Germany’s government announced on Monday it will help new hires with government-issued ID cards in the wake of mass migration to the country from eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The country is among the first to offer such cards to migrants, and has been trying to attract them for many years.
“If you are not familiar with German, please read this article first,” said Joachim Herrmann, a spokesman for the interior ministry.
The new government will pay for a new card and give applicants a number, including a code, to get in touch with a government agency, he said.
“You can also get a free photo ID card if you don’t have one,” he added.
The plan is part of a broader push to attract migrants to the region, including by offering incentives for companies to hire locals, a move that is expected to boost tourism.
The migration of more than a million people a year from Eastern Europe and Russia has made Germany a magnet for foreigners, who have attracted skilled workers to the capital, Berlin, and other parts of the country.
The influx has also made it harder for locals to integrate into German society, which has been struggling with high unemployment and a lack of employment opportunities.
The government said the move was designed to provide more jobs and economic security to migrants.
But critics said the card was not enough to keep people in the country and that it was too limited.
“It’s not enough for anyone to get a card,” said Christian Bocken, a Berlin resident who works in IT.
“We need to have a system that can support a lot more people.”