German cabinet approves new laws easing skilled immigration 

The German government approved draft legislation to ease immigration by skilled people from outside the European Union at a cabinet meeting in Berlin on Wednesday.

The move came in response to calls from business facing a tight labour market with more than 800,000 unfilled vacancies.

The two draft laws will also ease residence conditions for well-integrated foreigners with jobs who currently have only temporary residence permits, on condition they have been in work for some time.

Whereas politicians from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), wished to prevent the legislation being used by rejected asylum seekers to secure permanent residence, their coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) were keen to launch the initiative.

Observers said the legislation was likely to face amendments when presented to parliament.

Merkel’s conservative bloc insists that rejected asylum seekers who have failed to provide details on their true origin should not benefit.

German business is seeking a relaxation of the laws on immigration to alleviate a widespread skills shortage. According to official figures, unemployment in November came in at 4.8 per cent, a record low, while the number of unfilled vacancies stood at 807,000.

According to a recent survey, two thirds of medium-sized companies in Germany aim to recruit staff in the years ahead.

Source: dpa

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