Immigration of qualified staff


The federal government has presented a draft of an immigration law for qualified workers.


The aim of the draft is to "flank the securing of skilled labour with targeted and controlled immigration of skilled workers from third countries" (BT-Drs. 19/8285 - PDF, 2.7 MB).


According to the bill, in future all skilled workers who have an employment contract and a recognised qualification will be able to work in the corresponding occupations in Germany. The restriction to "bottleneck occupations", which are particularly affected by the shortage of skilled workers, is to be abolished. In principle, the priority check as to whether German or EU citizens are not also eligible for the job is also to be dispensed with for skilled workers, albeit in conjunction with the possibility of reintroducing the priority check at short notice in the event of changes in the labour market.


In addition, for skilled workers with vocational training, the possibility of temporary entry for job search is to be created analogously to the regulation for skilled workers with academic training and tested for a limited period of five years. In addition, according to the draft, the residence permit for third-country nationals who have completed vocational training abroad is to be extended and made more attractive by means of supplementary qualification measures.


As justification, the Federal Government points out that the shortage of skilled workers has developed into a risk for the German economy. The number of vacancies had currently risen to around 1.2 million. The shortage of skilled workers is already noticeable in many companies, above all in the health and care sector, in the so-called mint occupations (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology), but also in the skilled trades. Not only university graduates were lacking, but increasingly also skilled workers with qualified vocational training. The demographic development will further intensify this.