Immigration update: German immigration reforms

13 Jul 2023 | Icon Plus, Icon Relo

Germany has embraced immigration for a long time as a means to strengthen its economy and society. Last month, Germany introduced a set of new immigration laws aimed at attracting and retaining global talent. These progressive changes demonstrate Germany’s commitment to fostering innovation, addressing labour shortages, and reinforcing its reputation as an inclusive nation.

New ‘opportunity card’

The new immigration laws have expanded opportunities for skilled professionals from non-EU countries with the new ‘opportunity card’, or Chancenkarte. The card allows some non-German citizens to come to Germany for a year to find a job. To be eligible, applicants must have a university degree or vocational qualification, and will be awarded points based on criteria including: language skills, existing ties to Germany, spouses/partner work potential.

This change acknowledges the importance of diverse skill sets and opens more doors for talented individuals seeking employment in Germany. As a result, more professionals can contribute their expertise to the country’s growing industries.

Vocational training now recognised

Previously, certain visas (including the blue card) required individuals to have a university degree which was recognised in Germany. Now, university degrees do not have to be recognised in Germany, as long as they are recognised in their home state, and vocational qualifications are also considered. The recognition of vocational qualifications acknowledges the importance of diverse skill sets and opens doors for talented individuals seeking employment in Germany.

Start-up visas and entrepreneurship

Germany’s new immigration laws have also introduced favourable conditions for entrepreneurs and start-up founders. The start-up visa program encourages foreign entrepreneurs to establish their innovative ventures in Germany. This initiative not only strengthens the start-up ecosystem but also promotes job creation and economic growth. By fostering a welcoming environment for entrepreneurial talent, Germany positions itself as a hub for innovation and business development.

Integration and language support

Recognising the importance of successful integration, Germany’s new immigration laws prioritise language learning and integration support for newcomers. Integration courses, including language training and orientation programs, are offered to facilitate the social integration of immigrants. By providing these resources, Germany aims to ensure that individuals who choose to make Germany their home can fully participate in society and contribute to their communities.

Family reunification

The new immigration laws also focus on facilitating family reunification for immigrants residing in Germany. The legislation streamlines the process for bringing family members to join individuals who are already settled in the country. This provision acknowledges the significance of strong family ties and promotes social cohesion by allowing families to live together and build a future in Germany.

Germany’s new immigration laws represent another step toward attracting global talent, fostering economic growth, and embracing diversity. The expanded job opportunities, streamlined visa processes, emphasis on entrepreneurship, and support for integration and family reunification are key pillars of these progressive changes. By attracting skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and their families, Germany is hoping to enhance its competitiveness in the global market and reinforce its position as a destination that values innovation, diversity, and inclusivity.

As Germany continues to implement these new immigration laws, it is expected to witness an influx of talent and ideas that will contribute to the country’s development across various sectors. These changes not only benefit immigrants seeking new opportunities but also position Germany as a welcoming and forward-thinking nation, ready to shape its future with the collective strength of diverse individuals from around the world.

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