1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

German coalition agrees to relaxed immigration law

November 20, 2018

Germany's ruling parties have hammered out a new draft law for easing access to employment by non-EU citizens. However, citizens of several nations are expected to be banned from enjoying the new regulations.

Workers fix train tracks in Cologne
Image: picture-alliance/Geisler-Fotopress/C. Hardt

Germany's coalition parties have agreed on a new draft law to ease immigration for workers from non-EU countries, local media reported on Tuesday. The ministries of the interior, labor, and economic affairs have all agreed to the new regulations, a compromise that came in October, ending long-standing disagreements within the governing coalition.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, one of the most significant overhauls will scrap a law that required employers to prove that neither a German nor an EU citizen could be found to fill a position before they offered it to another immigrant.

The new law will also relax restrictions that gave preference to so-called "bottleneck occupations" that had more vacancies than applicants, such as nursing and elderly care positions.

Standards will also be introduced to allow those who complete vocational training in Germany time to find a job.

Some nations to be exempted

However, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper, certain countries are expected to be exempted from this easier access to gainful employment. While the government has not provided a list, these nations are likely to include the countries of origin of many asylum seekers, the newspaper wrote.

The compromise on the relaxed rules resolved one of the biggest sticking points between the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). The final version of the law to be presented for approval by the Bundestag is set to be hammered out at a cabinet meeting on December 19.

es/jm (AFP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.