Immigration in Europe — страница 6

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that altered the legal method of immigration to Germany. The practical changes to the immigration procedures and limitations were relatively minor. Traditionally, Germany has not considered itself a country with a need for large numbers of immigrants and has limited entry accordingly. Immigrating to Germany as a non EU-citizen has not become easier under the new law as it continues to limit the recruitment of foreign employees. This limitation applies most particularly to unskilled or semi-skilled employees. In order to obtain a work permit one must demonstrate a justified individual need or public interest in the employment. Without a concrete job offer one has almost no chance of getting a residence permit. Different rules apply to refugees, asylum seekers, EU citizens, family

members of German citizens, and close relatives of individuals already living in Germany. Thereafter, the prospective employer has to announce this engagement to the employment centre (Arbeitsagentur). The “Arbeitsagentur” only agrees to issue a residency permit if there is no German or otherwise privileged foreign employee available for the employment. There are exceptions, in particular for highly qualified employees. The judgement of whether an applicant is highly qualified or not can based on various factors, including education, the type of job, or a salary above a certain threshold. The threshold is currently set at 85.500 € p.a.) Highly qualified employees might immediately receive a permanent residence permit (“Niederlassungserlaubnis”). Spouses and children

moving with them are allowed to work without having to get additional permits (this exception includes other relatives in limited situations). The process is similar to highly skilled immigrant programs in the United States and other European countries. The German scheme is similar to ones operated by other European countries, for example the United Kingdom's Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. The major difference is that the salary threshold is the highest of any European country with similar work visas. For example, Austria's income requirements are around 50% less that of Germany. Self-employed people can get a residence permit, so long as the government finds that the job would fulfill a superior economic interest, fulfill a regional need, or have an expected net positive

effect on the economy. Furthermore, the sponsor must guarantee the financing. Once an immigrant has met those requirement, an individual inquiry will take place as to whether a German citizen or preferred immigrant could perform the same job function. As a general rule these requirements will be assumed if at least ten jobs will be created and 1 million € invested. The assessment of the requirements will conform to the quality of the business idea, the entrepreneurial experience of the applicant, the capital expenditure, the effects on employment and out–of–school education, and the contribution to innovation and research. A residence permit to work self-employed could also be issued, if there are mutual benefits according to international law. After three years one may

apply for and receive a permanent residence permit “Niederlassungserlaubnis”, so long as the planned idea is put into practice successfully and one's livelihood is secured. Foreign students can stay for one year after a university degree in order to find a job matching their qualifications. 2.3. Spain The population of Spain doubled during the twentieth century, due to the spectacular demographic boom by the 60's and early 70's. Then, the birth rate plunged by the 80's and Spain's population became stalled, its demographics showing one of the lowest sub replacement fertility rate in the world, only second to Japan's. Many demographers have linked Spain's very low fertility rate to the country's lack of any real family planning policy. Spain is the Western European country

that spends least on family support (0.5% of GDP). A graphic illustration of the enormous social gulf between Spain and the rest of Europe in this field is the fact that a Spanish family would need to have 57 children to enjoy the same financial support as a family with 3 children in Luxembourg. In emigration/immigration terms, after centuries of net emigration, Spain, has recently experienced large-scale immigration for the first time in modern history. According to the Spanish government there were 4,145,000 foreign residents in Spain in January 2007. Of these well over half a million were Moroccan while the Ecuadorians figure was around half a million as well. Romanian and Colombian populations amounted to around 300,000 each. There are also a significant number of British