Opinion on the new Opportunity Residence Act in Germany

Opinion on the new Opportunity Residence Act in Germany

It seems that all those affected by the SD1 language test or proof of language proficiency will once again be “forgotten”. According to the current draft bill of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs on the “Opportunity Residence Act”, only the proof of German language skills for skilled workers will be omitted.

For example, the current draft states:

“In addition, family reunification for family members of skilled workers will be facilitated by waiving the requirement for proof of German language skills in the future before issuing a visa to the family members.”

Further, the draft details:

“The amendments to sections 30 and 32 of the Residence Act will facilitate family reunification for family members of all skilled workers and IT specialists by no longer requiring family members to provide proof of existing German language skills in the visa process.”

The coalition agreement stated that proof of German language skills would be eliminated. The fact that a distinction is again to be made here between good and bad (marriage) partners was not stated there. The slow implementation of the originally planned project was to be expected, since the FDP had demanded a new immigration law and thus a complete revision of the right of residence would have been necessary.

However, the current draft foreshadows the worst: (marriage) partners will again or continue to be sorted out by the authorities. Especially since the current draft already reads like a complete compromise with regard to the demands of the FDP for an immigration law and the deletion of the language certificate, not much more can be expected according to the current state of affairs.

Accordingly, the new ChAR law would only add further exceptions for skilled workers to an already very long list of exceptions. But why especially the (spouses) partners from non-privileged third countries are discriminated against by Germans in such a way remains questionable.

From the perspective of those affected, there is (factually) unjustified discrimination that leads to inequitable results. As a result of the coexistence of Union law and national regulations, there is so-called “discrimination against nationals”, i.e. for the most part the partners of German citizens living in Germany are denied visas on the basis of the aforementioned regulations (see also hib 979/2018 German Bundestag).

Furthermore, it is to be expected that the planned amendments will not take into account German professionals, although unequal treatment of family members of German professionals in Germany or even of family members of German professionals who currently live abroad compared to other applicants, will lead to another (new) form of discrimination against nationals.

It is therefore still advisable for those affected to actively draw the attention of the members of the Bundestag from their respective constituency to this problem and to actively campaign for the abolition of proof of German language skills – in particular – prior to entry.

The above comment was used in a petition to the German Bundestag.

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