Long waiting times when you need a skilled manual worker, a crisis in the care sector and a large number of IT vacancies ‒ in recent years, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany has become apparent in many aspects of everyday life. That is why the German business sector has been calling for a long time for easier skilled immigration, as demand for skilled workers cannot be met domestically. The German Government took the first step towards this on 30 November when it agreed its key points on skilled immigration.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said:
‘Skilled immigration’ is an abstract term, but personally, I don’t find it abstract at all. I associate it with the faces of the many young, well-educated people whom I have met on my trips abroad. Many of them hope to be able to further their careers in Germany. In order to make these hopes come true, Germany needs to make progress on skilled immigration.
Through its visa offices, the Federal Foreign Office will also play its part in addressing the shortage of skilled workers in Germany. This is a major undertaking, as we can expect to see a six-figure additional number of visa applications per year from people such as IT professionals, nurses, carers and skilled manual workers. It is not enough to simply increase the number of staff in our visa offices. The Federal Foreign Office promotes efforts to make all German administrative procedures involved in skilled immigration more transparent, faster and available online. Within its own remit, it has already been working on this for a long time, and its Consular Services Portal is constantly expanding the option to apply for visas online Visas for skilled workers take priority here. Along with the other organisations involved, such as the Federal Employment Agency and the foreigners authorities, steps are being taken to expand online visa services as a whole.
In order to implement the key points, some legislation will need to be amended. This process is to begin at the start of 2023.