The German government has agreed to relax its immigration regulations to attract qualified people to its job market.
To achieve this, the German cabinet will introduce a point-based system similar to Canada’s, to hire people who speak German or have the necessary qualifications.
The country’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, said the changes would create “the most modern immigration law in Europe”.
The point-based system: The ruling three-party coalition wants to introduce an “opportunity card”, based on a points system that would assess applicants from outside the EU taking into account factors such as language skills and work experience.
Therefore, the reform will include the following:
- Simplification of the process for the recognition of foreign titles and allow unskilled workers to cover certain sectors.
- Shorten the time for immigrants living in Germany to obtain citizenship, i.e. 3 years instead of 8 years
- The immigrant has to prove that he has some German language skills.
- Changing the constitution to allow dual citizenship, which is largely prohibited in Germany.
Critic Trail Movement: Meanwhile, Germany’s conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz criticized the move. According to him, the country has more than two million unemployed within its borders and has not been able to exploit the potential that this presents.
The aging population of Germany: Germany already has an aging workforce, as well as a lack of workers in construction, healthcare and information technology, so Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said seven million skilled workers would be needed by 2035. .
Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy, requires an additional 400,000 foreign workers a year, according to analysts.
Although Germany benefits from freedom of movement throughout the EU, people do not want to move there because “the bureaucracy is terrible, the taxes are too high”.
The participation of Nigerians: This is good news for Nigerian healthcare, IT and construction professionals looking for job opportunities in Europe and other parts of the world. Lately, healthcare and IT professionals have had the most opportunities, but construction professionals can now take advantage of the reform.
The onus is on Nigerian professionals to improve their German language skills, which are essential for finding employment and living in Germany.
Something to consider: Although Germany has become a “country of hope” for people looking to start a new life abroad, not all German politicians support immigration reforms that allow the entry of foreign workers. Some German conservatives have argued that now is not the time to simplify citizenship law, especially since the government has yet to make progress in deporting those who do not have the legal right to stay in the country.
It can also take months for proposals to be considered by the Bundestag (Germany’s parliament). But as Finance Minister Robert Habeck said, it is now urgent to address the problem. Therefore, it can happen sooner than expected.
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