‘Lower qualifications, one-year job search’ — Germany woos foreign workers with new laws



The German parliament has passed a new law to ease immigration rules for foreign skilled workers.


Presenting the bill on Friday, Nancy Faeser, interior minister, said the draft law will secure prosperity in Germany.


“It’s unacceptable that you have to fill in 17 different applications to bring a new care worker into the country,” she said.


An “opportunity card” under the new law will allow foreigners who do not yet have a job to come to Germany for a year to find employment.


A prerequisite for receiving a card will be a vocational qualification or university degree.


Those with German and/or English language skills, existing ties to Germany, and the potential of accompanying life partners or spouses on the German labour market could also be eligible to receive the card.


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.


The law also covers individuals awaiting asylum approval, who got their application by March 29, 2023, with appropriate qualifications, and a job offer to join the labour market.


In addition, immigrants in the country on a tourist visa will not be required to first leave the country, before returning in an employment context.


Skilled foreigners will also 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-recognised in their country of origin.


Those who hold valid job offers can move to Germany and start working while their degree is still being recognised.


 “The well-qualified young people from around the world are not exactly queuing up to come to work in Germany,” Martin Rosemann, a lawmaker said.


“We have to woo them and must give them a long-term perspective,” he said, adding that plans are in motion to reform the citizenship law to accommodate the changes.


As Germany grapples with an energy crisis threatening its future as an industrial leader, it also faces an acute shortage of workers compounding problems for manufacturers already struggling to stay competitive.


Recent surveys found a record 50 percent of firms are cutting output due to staffing problems, which is costing the economy as much as $85 billion per year.


Lawmakers from opposing parties faulted the law, saying it would ease the passage of unqualified workers into the country.

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