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March 2015

Germany Are Considering A New Immigration Plan

Published: Tuesday 10 March 2015

The German government is mulling over proposals that would lead to an overhaul of the country’s skilled immigration programme. Although recent figures show that net-migration to Germany is rising rapidly, it is believed that not enough is being done to secure the skilled immigrants that the country, which has one of the world’s lowest birthrates, desperately needs to maintain its economic strength. The plans, which have been presented by the centre-left Social Democrats – one of the parties which make up Germany’s coalition government – would emulate similar systems used in countries like Canada and Australia, whereby applicants are awarded points according to their language and job skills, as well as other factors. The number of points scored would then determine whether or not they qualify for work and residency permits. “We will lose up to 6.7 million employees in the coming 10 years because of the demographic trend,” the party said in its plan, referring to Germany’s aging population. “Our goal must be to prevent the expected decline in the potential labour force…We will master the demographic challenges only if we succeed in keeping immigration approximately at previous years’ levels.” Any new system would include an annual immigration quota, and work permits would be granted for three years initially. Newcomers’ pay would be subject to existing region- and sector-specific collective wage deals, so as not to undercut German workers. As with any EU-member country, due to the Union’s freedom of movement rules, should it be implemented this new system would apply to non-European applicants. Critics of the country’s current immigration system say its rules are overly complex and are putting off skilled workers from outside the European Union. More than two thirds of immigrants to Germany currently hail from other EU countries.