The traffic light coalition wants to reform migration policy with several legislative projects. Resistance comes from the opposition.
Berlin – Shortly before the vote in the Bundestag on the so-called right of residence, the SPD defended the bill against criticism from the opposition. “In this way, we end the insecurity of many tolerated people who shimmy from one toleration to the next and open up perspectives for them,” said the domestic spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sebastian Hartmann, to the newspapers of the Funke media group.
This is just as important for the people affected as it is for many employers, for example in the trades or in care, who have employees who previously only had a toleration. The SPD describes the right of residence as a “win-win situation”: “For all sides, for those affected and for society as a whole, and the initiation of the urgently needed paradigm shift in Germany,” said Hartmann.
Opportunity right of residence: decision in the Bundestag
According to the government’s plans, the right of residence offer prospects to well-integrated foreigners who have been living in Germany for several years without a secure status. Anyone who has lived in the country for five years as of October 31, 2022 and has not committed a crime should be given 18 months to meet the requirements for long-term residence – this includes knowledge of German and securing their own livelihood. Today the Bundestag decides on it.
Criticism comes from the Union: The domestic spokesman for the Union faction, Alexander Throm (CDU), criticized the bill. “The German labor market is already wide open to those who are obliged to leave the country. Thousands of former people who were required to leave the country, who work here and are well integrated, have long had a right of residence,” he said New Osnabrück newspaper. There is only one big exception to this: “Those who are obliged to leave the country and whose identity has not been clarified because they otherwise run the risk of being deported.”
The right of residence is only one component of the project of the traffic light coalition to reform German migration policy. The Bundestag is also to decide today on measures to speed up asylum procedures.
Opportunity right of residence: Association of towns and municipalities demand better access to visas
On Wednesday (November 30th), the Federal Cabinet also introduced key points for easier immigration for skilled workers. In order to bring more workers to Germany, the federal government wants to simplify the rules for entry and recognition of professional qualifications. Selection criteria should be professional experience or a connection to Germany.
The Association of Towns and Municipalities suggested allowing foreign trade chambers abroad to issue visas. “The visa offices at the German embassies are the bottleneck that many cannot get through. We should therefore enable the foreign trade chambers to also issue visas and temporary residence permits because they have the best contact with German employers who have found a skilled worker and want to hire them,” said General Manager Gerd Landsberg Rheinische Post. There is an urgent need for more skilled workers from abroad.
Another construction site in migration policy is citizenship. According to their coalition agreement, the traffic light parties want to create a “modern nationality law” with the possibility of naturalization “usually after five years” – currently there are eight. “In the case of special integration achievements” – such as outstanding achievements in school and work or particularly good language skills – it could also be three years in the future. Minister of the Interior Nancy Faser (SPD) recently presented their plans for this.
Chances of residence: Traffic light wants to make naturalization easier
It is also planned that children of foreign parents born in Germany will automatically become Germans if one parent has already had “his lawful habitual residence” in Germany for five years. So far, this has only been the case after eight years. In addition, anyone who wants to become a German should no longer have to give up their old citizenship. The Union rejects the relief. The Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency now backed the federal government.
“It makes sense that the traffic light wants to make naturalization easier. Accepting German citizenship clearly has positive effects on integration into the labor market,” said IAB migration researcher Herbert Brücker Rheinische Post. People who get the German passport are hired more easily, their earnings increase and they are more willing to work. “The pull effect through the possibility of faster naturalization is significantly higher for higher qualified people who are interested in Germany than for less qualified people. And we want more skilled workers to come to Germany. This is a very positive signal, especially for qualified people from third countries,” said the expert. (dpa/ Vivian Werg)
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