What will be the impact of the Skilled Workers Immigration Act in Germany?
Posted on February 25, 2020
Germany is facing a shortage of skilled workers in various occupations. It is expected to face a skills shortage of 3 million workers by 2030. The reasons for this are the increase in the number of aged citizens and the decreasing birth rate.
At present, there is a shortage of skills in STEM and health-related occupations.
By current estimates, there are 1.2 million jobs for skilled workers that are vacant. To solve this problem, the German government passed the Skilled Workers Immigration Act that will come into effect from March 1st 2020.
The German government has estimated that the new act will help to bring 25,000 skilled workers to Germany every year.
Benefits to overseas skilled workers and German employers:
With the new act, it will now be possible for German employers to hire skilled workers from overseas who have the required vocational training which means they should have at least two years of vocational training. Till now if employers had to hire such workers, the occupation had to figure in the list of shortage occupations. This prevented the immigration of qualified workers and employers could not hire them. With the act in place, restrictions on hiring overseas workers in shortage occupations will no longer be valid.
Another area where this act will have an impact is the need for skilled workers in the IT sector. Foreign employees looking for work in this sector can apply even if they do not have a university degree or vocational training. The only requirement now will be professional experience in earlier jobs. This experience should be for a minimum of three years which could have been acquired in the last seven years.
Under the Skilled Workers Immigration Act those with a foreign vocational training need not apply for recognition of the training from a recognized German authority. This is a significant shift considering that any foreign worker wanting to work here had to get this recognition. Those with vocational training will now be required to apply for recognition from a single authority, the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition
Faster processing of residence permit for skilled workers:
The German government has also created a new residence permit to help in the recognition of acquired vocational training of immigrant workers. This will ensure that more skilled workers will get their residence permit and will remain in the country even after their vocational training receives recognition.
Under the act the process of residence permits to skilled workers has been accelerated to reduce the waiting time that was six months earlier. New deadlines have been imposed; the professional qualification must be recognized within two months instead of three months. The Federal Employment Agency must give its preliminary approval within a week. The decision on the visa application must be made within three weeks of the submission of the vis application form.
This will not only help overseas skilled workers to migrate quickly to Germany but also help German employers meet their skill shortage in quick time so that it does not impact their business.
The new act imposes several obligations on employers. One of them is to check the prospective employee’s residence title before hiring.
The Skilled Workers Immigration Act is intended to simplify the immigration process of skilled workers into Germany.