Germany opens doors to some Eastern European skilled workers

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German employers are now allowed to hire electrical and mechanical engineering skilled migrants from the Eastern European nations that joined the European Union in 2004 without giving priority to local applicants.

The changes, announced in August, went into effect on 01 November 2007.

The move comes as Germany's unemployment level fell below 3.5 million for the first time since 1995. As the EU's largest economy takes a turn for the better, German companies are desperately searching for skilled workers to fill shortages in the labor market.

The changes will affect skilled workers in electrical and mechanical engineering sectors from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Additionally, new rules will allow foreign graduates of German universities to work in the country for three years after completion of their studies.