Germany is set to pass a law this week making it easier for skilled workers, especially from outside the European Union, to immigrate after the government came to agreement on Monday, according to lawmakers from the ruling coalition parties.
Katja Mast of the Social Democratic Party, which governs alongside the Free Democrats and Greens, said the long-overdue reforms would modernise Germany’s immigration policies.
“And we will achieve that this week,” she said at a news conference alongside the FDP’s Johannes Vogel and the Greens’ Irene Mihalic.
With the law, Europe’s largest economy hopes to combat a labour shortage: According to the labour ministry, the number of job vacancies in 2022 was at a record high of nearly 2 million.
According to the draft legislation, which was unveiled by the government at the end of March, the reform could increase the number of workers from countries outside the EU by 60,000 people a year.
It offers foreign workers three pathways to enter the country, including a new “opportunity card” for individuals who do not have a job offer but have the potential to find work.
The opportunity card follows a points-based system that takes into account qualifications, language skills, professional experience, connection to Germany and age.