“It would only work if the bureaucratic hurdles were dismantled during its implementation,” she said.
Germany Passes Immigration Law to Create New Job Opportunities for Nigerians and Other Nationals
In a significant development, the German parliament recently approved an immigration law aimed at attracting more individuals from outside the European Union, including Nigerians, to work in Germany. The legislation, passed on Friday, seeks to address the country’s shortage of skilled workers and promote economic prosperity.
Nancy Faeser, the Interior Minister of Social Democrats (SPD), highlighted that the draft law aims to secure Germany’s prosperity. Like many other European nations, Germany has been grappling with a shortage of skilled labor. In 2022, the country experienced an all-time high of 1.74 million vacant positions, according to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in collaboration with Minister Faeser, emphasized the importance of streamlining bureaucratic processes, enhancing digitization, and improving system efficiency, as reported by Euro News. Scholz underlined the significance of having an adequate number of skilled workers to ensure the future efficiency of Germany’s economy and social security systems.
Here are key points to understand about how the new law opens up job opportunities for Nigerians and other non-European Union nationals:
- Modernizing Immigration Legislation: The reforms aim to modernize Germany’s immigration laws, making it easier for third-country nationals to work in the country. These changes could potentially increase the number of non-EU workers in Germany by 60,000 per year, according to Euro News.
- Focus on Vocational Training: The Skilled Immigration Act reforms specifically target workers with vocational, non-academic training. Additionally, existing regulations for qualified professionals with university degrees will be relaxed.
- Introduction of the “Chancenkarte”: Germany intends to tackle its shortage of skilled workers by introducing an “opportunity card” called the “chancenkarte.” This card will utilize a points-based system to facilitate the entry of workers possessing the required skills into Germany.
- Points-Based System Criteria: The points-based system will consider factors such as qualifications, professional experience, age, German language skills, and ties to Germany.
- Industry-Specific Quotas: Quotas will be established annually based on industries in need of workers. Applicants for the scheme must meet three out of four criteria: a degree or vocational training, three years of professional experience, language skills or a previous stay in Germany, and being 35 years old or younger.
- Simplified Job Search: Currently, most non-EU citizens need a job offer before relocating to Germany. While a visa for job seekers already exists, the “chancenkarte” is expected to expedite and simplify the process for individuals seeking employment in Germany.
- Visa-Free Entry and Short-Term Employment: Citizens of certain countries with visa agreements can already enter Germany visa-free for up to 90 days, but they are limited to short-term employment.
- In-Country Job Search: The opportunity card will enable individuals to search for a job or apprenticeship while in Germany instead of applying from abroad. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to afford their living expenses during this period.
- Future Implementation: The precise details of the “chancenkarte” scheme are yet to be finalized, and it is not expected to be available until at least the end of 2023.
- Emphasis on Professional Experience: The new system will make it easier for individuals with professional experience, rather than just a university degree, to come and work in Germany.
- Recognition of Foreign Qualifications: Germany will become more open to recognizing job experience and professional qualifications obtained in workers’ home countries. Currently, the country has strict criteria for recognizing qualifications.