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Countries Easing jobs Rules to Get Immigrant Workers

Germany’s latest set of employment laws are one example of how to combat labor shortages with immigration

In recent years, numerous Western countries have grappled with labor shortages, presenting a significant challenge to their economic vitality. Faced with aging populations, declining birth rates, and skill gaps in various sectors, countries in North America and Europe are increasingly turning to immigration as a vital solution. Immigration not only bolsters workforce numbers but also contributes to economic growth by filling crucial positions in industries facing acute shortages. 

One such country turning to immigration as a solution to its labor shortages is Germany. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Germany’s “Skilled Workers Immigration Act” and how these new employment laws are helping attract and retain more foreign workers:

Germany’s Skilled Workers Immigration Act

In 2023, Germany’s federal government passed a series of new employment and immigration laws, known as the Skilled Workers Immigration Act. The legislation makes it easier for German companies to hire non-EU employees, and it also eases restrictions on foreign workers living in the country for extended periods of time. 

Some additional details about the legislation:

  • Greater emphasis on prior work experience, rather than academic qualifications 
  • Option for foreign workers to bring their families to Germany
  • Option for certain skilled workers to move to Germany before they have a job and stay for up to one year while they look for a full-time position

    The German federal government estimates that the new legislation could bring 60,000 more foreign workers to the country each year, alleviating labor shortages in key industries like healthcare, IT, and engineering. 

·        Understanding Merit-Based Immigration Systems

  • The new legislation also includes a merit-based points system to determine eligibility for individuals seeking entry into the country for work purposes. Points are assigned based on various factors, including a person’s job qualifications, such as training or certificates, professional experience, and their connection to the country.
  • Germany isn’t the first country to implement a points-based system for business immigration. Canada’s “Express Entry” program also selects skilled workers for permanent residence based on a ranking system. Foreigners interested in immigrating to Canada must create an online profile where they provide information about their skills, work experience, language proficiency, education, and other relevant factors. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) assigns points to these factors, and candidates are ranked against each other based on their CRS scores. Regular draws are conducted from the Express Entry pool, and candidates with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for permanent residence.

    Australia’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is also a points-based immigration system for foreign workers, designed to select skilled migrants who can contribute to the Australian economy based on their education level, work experience, language proficiency, and other qualifications.


  • If you’re an HR professional or company leader looking to hire international talent, get access to our business immigration solutions and in-house legal team here.

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