Changes To German Immigration Policy In 2024: A Comprehensive Overview

Germany is making significant shifts in its German immigration policy this year, with a focus on becoming less attractive for asylum-seekers while easing immigration for skilled workers.

Deportation measures

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is advocating for “large-scale” deportations of rejected asylum applicants. The Repatriation Improvement Act aims to enhance deportation efforts by eliminating advance announcements, extending asylum detention to 28 days, and granting police broader powers, including property searches.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser emphasizes faster deportations for individuals suspected of criminal associations, aligning with efforts to promptly address potential threats.

New migration agreements

Germany is negotiating agreements with several countries, such as Georgia, Moldova, Kenya, Colombia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, to designate them as “safe countries of origin.” This move allows for the return of individuals to these countries. Notably, Georgia and Moldova have already received this status.

The potential revival of the European Union’s deal with Turkey, supported by Germany, could facilitate returning individuals there.

Accelerating asylum processing

Germany is aiming to streamline the asylum application process, reducing the current duration of over two years to a target range of three to six months. This proposed change seeks to expedite decision-making and provide more timely resolutions.

Reduced benefits for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers undergoing the application process will receive fewer benefits, with welfare payments accessible only after three years instead of 18 months. Those in state housing will also see deductions in food costs.

Cities like Hannover have introduced a “social card,” a debit card system for benefits, with other regions planning to implement similar programs to prevent fund transfers to relatives in the home country.

Skilled labor immigration reforms

In contrast to the challenging environment for asylum-seekers, German immigration policy is implementing reforms to attract skilled labor. A new points system, considering language proficiency and professional experience, will grant eligible immigrants a one-year visa to search for jobs. The income requirement has been lowered, and bringing more family members will be easier.

Starting in March, non-EU foreigners can work in Germany while awaiting qualification approval, with a maximum stay of three years. The EU Blue Card is expanding to cover sectors facing labor shortages, such as healthcare and education.

Additionally, the special immigration quota for individuals from western Balkan countries is set to double to 50,000 people in June, creating more opportunities for skilled workers.

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