On June 23, Germany’s parliament passed immigration reforms to address labour shortages in the country.
Reports show that 53% of German companies are experiencing worker shortages, particularly in industries such as electrical equipment manufacturing, mechanical engineering, technology, car making, nursing, childcare, and construction.
In response to this issue, Germany introduced new immigration laws to facilitate the entry of skilled workers from non-EU countries.
One significant aspect of the new legislation is the introduction of an “opportunity card,” which allows skilled workers to move to Germany without a job offer and search for employment for up to one year.
This is a departure from the previous requirement that non-EU workers needed a confirmed job offer before relocating to Germany.
With Kenya’s unemployment rate estimated at 4.9% in 2022, these immigration reforms offer potential opportunities for Kenyan workers to secure higher-paying jobs in Germany.
Moreover, the new law has revised salary thresholds for skilled workers.
Previously, non-EU workers seeking employment in Germany had to earn a minimum salary of EUR 55,200 per year.
However, the new law lowers this threshold to EUR 40,304 per year for specific occupations such as IT specialists and engineers.
Consequently, more skilled workers from non-EU countries can now fulfil the requirements to work in Germany.
Another favourable aspect of the legislation is the simplified recognition of foreign degrees.
Skilled workers from non-EU countries will no longer be required to have their degrees recognized by German authorities if they can demonstrate at least two years of professional experience in their field.
This change streamlines the process for skilled workers to find employment in Germany.
The new law also enables skilled workers’ families to join them in Germany more easily. Spouses and children of skilled workers can now obtain a visa that allows them to work and study in the country.
Options for Kenyans seeking to immigrate and work in German
For Kenyans seeking to immigrate and work in Germany, there are several pathways available. One option is to secure a job offer from a German employer, who would then apply for a work permit on their behalf. With a valid work permit, individuals can subsequently apply for a visa to enter Germany.
Alternatively, individuals can pursue a residence permit as skilled workers. To qualify for this type of permit, applicants must possess a university degree or equivalent professional qualification in a field that is in demand in Germany.
Additionally, they must have a job offer in Germany that meets certain salary requirements.
In cases where individuals do not possess a job offer or university degree, it may still be possible to immigrate to Germany if they possess specific skills that are in demand in the country. For instance, nurses and doctors may have opportunities to find employment in Germany even without a confirmed job offer.
To increase your chances of getting work in Germany, you may want to target in-demand occupations such as IT, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing. You can use websites such as Indeed, Monster, Kijiji, and Glassdoor to apply for jobs in Germany.
You may also want to learn German, the official language of Germany. There are many resources available to help you learn German, such as online courses, language schools, and immersion programs.
Finally, you can use a recruitment agency to help you find a job in Germany that matches your skills and experience.
Several recruitment agencies specialize in placing international workers in jobs in Germany.
By Benson Bundi