According to the Federal Employment Agency, Germany is in an alarming situation in which it is running out of skilled workers. The government attempted to solve the challenges through a more subtle approach of increasing skilled migration to Germany by enacting the Skilled Workers Immigration Act in early 2020.
The new law was intended to expedite visa and residence license applications for skilled foreign workers with vocational skills.
The very first wave of the covid-19 in Germany and the subsequent lockdown shattered the new act and measures enacted by the government. The restrictions on travel exacerbated the situation. The birth rates did not increase by 2020, thereby the population rate remained the same. Perhaps temporary skilled immigration applications dropped by 3%.
According to the Federal Employment Agency, the country requires 4,00,000 immigrants each year. In addition, the government must prioritize targeted immigration to fill gaps in the country’s labour market. There are various approaches and strategies that the German Government can undertake.
The government can either train unskilled workers and encourage part-time female workers to work more hours, or it can bring in more immigrants, which is the most realistic and effective solution to the problem.
Germany’s new Skilled Immigration Act, conceived and implemented on March 1, 2020, aims to drive the influx of foreign skilled professionals. The proposed program will welcome and invite all qualified professionals from outside the EU to work in Germany through a simple and transparent methodology. It will reduce the barriers to entry into the German labour market for foreign workers who arrive in the country from outside the European Union.
Without a doubt, the economy is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers. It has been noted that approximately 1.2 million vacancies are currently unfilled, and this situation may worsen over time if not addressed early on. As a result, the government’s proposed changes to the new Skilled Immigration Act are as follows:
Definition of skilled worker
Previously, applicants were classified or reserved for those with a university or college degree. However, the guidelines now state that a skilled worker is also someone who has completed vocational training.
No restriction on Employment
Prior to the Act, only non-EU skilled professionals with vocational qualifications were permitted to work in occupations with skill shortages. Professionals with recognized vocational training qualifications, on the other hand, can now work in any occupation in Germany.
Priority check/resident labour market test withdrawn
Previously, German employers had to disclose to the Federal Employment Agency that no suitable candidate from Germany or the EU could fill the proposed vacancy, similar to Canada’s LMIA guidelines. This was referred to as the “priority check” or the “resident labor market test.” Employers can now hire skilled professionals from any part of the world because the process has been discontinued.
Requirements of German Skilled Immigration
- A legal employment contract from a German employer.
- Must have completed a two-year vocational training program comparable to a German qualification.
- Because of the severe shortage, IT professionals’ advantage of special regulations. An IT expert with at least five years of on-the-job experience can relocate to Germany without any qualifications.
- A further provision for job seekers who do not have a job offer is that if you have skilled training and experience, you can move to Germany for a minimum of six months to look for work.
- Your qualifications must be evaluated by the appropriate German body.
- Demonstrate a minimum of (level B1) German language skills.
- Provide proof of funds to cover expenses during the stay.
- During your stay, you will work a maximum of 10 hours per week on probation or as an intern.
- Applicants over the age of 45 must demonstrate that they will earn a minimum of 3,685 euros per month in their new German job, or that they have sufficient resources or a pension to sustain themselves.