Germany’s parliament – the Bundestag has passed a new immigration law that seeks to reform its labour sector.
Passed on Friday, the reform intends to encourage more people from outside the European Union especially Africa to come to Germany for work.
Germany’s interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the “law secures prosperity in Germany” as she makes a case for the bureaucratic hurdles surrounding immigration changes during implementation.
“It’s unacceptable that you have to fill in 17 different applications to bring a new care worker into the country,” she said.
German authorities say there are about 2 million jobs to fill and reforming its immigration laws to offer improved and well coordinated visa processes will attract qualified foreign workers.
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Some 400,000 foreign workers are also needed to make up the shortfall every year, according to Germany’s Federal Employment Office.
Skilled workers in healthcare, IT, carpentry, technical works among others are areas Germany needs filling.
Varied options to work in Germany
The new law provides three options for skilled workers to travel to Germany. The first option could be through qualifications and degrees and then the second option is based on work experience.
The third option is through a point system for job seekers with potential but without an existing employment contract.
There is also what is know as the new “opportunity card” that makes room for a points system.
Under the point system foreigners who don’t yet have a job lined up can still travel to Germany for a year to find employment.
All that such category of people need to get this card is a vocational qualification or university degree.
The cards will be awarded to those who fulfill a certain number of conditions, for which they will be awarded points.
These could be German and/or English language skills, existing ties to Germany, and the potential of accompanying life partners or spouses on the German labor market.
The opportunity cards offers more
The opportunity card will also permit casual work for up to 20 hours a week while looking for a qualified job, as well as probationary employment.
In the past a major obstacle to immigration has been the requirement to have degrees recognized in Germany but that bureaucratic and often frustrating process is to be ditched.
Skilled immigrants in the future under the new reform will no longer have to have their degrees recognized in Germany if they can show they have at least two years of professional experience and a degree that is state-recognized in their country of origin.
There are thousands of Africans who have fled their countries seeking asylum in Europe including Germany.
Per the new law, such persons awaiting asylum approval, and got their application in by March 29, 2023, have the appropriate qualifications, and a job offer and will also be permitted to join the labor market. This would also allow them to enter vocational training.
Tourist visa holders also will not be required to first leave the country, before returning for a job offer.