Author: Ajay Sharma
Germany is caught in an alarming situation where it is running out of skilled workers, according to the Federal Employment Agency. The government tried to address the problem by a more discreet approach of boosting skilled migration to Germany by initiating the Skilled Workers Immigration Act in early 2020. The new act was meant to fast-track visa and residence permit applications for skilled foreign workers with vocational skills.
However, the first wave of the covid-19 in Germany and subsequent lockdown shattered the new act and measures by the government. The travel restrictions made matters worse. In 2020, the population did not grow. Even Temporary skilled immigration applications fell by 3 percent.
The Federal Employment Agency believes that country needs 400,000 immigrants every year. And, the government must focus on targeted immigration to fill the gaps in the country’s job market. The government can either train the unskilled workers and inspire part-time women workers to work more or bring more immigrants to Germany, which is the most logical and effective way to address the issue.
How would the government tackle this problem with economic turmoil, rise in unemployment, and other severe crises? Will they train their unskilled population? Or are they going to overburden their women workforce? The Answer is simple – Skilled Immigration
Conceived and initiated on March 1, 2020, Germany aims to drive the influx of foreign skilled professionals with its new Skilled Immigration Act. The new system will invite all the qualified professionals from outside the EU to work in Germany, accompanied by a smooth and transparent process. It will lower the obstacles to the German labor market for foreign workers from outside the EU.
Undoubtedly, the economy suffers from a significant skilled workers shortage. It is noted that around 1.2 million vacancies are unfilled at present, and it may get worse with time if it is not addressed in the early stage. Therefore, below are the proposed changes outlined by the government with the new Skilled Immigration Act:
Definition of skilled worker
Earlier, the applicants were categorized or reserved for university or college degree holders. But, the guidelines now redefine that the skilled worker will also be those individuals who have completed the vocational training.
No restriction on Employment
Before the Act, only those Non-EU skilled professionals who had vocational qualifications could work in occupations that face skill shortages. But, now, professionals with recognized vocational training qualifications can work in any occupation in Germany.
Priority check/resident labor market test withdrawn
Similar to Canada LMIA guidelines, earlier German Employers had to declare to the Federal Employment Agency that no suitable candidate from Germany or EU could fill the proposed vacancy. This process was known as the ‘priority check” or the “resident labor market test”. The process is now withdrawn, and employers can recruit skilled professionals from any corner of this world.
Requirements of German Skilled Immigration
- An employment contract from a German legal Employer.
- Must have taken vocational training program for a minimum of two years equivalent to a German qualification.
- IT professionals benefit from special regulations due to the acute shortage. If an IT professional has a minimum of five years of on-the-job experience, they can move to Germany without any qualifications
- Another provision for jobseekers without a job offer. If you have professional training and experience, you can move to Germany for a minimum of six months for the sole purpose of the job hunt.
- The relevant German body must assess your qualifications
- Prove minimum of (level B1) in good German language skills
- Provide evidence of funds to support expenses during the stay.
- During the stay, you work for a maximum of 10 hours a week on probation or an internship=
- The applicants older than 45 years must prove they will earn a minimum of 3,685 euros per month in their new German job, or they can demonstrate sufficient funds or a pension to support themselves