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28 Mar, 2023 05:30

Germany to ease immigration rules to tackle workforce shortage – CNBC

A recent survey shows that over half of German companies are having trouble finding skilled workers
Germany to ease immigration rules to tackle workforce shortage – CNBC

Germany is set to introduce a new nationality law that is aimed at helping the country deal with a shortage of skilled workers, CNBC reported on Monday, citing a draft regulation.

According to the report, the new law would cut the time foreigners need to apply for German citizenship from the current eight years to five, or even three in cases in which applicants have made extra effort to integrate, for instance, by becoming proficient in German. The draft law would also lift the ban on dual citizenship for migrants from non-EU countries.

The regulation also suggests basing immigrant entry on a points system, similar to Canada’s, which allows skilled workers to come on the basis of suitable work experience and a job offer, without having professional qualifications that are recognized in Germany.

The legislative changes are reportedly set to be submitted for approval by lawmakers in the coming weeks, and passed by this summer.

Analysts say the change in immigration regulations could not have come at a better time. According to a January survey by the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), over half of German companies have difficulties filling vacancies due to a lack of skilled workers. The ratio of firms facing worker shortages is at its highest ever level, with 53% out of 22,000 companies reporting shortages. The authors of the survey concluded that around 2 million vacancies in the country remain unfilled.

A study published earlier this month by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the German Bertelsmann Foundation found that Germany is rapidly losing popularity as a destination for highly skilled migrants and entrepreneurs from abroad. The study examined the conditions that attract qualified migrants for 38 countries in cooperation with the OECD, including professional opportunities, income, taxes, opportunities for family members, and quality of life. It found that Germany dropped three places to 15th compared to a 2019 study.

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