Last week the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, published an article detailing a preliminary draft for a new immigration law in Germany.  Although the draft is not publicly available, the newspaper revealed that the new immigration law is set to be approved by Angela Merkel’s cabinet on December 19, 2018.  According to Süddeutsche Zeitung the key aspects of the law are as follows:

  • Any foreign national who signs an employment contract and meets qualification requirements (or their equivalent) will be permitted to work in Germany.  The new draft would strip away a key requirement of the current law – no longer requiring a “priority check” of whether a German or EU citizen is available to fill the same position.
  • Skilled workers will be provided the opportunity to move to Germany for a period of six months to search for employment.  Skilled workers will be issued a residence permit that provides permission to work or to seek employment.  Applicants will be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the German language, the ability to pay for the cost of living in Germany, and the attainment of “equivalence” of their qualification (e.g., academic or other credentials).
  • The draft law also contains certain provisions governing refugees, including the ability to work in Germany for two years after having completed their qualification training in Germany.

Additional details are expected to be made publicly available once the new law is approved.