Federal Government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit announced an overhaul of Germany’s immigration laws during a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The reforms are designed to attract skilled workers from abroad amid a workforce shortage.
“The need for skilled workers is enormous. The number of vacancies is at an all-time high, which is why the federal government will do everything necessary to attract more skilled workers from abroad. With the cornerstones, the basis for the further development of the Skilled Immigration Act is created, and thus becomes the most modern immigration law that Germany has ever had,” Hebestreit told journalists.
The government plans to adopt a points-based immigration system which will enable qualified non-EU workers to enter Germany for employment, particularly in medical, IT and construction-based professions.
According to Hebestreit, entry requirements for non-EU citizens will be based on three pillars, the ‘skilled workers pillar’, the ‘experience pillar’ and the ‘potential pillar’.
“The skilled workers’ pillar remains the central element of immigration; as before, it includes the EU blue card and the national residence permit for skilled workers with a recognized qualification,” Hebestreit explained.
“The experience pillar enables further qualified professionals to immigrate, even if the professional qualification is not formally recognized beforehand. A prerequisite is an employment contract in a non-regulated profession, you also need professional qualifications, at least two years of professional experience and a minimum salary threshold,” he added.
“The potential pillar is aimed at people who do not yet have an employment contract in Germany. The core is the introduction of a chance card for job search.”
According to local media, Germany is currently experiencing a deficit of around 500,000 workers.
The Cabinet is set to draw up a formal bill on the new immigration policies next week. The bill would then need to be ratified by the Bundestag before being passed into law.