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November 17, 2023

Germany to Facilitate Labour Market Access for Refugees

Germany has decided to make changes to its immigration rules in an attempt to make it easier for refugees and foreigners with a ‘tolerated’ status to access the job market.

At the same time, the government has decided to impose stricter penalties for people smugglers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Until now, asylum seekers without children had to wait for a total period of nine months in reception centres before they could work in Germany.

For those with a ‘tolerated’ status, the process was even more complicated as in their case, the respective authorities could decide whether they could take employment in the country or not.

However, in line with the new rules, the employment of these groups of people is set to become easier.

According to the German Federal Ministry of Interior, asylum seekers as well as those with tolerated status will soon be able to work in Germany only after six months.

As BR24 explains, the German government also plans to change the cutoff date for the so-called “employment tolerance”.

Such a change means that as soon as the law is approved, refugees who arrived in Germany by the end of the year 2022 will be eligible for a long-term tolerated status for employment. Currently, only those who arrived before August 1, 2018, are eligible for the status.

In addition to the above-mentioned, in line with the new changes that are expected to become effective soon, the required period of prior employment to obtain the tolerated status for employment will be reduced from 18 to 12 months.

Moreover, the minimum weekly working hours required for approval will be lowered from 35 to 20 hours.

However, the authorities stressed that those who have submitted “unfounded” asylum applications from countries of origin that are considered as safe as well as those who have refused to provide additional evidence of their identity will not benefit from the changes.

Commenting on the changes, Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck said that this is an important step. The same noted that the government wants to ensure that those who are already in Germany can start working more quickly.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also commented on the matter, saying that the package is practice-oriented.

Regarding people smugglers, the government has decided to take a tougher stance on them. In line with the new rules, the German government plans to impose lifelong imprisonment or sentences of ten to 15 years for those who put the people’s lives at risk. Currently, the penalty range for people smugglers is three to 15 years.