Lower Immigration Barriers

March 2019

As part of the effort to alleviate Germany’s shortfall of skilled workers, the German government is lowering immigration barriers to let more of them come to the country.

At the end of last year, Germany’s Federal Cabinet adopted the forward-looking, needs-driven Skilled Labor Strategy as well as the draft Skilled Immigration Act and the draft Act on Suspending Deportation for Persons in Vocation Training or Employment, which together aim to add more qualified workers to its workforce once they enter into force in 2020.

The former act aims to lower the hurdles that qualified workers from non-EU countries face in trying to enter the German labor market. For example, the definition of “skilled worker” will be broadened to include not only university graduates, but also individuals with full vocational qualifications; skilled workers with full vocational qualifications will now be allowed to enter the country without an employment contract to search for a job for a limited period of time; some applications will no longer be reviewed to see whether a suitable German or EU-country citizen can be found for the open position; and it will be made easier to stay in Germany to undertake any upgrading needed to have one’s vocational or professional qualifications recognized.

The latter act includes clearer rules on the rights of asylum seekers to stay and receive training, extends this to training in the caring occupations, and also establishes a new provision for the temporary suspension of deportation for well-integrated individuals who fall into this category and whose applications for asylum have been rejected. To learn more, visit make-it-in-germany.com, the Federal Government’s central website for qualified professionals from abroad.