01 March 2021 was the first anniversary of the Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz taking effect in Germany. Despite the Corona pandemic, the first assessment is positive.
The Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz establishes the legal framework and regulations for the residence and immigration of skilled workers from third countries to Germany. This regulatory framework is intended to create opportunities for the recruitment of qualified workers in line with economic needs and to make the process clearer and more transparent.
The Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz is part of the Federal Government’s skilled labour strategy. In order for companies to be able to fully exploit their potential in the future, the Federal Government is increasing its focus on qualification, education and training as well as on improving the compatibility of work and family life in order to increase the supply of domestic skilled workers.
For the first time, the term “skilled workers” is defined uniformly and clearly: Skilled workers are both university graduates and employees with more qualified vocational training. IT specialists can also enter the country without a formal qualification if they have significant work experience. Low-skilled workers remain fundamentally excluded from the new immigration regulations.
The Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz has now been in force for one year. Within the first 10 months, i.e. the period in 2020 after it came into force, almost 30,000 visas have already been issued by the German missions abroad to qualified skilled workers and trainees from third countries. This is a strong and positive resonance, especially considering the current situation due to the Corona pandemic. Several federal states have established central foreigners authorities specialised in skilled labour immigration issues. At the Federal Employment Agency, a Central Service Point for Vocational Recognition has been set up for interested skilled workers abroad. The important new instrument of the accelerated procedure for skilled workers is increasingly used.
Accompanying to taking effect of the Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz, further measures were initiated by the Federal Government. There are improvements in administrative and recognition procedures and an expansion of language support, as well as a strategy for attracting skilled workers from abroad has been developed (including targeted advertising measures abroad). The Federal Government’s umbrella portal for the recruitment of skilled workers from abroad provides comprehensive information for companies and foreign skilled workers at www.make-it-in-germany.com/de/ (available in English).