The German economy lacks specialists, and demographic change will increase the shortage. Currently around 1.2 million jobs places are unfilled. A new law is therefore intended to open access to the German labour market for skilled workers from countries outside the EU. It is an immigration law. This detail harbours a prospect: skilled workers are welcome to stay.
When does the Skilled Labour Immigration Act come into effect?
The law must still be approved by parliament and is expected to enter into force in early 2020.
Who is considered a specialist?
Both academics with a university degree recognized in Germany and workers with qualified professional training recognized in Germany.
What's new about it?
- If you do not have an employment contract but can prove you have qualified professional training, you will receive a residence permit for six months in order to find a job. During this time, jobseekers can work up to ten hours a week on probation or do an internship; prerequisites are good German language skills at B2 level and enough money to live on.
- Previously, the German Employment Agency examined whether there were suitable applicants for a job from Germany or the EU before a company was allowed to hire a skilled worker from another country. This priority check has been dropped, but it can be reintroduced if the labour market changes.
- Graduates of German schools abroad may come to Germany not only to study, but also to seek a trainee position.
- The immigration of skilled workers from non-EU countries is not restricted to defined “shortage occupations”.
In what professions are specialists lacking?
Sought, for example, are doctors, physiotherapists and nurses, IT specialists, engineers and craftsmen in the construction industry, experts in aerospace, mechatronics, electrical engineering, energy technology and other STEM professions (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology).
Where can foreign skilled workers find information about working in Germany?
The multi-lingual portal make-it-in-germany.com bundles information about job search, qualifications, language courses, visas, working environment and the formalities of everyday life. The portal anerkennung-in-deutschland.de also provides information about the recognition of professional qualifications.