To woo skilled foreign workers, Germany is simplifying its immigration system.
As a result of a growing labour shortage, the country is “on the lookout for people who fancy coming to Germany to bring in their skills, expertise and passions,” says economics and climate minister, Robert Habeck.
Plans for a new points-based visa system could make it easier for skilled workers to relocate to the country.
But which professions are they hoping to attract?
Germany is targeting both academic and vocational skills
At a skilled labour summit this month, the German government emphasised that academic and vocational training were of equal importance.
Appealing specifically to skilled craftspeople, electrical engineers, IT specialists, carers, nurses, catering and hospitality professionals in an address on the government’s ‘Make it in Germany’ YouTube channel, Habeck adds, “We welcome people from all over the world”.
Other in-demand occupations listed on the government website include physicians and scientists. A shortage of metallurgy workers and builders has previously been reported.
Germany wants to remove bureaucratic hurdles for skilled migrant workers
In November 2021, Germany announced plans to allow dual nationality for non-EU citizens for the first time. Previously, this was only permitted under very specific circumstances.
It also pledged to simplify the application process and hinted at reducing the amount of time someone has to live in Germany before applying for citizenship.
The move is part of Germany's plan to modernise immigration laws and remove bureaucratic hurdles to ensure easier access to the German labour market.
The removal of red tape isn’t Germany’s only attraction. Habeck highlights the country’s good working conditions, high pay, training opportunities, high quality of life, affordable education and democratic leadership as reasons to consider moving there.
Citizenship applications could also be fast-tracked as part of the strategy to retain migrant workers.
Although it has not yet been confirmed, some reports suggest skilled migrants may soon be eligible for German citizenship in just three years if they complete an integration course or demonstrate B1-level (lower intermediate) language skills. This is compared to the current five years, or eight without the integration course.
By simplifying the recognition of professional qualifications and making visa and citizenship processes easier to navigate, the country hopes to attract and retain a robust foreign workforce.