German cabinet approves immigration laws to ease worker shortage

Germany has issued 30,000 visas to skilled workers and trainees from third-countries in 2020, from March 1, when the Skilled Workers Immigration Act was launched to the end of the same year.

Marking the first anniversary of the German Skilled Workers Immigration Act, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs issued a press release, which among others, listed some of the achieves under the Act.

According to the Ministry, in the first year of the Act, the German diplomatic missions issued almost 30,000 visas to qualified specialists and trainees from third countries despite the pandemic, while several of the German federal states have even set up central immigration authorities that specialize in issues relating to the immigration of skilled workers.

In addition, a central service point for professional recognition for interested professionals abroad has been set up at the Federal Employment Agency.

Commenting on the milestone, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, brought up the fact that despite the pandemic, Germany has managed to attract many skilled workers in 2020 that German companies urgently need, praising the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs for their work.

The recruiting for the best minds begins before they even enter Germany. That is why we founded the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs at the beginning of the year, in which our experts digitally process visa applications from all over the world,” the Minister said, among others.

The Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, on the other hand, recalled that a year ago, he had said that the Skilled Immigration Act was a milestone in Germany’s migration policy.

Today, the figures speak for themselves. After only one year, the Act has allowed us to successfully compete for skilled workers by providing people with a legal pathway to the German labour market,” he also said.

The Skilled Immigration Act was launched last year on March 1, by the German authorities, as a part of a legislative package on migration adopted by the German Bundestag in June 2019.

The Act permits workers who have completed quality vocational training to enter Germany to find apprenticeships as well as employment.

Its main purpose is to provide easier access to the German labour market for qualified workers from non-EU countries and increase the numbers of the workforce in Germany, and to fill many positions that remain vacant in Germany due to the lack of qualifying workers in those areas.

The immigration rules under this Act do not apply to low-skilled workers.