Plenty of room for growth – Granting of residence titles to qualified migrants

Many highly qualified people come to Germany to build their future professional career. Fundamental differences exist here: for example, nationals from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have free access to the German labour market and do not need a residence title. 

Nationals from non-EU countries require a visa, however. The number of third-party nationals who received a residence title in their respective capacities of qualified professional or highly skilled worker was just over 28,000 in 2015. With the exception of the downturn in 2013, due to Croatia’s accession to the EU, more and more residence titles are being granted to highly trained workers. The EU Blue Card is only for a small proportion relevant: with a share of around one quarter, it has plenty of scope for growth. And in sectors with a shortage of qualified professionals, such as engineering and medicine, the proportion is even smaller, at just 11 percent. However, the number of residence titles granted in these sectors since 2012 is rising. 

Qualified workers in occupations that usually require two years of vocational training still make up the largest group, with 20,000 residence titles granted. 

In addition, in 2015 nearly 2,000 new residence titles were granted for Self-employment, and 407 for research.