01/04/2021

With the implementation of the Skilled Immigration Act in March 2020, skilled workers from third countries were supposed to immigrate to Germany in a targeted manner. The intention was to create not only a framework but also an encouragement for this type of skilled immigration. 


The accelerated procedure for skilled workers was intended to function as a "fast lane" to avoid the problem of overburdened embassies. Whether this also solved the problem of overburdened immigration authorities and recognition offices - was not foreseeable at the time.


However, the advantages of the Skilled Immigration Act are - as the name suggests - conditional on the migrant actually being a "skilled worker".


So who is a "skilled worker"?


German national residence law says the following - quite simply:


A skilled worker within the meaning of this law is a foreigner who

1. possesses a professional qualification or a foreign professional qualification equivalent to a professional qualification in Germany (skilled worker with professional training) 

or

2. has a German higher education qualification, a recognised foreign higher education qualification or a foreign higher education qualification comparable to a German higher education qualification (skilled worker with academic training).


Well, who is really a skilled worker?

This is usually decided by the recognition authorities in a special procedure. 


Have more skilled workers actually immigrated to Germany? Could the shortage of skilled workers be covered by immigration?

For the purpose of employment (i.e. also for taking up self-employment), 60,945 visas (cf. https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob/2439256/857094ef5728c4c12b9e7576348bb8e3/210202-erteilte-d-visa-2020-barrierefrei-data.pdf) were issued worldwide by German representations abroad in 2020 - in comparison, 119,496 visas were issued worldwide in 2019. (vgl. https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob/2304368/c8880d52c26a9314f0c416a90879e0a0/200206-uebersicht-d-visa2019-data.pdf) 

So we can probably continue to assume - also due to the pandemic - that there will be a shortage of skilled workers.


But doesn't the Skilled Immigration Act inevitably lead to a brain gain in Germany and a brain drain in third countries? 

Perhaps.


By the way:

According to the Skilled Immigration Act, it may now be possible to come to Germany even if the professional qualification acquired in the country of origin is not fully recognised. 

In this case, however, German language skills at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required. 

The migrant may then come to Germany in order to achieve full recognition through qualification measures.

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