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New rules 'open door' to skilled foreigners

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New rules 'open door' to skilled foreigners
Photo: DPA
14:30 CET+01:00
Workers from outside the EU with vocational skills which are in short supply in Germany are to be fast-tracked through the immigration system, according to new rules approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.

The new rules will simplify the entry process for in-demand foreign trained employees to make it easier for them to come and work in Germany, said Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Until now, only workers with vocational skills from inside the EU had easy access to jobs in Germany, whereas non-EU citizens generally had a hard time getting visas and work permits.

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“The new regulation will throw 40 percent of the old clauses overboard and open the door wide for sought-after, trained employees, who can move the country forward,” said the minister.

As of this July foreigners wanting to work in Germany must check whether their training is equal to a formal German traineeship or Ausbilding. This process can be started from abroad.

Regular checks by the Federal Labour Office on the state of the jobs market will determine whether there is a demand for workers trained in a particular profession and create a so-called "positive list."

Foreign applicants for work permits who have proved their training is equal to that offered in Germany will then be checked against this list and fast-tracked according to demand for their skills.

Qualified immigrants are an important factor in securing Germany's future prosperity, said von der Leyen, emphasising that the country's economy could only remain strong in the long term if it had enough skilled workers.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

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