering the salary limits for them. It also allows us to make it easier for well-trained young people to start a career in Germany, ”explained Faeser and Heil. There is currently a minimum salary limit of € 56,400 gross per year.

Business approval

The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) welcomed the plans: “Without sufficient immigration from abroad, we will not be able to solve the problem of skilled workers,” emphasized DIHK, presenting a list of FEG reform proposals.

The federal government plans to amend the Skilled Immigration Act (FEG), which will apply from March 1, 2020. The aim is to facilitate the influx of qualified specialists from third countries, also in line with the needs of the economy. “A bottleneck, but one of the main problems of the law is its implementation,” complains DIHK deputy director Achim Dercks. Practical work in offices and the complexity of regulations overwhelm companies, potential immigrants, and often seemingly also the authorities themselves, and there are very long waiting times for visas.

Demand for the expansion of immigration authorities

According to the FEG, the federal states should establish at least one central office for foreigners – incl. for an accelerated specialist procedure. “They have not been established in all countries, and experience shows that in some immigration offices the current legal situation is not sufficiently known or not implemented,” criticizes the DIHK.

The result is sometimes long waiting times for the award, but most of all for the extension of residence permits, which makes it difficult for companies to plan with confidence. The expansion of central immigration authorities would be desirable from the DIHK’s point of view.

According to the current DIHK economic study, 56 percent of companies see a business risk in the shortage of skilled workers. In this context, the immigration of foreign skilled workers is gaining more and more importance.

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