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Immigration to Saxony for Qualified Workers
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Immigration to Saxony for Qualified Workers

»Welcome to Saxony!« – This shall not only be a greeting but also a motto

Immigration policy means policy for the future. In order to guarantee prosperity, Germany needs well-trained and motivated professionals from other countries. If we want our country to remain a worthwhile place to live in and our economy to continue to function in the long term, we will not be able to achieve that on our own. Therefore, we need qualified and trained people willing to integrate. However, we have to prepare for that together. Therefore, I would like to get rid of some misleading clichés that still exist in our minds.

Already in 2009, it was clear to us that immigration is an important element of our further development. And what we also noticed then was that German immigration law could not cope with such a development. Saxony has significantly shaped the national discussion about changing German residence law. The result is a new Residence Act which means a significant step towards a policy of managed immigration. I am proud that 80% of this new Act were shaped by Saxony. Essential elements of the Saxon Bundesrat initiative have been taken up.

The following pages demonstrate to you the main points of our program. However, now it is important to make Saxony more attractive for top talents from all over the world and their families.
After all it is all about the future of Saxony. I am looking forward to your support.

Markus Ulbig
Minister of the Interior, Free State of Saxony

April 2016 - Smartphone provides guidance on professional recognition – a new app has been launched for professional recognition

A new app has been launched to find out how to obtain recognition for foreign professional and vocational qualifications in April 2016. The »Recognition in Germany« app is designed for Android, iOS and Windows devices and is available in German and English as well as Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Tigrinya and Pashto.

The new app offers an introduction to the topic of recognition, explains the procedure involved and gives users easy access to advisory bodies by identifying and providing the contact details for their nearest counselling centre operating within the »Integration through Qualification« Funding Programme (IQ).

Applications for the recognition of a foreign professional or vocational qualification may be made irrespective of the residency status of the applicant. In some cases, recognition of the foreign qualification is a prerequisite for exercising the relevant profession in Germany at all (e.g. doctor, nurse or teacher). A recognition procedure is, however, useful in the job search process in every case since an equivalence notice helps employers to arrive at a better assessment of the foreign qualification.

The app has been provided by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and can be downloaded free of charge in app stores and from the Recognition Portal www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/app with immediate effect.

January 2016 - Facilitated access to the German labor market for nationals of the Western Balkans from January 1, 2016 until end of 2020

When passing a legal regulation in October 2015, classifying Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia as so-called »safe countries of origin«, provisions for nationals of these countries for accessing the German labor market were relaxed.

From January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020, nationals of the countries of origin mentioned above may be granted a residence permit in Germany for working in all professions, doing vocational training and other jobs. This shall also apply if they have not done qualifying vocational training or if their professional qualification is not recognized in Germany. However, working as a temporary worker shall be excluded from the regulation.

Requirements shall be a specific employment offer by an employer in Germany as of January 1, 2016, or later and an application filed with the responsible German mission in the country of origin for the respective visa.

However, applicants must not have retained benefits according to German asylum seeker benefits act within the last 24 months. This shall not apply to people having applied for asylum in Germany between January 1, 2015, and October 24, 2015, having stayed in Germany until October 24, 2015, and having left Germany immediately after this deadline. This group of people may re-enter Germany as of January 1, 2016, if the requirements mentioned above apply to them and if the responsible immigration office agrees to re-entry.

The Federal Employment Agency has issued an information brochure regarding requirements and procedures called Arbeiten und Leben in Deutschland (Working and Living in Germany), which can be downloaded in German and the afore-mentioned countries’ languages.

3 November 2015 – Closing event of the »Immigration offices – Welcome offices« model project by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Berlin

(from left to right) Bülent Arslan, imap GmbH, Angela Köllner, Ramboll Consulting, Dr. Michael Griesbeck and Kastriot Gjoni (BAMF), Dr. Thomas de Maizière, Federal Minister of the Interior, Regina Jordan and Martin Lauterbach (BAMF)

(from left to right) Bülent Arslan, imap GmbH, Angela Köllner, Ramboll Consulting, Dr. Michael Griesbeck and Kastriot Gjoni (BAMF), Dr. Thomas de Maizière, Federal Minister of the Interior, Regina Jordan and Martin Lauterbach (BAMF)
(© BAMF)

At the concluding event of the »Immigration offices – Welcome offices« project in Berlin, Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière acknowledged the results of the two-year project. »A society of welcome and recognition which encounters growing diversity without prejudice and recognizes potentials, performance and limits of everyone has great significance,« said the Federal Minister of the Interior while presenting the toolbox. »For arriving immigrants our immigration offices are Germany's face.«

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees had started the project together with ten federal states in October 2013. The Free State of Saxony participated in the project with the immigration office of the city of Chemnitz as a model location and the immigration office of the city of Dresden. Other model locations were Bietigheim-Bissingen (Baden-Wurttemberg), Deggendorf (Bavaria), Potsdam (Brandenburg), Wetteraukreis (Hessen), Essen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Mainz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt), Kiel (Schleswig-Holstein) und Weimar (Thuringia).

During the model project, the immigration offices were supported on their way to becoming welcome offices. In the fields of strategic and organisational development, HR development and networking, practical approaches were developed and tested, then summarized as recommendations in a »toolbox« and made available to other authorities. On site, the locations were supported during the entire project by the Rambøll Management Consulting GmbH in cooperation with the imap GmbH.

»The toolbox is a merit of all participating immigration offices. It shall help to give new impulses to their work, pursue proven concepts, try innovations and set standards,« said the Vice President of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Dr. Michael Griesbeck. The toolbox includes means which have been used successfully in the model project, such as intercultural training for employees, new appointment management systems and multi-language forms. It is available for everyone interested on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees www.bamf.de/werkzeugkoffer. The toolbox shall help to give new impulses in everyday work, try innovations and set standards.

About 120 representatives participated in the closing event. Besides the Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière and State Secretary Dr. Albin numerous representatives of ministries of the interior and social affairs of the participating federal states, representatives of the participating model locations and representatives of partner authorities Heidelberg (Baden-Wurttemberg), Erlangen (Bavaria), Kassel and Wiesbaden (Hessen), Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Dresden (Saxony) were invited. Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Foreign Office, the Office of the Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, research institutes, foundations and other interested immigration offices took part.

Already in September 2015, the city of Chemnitz had presented its immigration office's results of the project to the press. Participating in the project was »a milestone« for the Chemnitz immigration office according to mayor Miko Runkel. The new orientation included organisational restructuring, team building measures and additional staff recruitment as well as spatial redesign, employee training for service improvement and customer orientation and the setup of an appointment management system. In particular, improved networking with the technical university of Chemnitz and the Federal Employment Agency was extended and the cooperation with the Migrants Advisory Board of the city of Chemnitz and the commissioner for migration of the city of Chemnitz was improved. Furthermore, the allocation of the immigration office to the municipal office as of 1 January 2015 expressed the change towards a customer-oriented welcome office. Positive reactions have yet been noticed during the duration of the project.

However, concluding the project does not mean concluding the matter, neither for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees nor for the immigration offices. In December 2015, the Federal Office will present the planned roll-out of the toolbox to the federal states involved in order for all German immigration offices to be able to use the instruments of the same. The Chemnitz immigration office will continue its path. »We want to build our work on the experiences made and further develop as a welcome office. In doing so, we want to improve our service and the cooperation with external partners. This means in particular with the technical university, for which foreign students and graduates are becoming more and more important,« said mayor Miko Runkel.

August 2015 – New residence permit for recognition of foreign vocation-al and professional qualifications according to § 17a of the German Residence Act

By means of the law on renewal of the right of abode and the termination of residence a new residence permit was introduced on 1 August 2015, namely § 17a of the German Residence Act. This allows a process of qualification measures of up to 18 months if these measures are required for certification of equivalence of a foreign vocational or professional qualification or for professional license.

The residence permit allows all educational measures in relation with a recognition procedure, e. g. adaptation programmes, training courses for examinations, language courses, and vocational training courses with practical work constituting a major part, and also immigration for taking a knowledge test. The residence permit requires the competent authority to have determined technical, practical or language deficits relating the equivalence of the professional qualification, and in case of a regulated profession the necessary qualification measures, and the educational measure to allow the immigrant to reach full recognition of their qualification.

The new resident permit allows employment of up to ten hours a week whilst doing the qualification measure. If employment is related to the profession to be qualified for, employment can be unrestricted if there is a binding job offer and the vacancy may be filled with a foreigner. After successful recognition of a foreign professional qualification it is possible to stay in Germany for 12 months for seeking employment. This extends Germany's opportunities for winning non-academic qualified workers.

All in all, the law on renewal of the right of abode and the termination of residence may grant a right of abode for sustainable integrational services. All the same, the prospects of permanent residence in Germany for well-integrated young foreigners without secure residence status have been significantly improved. Furthermore, deportation law has been modernised in order to carry out existing obligations to leave Germany faster and more consistently. In view of the current stream of refugees, it is necessary for foreigners not in need of protection and without prospects of permanent residence to return to their home countries quickly.

July 2015 – Full freedom of movement for Croatia

As of 1 July 2015 the German labour market is open to Croatian employees. They may work in Ger-many without any restrictions. Furthermore, Croatian companies may send their employees to Germany.

On 30 June 2015, the first level of the transition period of Croatia's EU accession ended. According to EU law another temporary regulation for Croatian workers would be possible but Germany does not make use of it. The Federal Government had already applied comprehensive simplifications for ac-cessing the labour market for Croatian employees during the first transition period since its accession on 1 July 2013 and has made good experiences. Therefore, the Federal Government allowed full freedom of movement and freedom of services as of 1 July 2015.

Since 1 January 2015, statutory minimum wage has also applied to foreign employees. Thus there is no risk of wage dumping. The Federal Government wants to set a sign with opening the labour market. Open labour markets in the EU benefit companies as well as job seekers.

June 2015 – Three Saxon universities among the ten winning universities of »Study & Work« – a project to create regional networks for integration of international students

Logo »Study & Work«

Logo »Study & Work«
(© Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.)

»Study & Work« is a joint initiative by the Commissioner for the New Federal States at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Stifterverband für Deutsche Wissenschaft. In the scope of the competition, ten networks comprising universities or colleges, businesses and regional institutes were awarded for their outstanding concepts and strategies for integrating future international qualified staff into the German labor market. These networks will be supported during a period of two years and will develop and implement new concepts together.

Three Saxon universities – TU Dresden, TU Chemnitz and TU Bergakademie Freiberg – and their regional networks were chosen for the project. A total of 46 universities and colleges took part in the competition, thereof 17 from East German Federal States. The selection was made at the end of May 2015 by a board of experts from science and economy.

The »Study & Work« initiative aims at improving the professional integration of international students in Germany and having them as qualified workers in our regional economy. Using their structures and partnerships, the networks shall contribute to informing international students about professional opportunities at an early stage and supporting them in their transition from university to labor market.

The Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration supports the »Study & Work« initiative in scientific matters. In the scope of a research study, for the first time questions of immigration and higher education policy shall be addressed with longitudinal study.

For further information please visit:

March 2015 – Overview by the Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration concerning regulations for immigration for the purpose of gainful employment

Cover of the Information »Immigration for the purpose of gainful employment – Important regulations at a glance« which is only available in German

Cover of the Information »Immigration for the purpose of gainful employment – Important regulations at a glance« which is only available in German
(© Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration)

In the current debate concerning the redesign of immigration regulations and immigration law the question about current regulations for labour migration in Germany comes up time and again. In its new short format »Kurz und Bündig«, the Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration (SVR) gives an overview of important information concerning regulations for immigration for the purpose of gainful employment.

You can also find this overview online. Visit http://www.svr-migration.de/themen-kurz-buendig/

In addition, the regulations are provided in a chart.

Concerning the Expert Council

The Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration is an independent committee of experts concerning Integration and Migration. For further information please visit

Successful exhibition stand »Welcome to Saxony – Immigration and labour market« at the KarriereStart 2015 fair in Saxony

exhibition stand »Welcome to Saxony – Immigration and labour market«

exhibition stand »Welcome to Saxony – Immigration and labour market«
(© EXIS Europa e. V.)

From January 23 to 25, 2015, the 17th education, job and start-up fair KarriereStart took place in Dresden. This year's motto was »Shape your own future«. For the first time, there was a shared exhibition stand »Welcome to Saxony – Immigration and labour market« to attract foreign qualified professionals and trained workers to Saxony. Experts for immigration questions regarding residence law, language learning, recognition of foreign degrees and qualifications, placement on the labour market and transition from studies to work, were to be found at this new hub. At the fair, the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior was the only resort to answer questions of immigration policy and immigration law. Partners at the shared stand were: IQ Netzwerk Sachsen and IBAS (Information and advice service for recognition of qualifications), the German Federal Employment Agency and the Central Placement Office, the City of Dresden with its Welcome Centre, the Career Services of the Dresden University of Technology and the Dresden University of Applied Sciences and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

The shared exhibition stand was a complete success. Visitor comments such as »great initiative«, »it was about time« or »at last, everything in one place« speak for themselves. Pooling all relevant topics and representatives in one place has proven its worth. Concentrated expert competence and direct contact persons allowed for efficient and uncomplicated advice. There were not only questions by foreign qualified professionals but also by enterprises and trade associations, training organisations and practitioners. Also many interested citizens used the opportunity to ask about immigration policy and legal regulations.

State Secretary for Education Dr. Frank Pfeil opened the fair and invited to a subsequent tour. Together with State Minister for Equality and Integration Petra Köpping, he informed the tour participants about the offers of the shared exhibition stand »Welcome to Saxony«.

Also the business lunch on Sunday focused on attracting foreign qualified professionals. The presentation given by Gunda Röstel, Managing Director of the Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH and President of the Dresden University of Technology's University Council, and the panel discussion dealt with placing foreign qualified professionals in Dresden companies. The panel discussion was hosted by business representatives of Kay Tröger’s network IQ Netzwerk Sachsen.

The KarriereStart has become one of the most popular fairs of its kind in Germany. With 32,000 visitors and 430 exhibitors, there was a new exhibitor and visitor record this year. The next KarriereStart will take place from January 22 to 24, 2016.

January 2015 – Evaluation of the Saxon pilot project AKZESS proved the project's success and showed that project immigration offices are on the right track!

Under the title AKZESS (efficient and sensitive management of immigration of foreign qualified professionals) administrative practices and service quality at the immigration offices in Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig and the administrative district Mittelsachsen have been improved. The main objective was deciding about granting a residence permit within a maximum period of four weeks for faster access to the Saxon labour market. AKZESS' core element is a pledge by all participants to use common standards. The immigration offices use a standardized administrative procedure which also involves labour administration and associations.

After a two-year term, the AKZESS project was evaluated by the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior based on AKZESS statistics and a written survey at the immigration offices at the project locations, the Saxon Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Chambers of Trades, the Saxon directorate of the Federal Employment Agency, the Central Placement Office (ZAV), Globalfoundries and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

The most important results are:

  • AKZESS has been successful. The main objectives – acceleration of processing and increase of service quality – have been achieved. During the evaluation term 3,500 residence permits were granted; 90 percent of which in the target period of four weeks.
  • Project status will be terminated.
  • At the locations, AKZESS will be integrated in the usual administrative workflow.
  • AKZESS is a locational advantage. AKZESS contributes significantly to winning qualified professionals and supports further immigration of foreign professionals to Saxony.
  • At the moment, extending AKZESS to other locations is not planned. Being implemented in three big cities, AKZESS is offered at locations with the according demand.
  • The AKZESS working group will be continued. The accompanying working group, which includes the participants mentioned above, shall be continued for exchange of experience, consistency compliance and further process optimization. The Saxon State Ministry of the Interior shall remain coordinator.

The implementation of AKZESS at the locations has been successful. It has become evident that introducing process standards, optimizing work processes and networking of all actors has contributed to accelerating procedures, increasing service quality and improving the image. The experiences of the AKZESS project shall be used to provide all immigration offices with impulses and recommendations for improving service quality.

December 2014 – German Federal Government points the way to a culture of welcome – New hotline for international qualified professionals launched

Banner

Banner
(© BMWi)

On December 1, the new hotline »Working and living in Germany« took on its service. Thus the Federal Government has created a comprehensive, multilingual advisory service on questions regarding immigration. Immigrated and immigration-interested qualified professionals, students and trainees receive personal advise on immigration and residence, learning German, job seeking and recognition of foreign degrees calling the hotline at +49 (0) 303-1815-1111.

The hotline »Working and living in Germany« belongs to the Federal Government's demographic strategy. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Central Placement Office (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency combined their existing hotlines in the scope of a cross-resort cooperation between the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Employment Agency. The hotline adds to existing information services by www.make-it-ingermany.com, www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de, www.bamf.de, www.arbeitsagentur.de and www.zav.de.

December 2014 – Saxony's website on immigration and the interactive guide to residence permits for top talents impress nationwide

In a nationwide comparison of existing information services on the EU Blue Card, Saxony's website on immigration www.zuwanderung.sachsen.de and the interactive guide »Click here to find out more about the residence permit for top talents« got very good marks and significant feedback at federal level. The information available on the website and the guide have been evaluated as comprehensive and easily understandable, the presentation is clear and operation is easy. The information media impress with a German and an English version, explanations and a number of practical links. Therefore, several German authorities will provide a link to the Saxon online service on immigration questions on their websites.

June 2014 – Study about an analysis of the legal situation of foreign professionals

June 2014 – The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry publish a study about an analysis of the legal situation of foreign professionals (»Wirkungsanalyse des rechtlichen Rahmens für ausländische Fachkräfte«)
This study is the first evaluation of the practical implementation of current immigration law for foreign qualified professionals. Germany has opened its immigration law and performs very well compared with other countries thanks to the implementation of the EU Blue Card and the improved immigration chances for people with professional qualifications. The study aims at analysing the practical implementation of these measures from a point of view of foreign professionals, industry and administration.
The analysis was done by a working group named »Developing foreign work force and creating a culture of welcome« in the scope of the German government's strategy on demography. It aims at the practical implementation of the improved legal conditions to support winning and integrating international qualified professionals and promote a culture of welcome in administration, businesses and society. The Free State of Saxony is participating in this working group.
Rambøll Management Consulting conducted the analysis and identified a series of optimization potential in administration. For instance, lack of information at authorities leads to inconsistent decisions and incomplete electronic communication systems slow down the visa application process. Furthermore, improved customer orientation and proactive consulting on immigration and staying in Germany are recommended in order to increase Germany's appeal for international qualified professionals. The Saxon AKZESS project was mentioned as a good practice approach for knowledge creation at the immigration offices and increased transparency.

January 22, 2014 – State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig presents the interactive guide to residence law for qualified professionals at the Dresden-based company SYSTEMA

While visiting the software engineering company SYSTEMA in Dresden, State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig presented the new interactive guide for potential immigrants. The program, which is available in German and English on the web portal in the section »interactive guide«, informs you with a few clicks if you need a residence permit to stay in Germany as a potential immigrant and if so, which one. Then it takes you directly to the application form. This residence law checklist was developed by the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior and technically implemented with the support of the creativ clicks agency based in Chemnitz.
State Minister of the Interior Ulbig: »Also medium-sized enterprises are looking for qualified employees on the in-ternational labour market. With this interactive guide we allow employees and employers to easily find their way through the difficult legal situation. By now many Saxon companies or authorities live a real culture of welcome.«
SYSTEMA has got 140 employees, 19 of them come from other countries and/or a migrant background. Foreign professionals are employed on all levels of the company. »Immigrated employees enrich our company,« says Manfred Austen, Managing Director of SYSTEMA, »cultural diversity is an additional asset in particular for international projects.«
Current figures show that this is the right course. Since 2011 there has been an increased immigration into Saxony. And most of the immigrants are young and well-qualified.

October 10, 2013 – Start of the pilot project »Immigration offices - Welcome offices« of the Federal Office for Migra-tion and Refugees with participation of two Saxon immigration offices

The two-day pilot project »Immigration offices - Welcome offices« of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees started with a kick-off meeting in Nuremberg. Supported by ten Federal States, the Federal Office promotes intercultural opening-up and establishment of a culture of welcome at the immigration offices. The project aims at accompanying and supporting immigration offices on their way to become »welcome offices«. In the scope of the project, practical approaches shall be developed and tested and then summarized as recommendations in a »tool box« and made available to other authorities. The project is implemented by the Rambøll Management Consulting GmbH in cooperation with the imap GmbH.

Core areas of the project are:

  • Organization of internal processes and procedures on the way to becoming »welcome offices«
  • HR development to improve customer-oriented behaviour and intercultural competence
  • Networking and cooperation with important actors on the spot

The project will be done at ten locations in ten Federal States. Besides the project authorities, immigration offices which already have implemented successful approaches to a culture of welcome will support the project as partners. The Free State of Saxony participates in the project with two locations. The immigration office of the city of Chemnitz takes part as a project authority and the immigration office of the State capital Dresden participates as a partner authority. AKZESS has been successfully implemented in both Saxon immigration offices for quite some time. AKZESS means efficient and sensitive management of immigration of foreign qualified professionals and is a standardized, coordinated and transparent administrative process granting foreign professionals and graduates from non-EU countries faster access to the Saxon labour market.

 

September 17, 2013 – Panel on the Daetz Foundation's final report »Development of demand for qualified workers in Saxony – Foreign students as future immigrants« at the Saxon State Ministry of the Interior

In the scope of the support program Cosmopolitan Saxony, the Daetz Foundation implemented a project titled »Development of demand for qualified workers in Saxony – Foreign students as future immigrants« and prepared a final report. The survey describes obstacles to integration of foreign students into German companies after graduation. However, it shows chances to improve efficiency when employing foreign graduates in our companies.
A panel with representatives of State government and industry took place to exchange information on the chances of using the potential of foreign students for the Saxon labour market. The results of the final report were the basis for discussion on the future steps to be taken to win foreign graduates for the Saxon labour market.

Result paper by the expert forum »Integrating international qualified professionals – Industry and administration in dialogue« in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology

The expert forum and its dialogue forums provided the possibility to get to know practices from companies and administration and directly discuss which paths should be taken for a successful culture of welcome and integration of international professionals.
The results are summarized in the attached brochure. There the Saxon AKZESS process is mentioned as a best practice example under »The expectations of the participating actors«.

February 21, 2013 – Expert forum »Integrating international qualified professionals - Industry and administration in dialogue« at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology

State Secretary of the Interior Dr. Michael Wilhelm

State Secretary of the Interior Dr. Michael Wilhelm
(© Jürgen Klocke, AWV e. V.)

In the scope of the expert forum »Integrating international qualified professionals – Industry and administration in dialogue« industry and administration report about their good practice to establish a culture of welcome and improve integration of international professionals in Germany. In front of more than 200 participants from industry, administration and science, the Free State of Saxony explained its successful actions to reduce legal obstacles and improve qualified immigration following the motto »Opening doors for top talents«. The AKZESS project was presented. With AKZESS the Free State of Saxony has created a standardized, transparent and accelerated administrative procedure at immigration offices in Dresden, Chemnitz, Leipzig and Central Saxony which provides foreign professionals and graduates with faster access to the Saxon labour market.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology awarded the »Diversity. Growth. Wealth.« prize. It was awarded to four medium-sized enterprises for their extraordinary commitment in supporting international professionals and their successful culture of welcome in the industry.

September 10, 2012 – Permission Roadmap

On August 1, 2012, the Act which implements the EU Directive on Entry and Residence of Highly Qualified Workers came into effect bringing along essential improvements for foreign qualified professionals who want to work and live in Germany. Apart from the EU Blue Card residence permit, which shall help migration and mobility of qualified professionals within the European Union, the Act includes a series of improvements for students and graduates of German universities and colleges and immigrants who have successfully finished a qualifying vocational training in Germany.

These legislative actions are a first important step. However, more steps have to follow to make Germany more attractive for top talents. This includes improving service quality of immigration offices, which is based on target-oriented information and advice in order to grant qualified immigrants and their families the most beneficial residence status for their individual situation. The »Permission Roadmap« includes an overview of the residence permits to be considered for specific cases.

June 8, 2012 – Announcement of the new Residence Act in the Federal Law Gazette

The Act implementing the EU Directive on Entry and Residence of Highly Qualified Workers has been announced and will come into effect on August 1, 2012.

With this Act legislators have surpassed EU requirements and significantly improved the legal situation of qualified immigrants from non-EU member states. Germany opens up further for well-trained professionals from non-EU states; for instance with new job-seeking opportunities for immigrating academics and facilitated conditions for being granted a permanent residence permit.
Essential proposals of the Saxon legislative initiative have been taken up. Now it is important to implement the Act in practice in order for the new regulations to be effective and efficient for the labour market.

June 5, 2012 – Germany starts Qualified Professionals Initiative

On June 5, 2012, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Federal Employment Agency started the Qualified Professionals Initiative. It accompanies and amends the common concept for qualified professionals by the German Government by means of broad public communication.

The objective of the Qualified Professionals Initiative is to make the public, companies and qualified professionals from Germany and abroad aware of having to secure a qualified workforce and to provide detailed information on this topic.

Qualified Professionals Initiative

The German portal serves as a start portal and addresses the German workforce, companies and the interested public.

May 16, 2012 – Qualified Professionals Forum on Immigration

The Free State of Saxony will not be able to fully cover its demand for qualified workers by using and developing the qualified workforce potential available in Saxony. Thus it is a declared objective of the Free State to win foreign qualified professionals for the Saxon economy. In this context, the Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport Sven Morlok and the Saxon State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig invite representatives of industry, politics, education and associations and interested citizens to the Qualified Professionals Forum on Immigration.

Speakers on this important topic will be the President of the Consensus Group on Demand for Qualified Professionals and Immigration Armin Laschet, the migration researcher Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Bade and the Rector of the Leipzig Graduate School of Management Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart. Furthermore, panel discussions and workshops will provide a variety of opportunities to exchange ideas on the topic of securing a qualified workforce by means of immigration.

May 11, 2012 – »Germany takes a courageous step« – State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig on the Blue Card regulation in the German Bundesrat

The Blue Card regulation and the changes in residence law having been passed in the German Bundesrat today are explicitly welcomed by the Saxon State Minister of the Interior.

»Germany takes a courageous step towards immigration policy. For quite a long time, the Free State of Saxony has urged for essential changes with an initiative in the German Bundesrat.
Many proposals of the Saxon initiative have been adopted by the German Government. For instance, a residence permit for job-seeking, faster procedures to obtain a permanent residence permit for well-trained professionals and simplifications for foreign students between graduation and start of employment. I am proud that we have significantly shaped the discussion«, said State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig.

Already next week, the opportunities of the new Act will be discussed by a broad range of experts in Dresden. With more than 300 participants from industry, science, politics and associations taking part in the Qualified Professionals Forum on Immigration, this event will be the biggest of its kind in Germany so far.

March 28, 2012 – State Minister Ulbig welcomes agreement on Blue Card regulation – Draft law takes up Saxon initiative in German Bundesrat

The State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig welcomes the agreement by the parliamentary groups of the Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party for the implementation of the directive on highly-qualified workers.

»I am glad that Germany continues to open doors for top talents from non-EU states before the parliamentary summer recess. The draft law includes the main objectives of our Saxon initiative for qualified immigration. In the interest of our country, we need qualified immigration and modern immigration law. In Saxony we have already started to create the necessary culture of welcome in government agencies in order for the new regulations to be effective. For instance, the AKZESS Project, which enables qualified workers from non-EU states to start working in Saxony within four weeks, started in Dresden and Freiberg in September last year. I am happy that AKZESS will soon also be available in Chemnitz«, said State Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig.

7th November 2011 - Minister Markus Ulbig to the decisions of the coalition in Berlin

I welcome the reduction in the salary threshold for foreign professionals. The coalition has touched with it one of the most important Saxon proposals. We want to open the doors for top talents. This is an important step on this path.

However, we will continue the discussion. Just as important are reliefs for foreign students on their way to the labour market.

The coalition has also agreed to the speedy introduction of the Blue Card (EU residence permit). It is important that not only the minimum standards are implemented in Germany. Our goal is a solution that truly helps companies find qualified workers.

A Federal Project Underlines Saxony’s Demand for a Modernisation of Immigrant Rights

A Federal Project Underlines Saxony’s Demand for a Modernisation of Immigrant Rights

A Federal Project Underlines Saxony’s Demand for a Modernisation of Immigrant Rights
(© SMI)

The Federal Regulatory Control Council presented the project »Easier Entry for Qualified Employees and Manager« to the German Federal Chancellery on the 8th of September 2011. The Federal states of Saxony, Hessen, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Pfalz as well as several Immigration Offices and private companies have all been involved in the project. The goal is to allow qualified professionals from non-EU countries an easier and accelerated en-trance into the German labour market.

Saxony’s Interior Minister Markus Ulbig reports: »The project reflects our needs. We need a relaxation of the existing legislation. Top talents from non-EU countries are in demand here in Germany. The immigration law must finally reflect the market needs. Existing legislation is hindering any innovative policy change. Saxony has presented its demands for policy change to the German Federal Upper House. Now it is time for the Federal Government to act.«
The realisations of several suggestions to improve the immigration policy, as regards to entry and residence/work permits, have already begun in Saxony under the pilot project »AKZESS« (efficient immigration management for qualified professionals).

Once again the Minister Ulbig: »Entry is only the first step for qualified foreign workers. The second step is work and residence permits. Also here we need an accelerated, simplified and transparent process. AKZESS offers a new service for qualified foreign professionals and for their future employers.«

This pilot project, introduced on the 1st of September in Dresden and Freiberg, involves Saxony’s Ministry of the Interior, the local Immigration Offices, and the Employment Bureau, the International Placement Services as well as the Chambers of Industry and Commerce and Chambers of Crafts.

Interior Minister Ulbig Introduces Saxony’s Immigration Innovations to the German Federal Upper House

Interior Minister Ulbig

Interior Minister Ulbig
(© LV / Hirsch)

Ulbig: »Germany needs a modern immigration policy«

Saxony’s Minister of the Interior Markus Ulbig introduced Saxony’s immigration innovations for qualified workers on the15th of April. These suggested legislation changes should make it easier for qualified workers from non-EU countries to enter and find work in the German labour market.