Fresh wind for Berlin's startup scene - The Bundestag passes the Skilled Worker Immigration Act

A press release of the SPD parliamentary group reads as follows:

With the new Skilled Workers Immigration Act, the conditions for entry into entry to Germany for founders will be made significantly easier. The law says foreigners can be granted a residence permit for the purpose of preparing a business start-up - for example, for participation in an accelerator or start-up scholarship program. Prerequisites are the status as a skilled worker and the ability to secure one's own livelihood. Previously, entry was only possible once the financing of the entrepreneurial project was already secured.

"Especially for Berlin, the startup capital, this is a great benefit. I therefore welcome very much that the regulation has become part of the new law."

Recently, the number of company startups in Germany declined significantly. In 2022, there were 18 percent fewer startups than in the previous year. Berlin however, remains the frontrunner with 142 startups in 2022. Most venture capital is also invested in Berlin. Around half of the 9.9 billion euros invested in Germany billion euros flowed into the capital in 2022.

Overall, the new Skilled Workers Immigration Act provides for a simplification of immigration regulations for workers. In the future, people with recognized degrees will be able to pursue any skilled occupation in non-regulated professions, regardless of their degree. Work experience will carry significantly more weight. In the future, people will also be able to immigrate to Germany if they have at least two years of work experience, a professional qualification and earnings above a certain salary threshold. 

The qualification no longer has to be formally recognized in Germany before entering the country. Recognition partnerships with companies ensure that skilled workers can already work in Germany while their professional qualifications are being recognized. 

In addition, an opportunity card will be introduced that will allow people without a work contract can come to Germany for 1 year to look for a job.

"For the first time, it will be much easier for people of all qualification levels to come to Germany. Lengthy recognition procedures are no longer absolutely necessary. This is a milestone. At the same time, we are ensuring more workers and more job protection. Because only companies covered by collective agreements are allowed to deviate from the salary thresholds when employing people from outside the EU," says Hakan Demir, rapporteur for the SPD parliamentary.

In 2022, Berlin had a shortage of around 100,000 skilled workers. By 2035, this shortage will rise to around 414,000 people in Berlin and 7 million workers nationwide.

July 2023