German gov't finalizes immigration law for skilled workers

The German government on December 19 finalized a new immigration law that grants skilled workers from Non-European countries the opportunity to achieve permanent residence status in Germany.

A man and a woman work on a machine in a factory (Photo: DPA)
A man and a woman work on a machine in a factory (Photo: DPA)

The new law, which still requires the formal approval of the German parliament, aims to make it easier for skilled workers from countries that are not members of the European Union (EU) to immigrate to Germany.

The new immigration law for skilled workers stipulates, among other things, that the hurdles for the admission of workers from non-EU states are to be lowered. Qualified workers should be allowed to come to Germany without an employment contract to seek a job. Hitherto, this was only possible for university graduates.

The German economy is lacking skilled workers, especially in small and medium-sized companies. According to a study published by the German development bank KfW in November, 65 percent of small and medium-sized companies in Germany fear that they cannot find the appropriate candidates for their planned hiring of skilled workers over the next three years.

Joerg Zeuner, chief economist at KfW, said that Germany would undoubtedly need "many more qualified immigrants in the coming years than before."

Ralph Brinkhaus, leader of the CDU parliamentary faction, said that the law would be "a building block to better meet the demand for qualified workers in the future."