The Washington Post reports on Germany's expansion of a skills-based immigration system. Immigration to Germany has increased in recent years, though the United States still takes in many more immigrants each year.
But the latest upsurge is largely based on Germany’s reemergence in recent years as Europe’s undisputed economic leader, a beacon of light on a continent still suffering from the aftermath of a brutal debt crisis. In the 28-nation European Union, free movement of labor means nationals can easily relocate from one country to the next. And with unemployment at 25.1 percent in Spain, 26.6 percent in Greece, and 12.6 percent in Italy, Germany — with an economy built on industrial giants such as Siemens and an army of innovative small and midsize companies — has never looked so good.
But Germany also is looking beyond Europe for prospective workers, with German factories courting Indian engineers and German universities competing for Chinese students. In 2012, Germany simplified the process for immigrants from outside the E.U. In 2013, Germany introduced a “Blue Card” system, effectively granting entry to anyone with a university degree and a job offer with a minimum salary of $50,000 to $64,000 a year, depending on the field. As a result, the average immigrant moving to Germany is better educated and more skilled than the average German.