Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act Paves the Way for Stronger Ties with the Philippines

December 20, 2023

As diplomatic ties between Germany and the Philippines approach a remarkable 70 years, German Ambassador Dr. Andreas Pfaffernoschke sees vast potential for collaboration between the two nations.

“Germany and the Philippines have a huge potential in increasing their cooperation in the fight against climate change and the promotion of renewable energy,” said Ambassador Pfaffernoschke. “We are united in our commitment to a rules-based international order, and the stable macroeconomic environment offers promising perspectives for trade and investment. Additionally, we will foster cooperation on the migration of skilled workers to Germany in technical professions.”

The strong people-to-people ties are the most promising on the list – something that can be strengthened even further through Germany’s new, Skilled Immigration Act.

This new legislation in Germany will introduce novel channels for skilled workers from countries outside the European Union (EU) – including the Philippines – to immigrate to Germany. This act significantly broadens opportunities for individuals seeking entry into Germany and the European Union for the recognition of their foreign professional qualifications. The phased implementation of these new regulations began in November of this year.

As of last month, notable enhancements for skilled workers from non-EU countries have been implemented. For those with higher education qualifications, immigration possibilities are broadened through the EU Blue Card, featuring lowered salary thresholds, expanded eligibility, an extended list of professions, and facilitated family reunification.

IT specialists can now secure an EU Blue Card based on professional experience alone, without a formal qualification. Additionally, the Act ensures that skilled workers with professional or academic training are entitled to a residence permit, provided all requirements are met.

Those with completed professional qualifications or higher education can engage in any qualified employment within the non-regulated sector, and the connection between training and employment is no longer mandatory. The employment process for drivers is also streamlined. These amendments mark a pivotal moment in Germany’s commitment to fostering inclusive immigration and strengthening ties with skilled workers from around the globe.

“Germany is welcoming skilled workers with open arms and full support,” said German Embassy’s Economic Counsellor Dr. David Klebs. “This law creates even better incentives for Filipino skilled workers to consider working in Germany.”

Working closely with the Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the German Embassy wants to make sure that immigration is fair and sustainable with a high standard of protection and equality for Filipinos starting to work in Germany.

Why Germany?

When asked what makes Germany attractive for skilled workers, Counsellor Klebs highlighted the excellent working and living conditions, equal pay, full health insurance, and legal access to permanent residence and citizenship. He emphasized the family-friendly policies, joint government and company-run programs, and the positive impact on the Filipino workforce in terms of remittances, work experiences, and skills development.

With the Skilled Immigration Act, the migration process is also made much easier. Georg Leube of the Visa Department explains that the act simplifies immigration for skilled workers with vocational training and practical knowledge. It also introduces new provisions for the EU Blue Card visa, facilitating work migration, especially for highly qualified workers in MINT (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, and technology) professions and medical doctors. He also pointed out the significance of healthcare workers, highlighting new provisions for assistants in nursing recognized in Germany that also enhance the Triple Win program. “With the Triple Win program or the existing work migration of recognized nurses or nurses going to Germany for recognition measures, we already have made good experiences. They are needed and welcomed in Germany’s health care sector,” he shared. “For the work migrants, even the settlement permits will be eased so they can apply for this in a shorter time than before.”

Administrative procedures, such as online applications are available and aimed at speeding up the immigration process. However, it’s also crucial to note that individuals aspiring to practice regulated professions in Germany must still undergo the recognition process. Even in non-regulated professions, recognition proves advantageous, providing numerous benefits for long-term professional integration and a promising future in Germany.

The Skilled Immigration Act signifies a progressive step in the bilateral relationship, promoting collaboration, fair immigration, and mutual benefit for Germany and the Philippines. As the two nations look forward to celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties, the act emerges as a pivotal element in fostering shared prosperity and understanding.

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