Report reveals Germany needs to make immigration easier for skilled workers

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Germany needs to change their immigration laws in order to attract more skilled workers and professionals from other countries to help deal with their ongoing skills shortages, an expert committee's report revealed last week.

A joint action plan that was drafted by the committee of experts stated that immigrants should not necessarily have to obtain a job offer in order to enter Germany, but that criteria should be set depending on the kind of skilled workers that are needed in the country. Other Countries such as Australia, Canada and Denmark have very popular immigration points based systems that awards points based on skills, qualifications, work experience etc.

The report was completed by an independent, cross-party committee set up in April by a group of prominent German institutions. It includes industry and union representatives, as well as politicians from Germany's main parties.

According to the report, Germany faces a shortage of skilled labor that could become an increasingly serious threat to its economy in years to come. Companies in certain industrial sectors are already struggling to fill vacant positions and demographic developments will only make that worse, as the German population ages and the labor force shrinks. But current immigration law makes it hard for German companies to employ foreign specialists.

"More and more German citizens become increasingly aware of the fact that immigration of alien talents into Germany bears positive effects on the country," according to the expert committee, led by former North Rhine-Westphalia integration minister Armin Laschet and former defense minister Peter Struck.

The expert committee also recommended visa requirements for non-European Union workers coming to Germany should be relaxed so that skilled workers can legally work in Germany without needing a job offer. Currently, non-EU applicants looking to gain a German work visa must have a job offer from a German company containing a detailed description of the employment.

Additionally, the German government has already said it intends to reduce the minimum yearly income required for settlement from €66,000 euro to €48,000 euro. Currently, highly-qualified foreign employees can be granted a settlement permit from the outset. Highly qualified persons are defined as including:
  • Scientists with a special technical knowledge
  • Teaching or scientific personnel in prominent positions
  • Specialists and executive personnel with special professional experience and an annual salary of at least €66,000 euro
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