Germany is changing its immigration policies to address the shortage of skilled workers.
Germany is undergoing immigration law reforms to make it easier for foreign workers to move to the country. These changes aim to combat labor shortages and attract skilled workers. The reforms will be introduced in three stages starting in November 2023.
Why the Change?
Germany, like many European countries, is facing a critical shortage of skilled workers. In 2022, there were 1.74 million vacant job positions across the country according to the Institute of Employment Research (IAB). Staff shortages have affected many companies, slowing down their operations. The new immigration law seeks to streamline the process and hopes to bridge the gap in the workforce.
How will Germany attract Skilled Workers?
In November 2022, the Legislation introduced ‘Chancenkarte’ or ‘Opportunity card’, which operates similarly to Canada’s points-based system. Referred to as theOpportunity Card of Germany, Chancenkarte will make it easier for workers with the required skills to come to Germany.
The point system considers -
German Language skills
Ties to Germany (such as family connections)
Quotas will be set based on industries in need of skilled workers. Applicants must meet certain criteria, including having a degree or vocational training, three years of professional experience, language skills, and being 35 years old or younger.
This new card will allow people to come to Germany and search for jobs or apprenticeships without a prior job offer. They only need to demonstrate the ability to cover their living expenses during their job search.
Main Changes to German Immigration Policies
The new system will make it easier for individuals with professional experience to work in Germany.
Germany will become more open to recognizing job experience and professional qualifications from workers’ home countries.
The Chancenkarte will make it easier for those without a job offer to seek work in Germany. Qualified job seekers with degrees or vocational certificates can stay in the country for one year while searching for employment.
Industries Most Affected by Staff Shortages
Germany is facing a shortage of -
The service sector, especially accommodation and events, is heavily impacted. There is also a high demand in warehousing, service providers, and manufacturing, notably in food, data processing equipment, machinery, and metal manufacturing sectors.
Additionally, many retail businesses, construction companies, and wholesalers have reported to be facing a shortage in staff availability.
The shortage of I.T. professionals are so dire that I.T. professionals with job experience but lacking university degrees will receive EU Blue cards and can work in Germany.
Physicians and Scientists are also on the list of in-demand professionals.
Germany's new immigration law aims to simplify the process for skilled workers to move to the country and address labor shortages. The 'Chancenkarte' will be a key tool to attract foreign talent. It is part of the government's strategy to modernize immigration and streamline the process, making it more efficient and accessible. The exact details of the scheme are still being finalized and are expected to be available by the end of 2023.