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Jan 31, 2005
New German immigration law for skilled workers
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New rules in Germany effective from January 1 will make entering and staying in Germany easier for skilled migrants, while keeping tight restrictions on unskilled immigration, the broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DE) reported.


DE mentioned that the new law is the result of a compromise between the German government and opposition. It tries to address two conflicting economic issues:


  1. Germany continues a process of liberalizing migration for skilled workers who are  

      needed due to Germany's ageing population and shortage of skilled workers,   

      especially in Information Technology.


  2. On the other hand, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the EU, many

      politicians don't want to allow unrestricted access for immigrants.



For the Qualified


Life will be easier for highly qualified immigrants:


*Under the German green card rules introduced in 2000, foreign IT experts had to leave

  Germany after five years, but now they will be allowed to remain permanently.


*Foreigners graduating from German universities can now look for work over one year

   if they wish to remain.


* Persons investing at least 1 million euros and employing ten workers will be allowed



* To reduce bureaucracy, potential immigrants will be able to obtain their work and

   residence permits at one location, such as the German embassy in their home country.




For Citizens outside EU


On the other hand, citizens of countries from outside the European Union will still not be allowed to perform simple jobs, unless they are subject to special regulations such as seasonal contracts. And the seven-year restriction on the free movement of labor for the ten countries that joined the EU in May 2004 will remain in place.


Due to claims that newcomers are not integrating into Germany, the government has allocated 200 million euros for state-funded German language courses for all immigrants.

This service was previously available only to ethnic Germans emigrating from the former Soviet Union. But this group will now have to pass a language test before being allowed to settle in Germany.

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