This morning the German Bundestag passed a law that greatly eases labor immigration. Qualified professionals from outside the European Union can now come to Germany without having a specific job offer. The German right fears an emigration of “low-skilled workers”.
The new German immigration law is unique in Europe and is based on three pillars. Sufficiently qualified non-EU professionals can now come to Germany to look for work there, without having a specific job offer. Prospective employees who have found a remote job are allowed to immigrate without first having their education recognized by Germany. Eligible asylum seekers who are already in Germany are allowed to move into the employment system through a “change of route”.
The law aims to address the huge shortage of skilled professionals in the German labor market, a problem many Western European countries suffer from. “This deficit is one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of ‘German industry’,” Interior Minister Nancy Wesser told Parliament this morning. Germany currently has nearly two million vacancies across the economy, from craftsmen to civil servants. We need 400,000 workers outside every year.
With this law, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Hubertus Hill (SPD) said earlier, “Germany is laying the foundation for a modern country of immigration.”
Parliament decided on an open single ballot, reserved for controversial or particularly important issues. The law was approved by 388 deputies out of 653 deputies present on Friday. The right-wing opposition is fiercely opposed to the new easing. In particular, the lowering of admission requirements for potential immigrants and the potential “change of course” for asylum seekers already in Germany caused a major outcry from the conservative CDU/CSU and the far-right Alternative party.
“Yes, we need professionals, but this law encourages the migration of low-skilled workers and ensures the survival of asylum seekers,” said the largest opposition party CDU through MP Andrea Lindholz. “The requirements in terms of German language skills and level of education are significantly reduced and as a result the quality (of the German economy) is at risk.” The AfD, usually speaking with exclamation points, wondered what happens to qualified professionals who “turn out not to be so qualified” and gave the same answer: “The only immigration that Germany promotes with this is immigration to our social security system.”
The “change of path” for asylum seekers is subject to strict rules to cutDate: Only eligible asylum seekers who were present in Germany before March 29 this year can count on the new law. However, CDU MP Alexander Throm said, “Whoever comes here on a tourist visa and happens to find a job will be rewarded with a residence permit from now on.” “This encourages abuse.”
The government hails the “change of course” precisely as correcting a fundamental flaw in the immigration system, which will relieve overburdened asylum authorities. Now the qualified asylum seekers Germany desperately needs are not allowed to work, often stumbling through years of despair. “It’s crazy that getting into the asylum system is easier than getting into the job market,” said Konstantin Kohli of the pro-business coalition FDP. “We’re changing that with this law.”
Fun about the promise of English procedures
masterpiece from the new Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz (Professional Immigration Act) is a points system based on the Canadian example, and chance card. Immigrants who accumulate enough points through language skills, experience and education, among others, can come to Germany for a maximum of one year to look for work. A foreign apprenticeship with at least 2 years of experience is also sufficient to come and work for a German company. The training and any additional training can then be recognized in Germany. The minimum income will be lowered, and knowledge of the German language will be less important. The government also wants to speed up and digitize slow and cumbersome bureaucratic procedures.
“It is unacceptable for a nurse from abroad to submit seventeen applications first,” said Home Secretary Visser. “This should be over. So yes, of course it is important that we implement this law in practice.”
The promise of a streamlined bureaucracy raised eyebrows and, at times, hilarity in and out of parliament, as did the promise that immigrants would be able to communicate with the German authorities “in their mother tongue wherever possible”. It is very doubtful whether the illiterate civil service, in which the working language is German at the moment, would be prepared for this.
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