The traffic light wants to ease the hurdles for the immigration of workers to Germany in the new year. According to top representatives of business and trade unions, this is a step that is long overdue. But new rules alone are not enough for them.

Business and trade unions are calling for comprehensive decisions for the new year to make it much easier for workers and skilled workers to move to Germany. “We should welcome all those who want to come to us and who we need with open arms and respect,” said Employer President Rainer Dulger of the German Press Agency in Berlin. DGB boss Yasmin Fahimi said: “We have to move away from the testing culture to an enabling and welcoming culture.”

In autumn, the government decided on the key points for a new immigration law for skilled workers. Non-EU citizens without a recognized qualification should also be allowed to enter the country. Selection criteria should be professional experience or a connection to Germany.

“First of all, we can live very well with the key points of the federal government,” said Fahimi. “I hope that this will now be implemented sensibly in the departmental coordination.” It is welcome, for example, that Germany also wants to make an effort to attract young potential who have not yet completed their training. “All these people must not be faced with bureaucratic hurdles.”

Other setting:

Top representatives of the economy drew attention to the “outdated procedures” and the “inner attitude in some authorities”, as DIHK President Peter Adrian said. “There are still many hurdles on the way for skilled workers to immigrate,” said Adrian.

The General Secretary of the Central Association of German Skilled Trades, Holger Schwannecke, told the dpa: “In Germany, everything that comes from outside is often viewed very skeptically – knowing full well that we do not have enough skilled workers for companies and companies with domestic potential alone will.”

A different attitude is needed – “also in the labor administration and the immigration authorities,” said Schwannecke. The cornerstones of the government went in the right direction. Even for simple jobs, the companies can often no longer find workers.

Citizenship prospects:

Fahimi and Dulger also called for easier citizenship. “I am very much in favor of skilled workers who work with us being able to obtain citizenship within a shorter period of time,” said the Employers’ President. “This is precisely the immigration that we want and that we need.”

Fahimi said: “It’s nonsensical when we say we want workers from all over the world, but we’ll tell you right away that you have no right to German citizenship.” If someone sets off completely independently, they need a realistic option that they can settle down permanently.

Conditions in Germany:

Dulger warned: “I think we think we’re much more attractive than we actually are.” Germany is no longer attractive for everyone, for example because there aren’t enough daycare places. In addition, attractive living space is necessary for the people who come. “We want people to stay and work with us permanently.”

Fahimi promoted easier family reunification and sometimes lower language requirements. “When my Iranian part of the family fled from Iran to California in 1978/79, not everyone spoke perfect English,” said Fahimi. “But nobody in the USA was interested in that. And the United States would be unthinkable today if it had an immigration law like we’ve had for decades.” An example should be taken from that.

National Strategy:

Dulger said: “We have to act quickly and decisively – with a national strategy.” He still misses that in the federal government at the moment. It must be possible to do much more digitally. Schwannecke said: “It takes a long time for visas, because the consulates are overloaded.” A lot is still done manually.

DIHK President Adrian explained: “What we need and what we want is uncomplicated handling via the consulates, via the representations abroad.” That is currently failing due to the administrative structures. “The Federal Foreign Office must switch to digital procedures very quickly and decisively so that German diplomatic missions abroad issue visas more quickly,” he demanded.