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German businesses want workers but immigration courts are turning them away

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German businesses want workers but immigration courts are turning them away

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Schierling in Bavaria, the Kössinger flag factory. BAYAT MASOUMEH is a rejected asylum seeker from Iran. She's been working here since 2016.

“The lady came to us and said she was looking for a job as a seamstress. At the same time, one of our other workers had just retired. We said we were looking for someone, and that it was difficult to find seamstresses, especially those with previous training," said Florian Englmaier, the factory owner.

The German economy may be booming, there is a shortage of skilled workers everywhere.

Figures suggest 1.2 million jobs remain unfilled.

Refugees cost Germany around 21 billion euros a year. As an asylum seeker, with all the necessary papers, Bayat was allowed to work.

Asylum applications for her and her family were rejected.

"I already went to court, but they don't believe me that I'm Christian. They say I'm lying and I'm not Christian. Yet I have always gone to church, I help others and have done all that I can.”

Those refused asylum will be tolerated if deportation is not possible. They may stay, but Bayat lost her work permit when she lost her asylum seeker status.

"So she had to stop rather suddenly, which of course was also difficult for us because we already had a plan. So we then had to look for a replacement," Mr Englmaier adds.

Because of her departure, Florian Englmaier had to postpone an order for a major customer. He still has not found a replacement. He wants more understanding for the needs of employers:

“It would be good to know that the workers are available to work for us on a more permanent basis, so that we can plan for the long-term. I would wish that we, as employers, can have the right to voice our needs and to be listened to."

Bayat still hopes that the tolerance for her and her family will be transformed into a residence permit - so that she can return to work.