Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Germany eases access for non-EU jobseekers

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Germany enacted a new visa scheme for skilled workers from outside the European Union on Saturday that enables applicants to move to the country and look for a job for up to a year if they meet certain criteria.

The new scheme, known as the job search opportunity card, is open to those with at least two years of vocational training or a university degree recognized by the country where the qualification was obtained. Knowledge of German or English is also required.

Whether an applicant is eligible for the visa will be calculated based on their language skills, professional experience, age and ties to Germany. Once the card has been granted, applicants are able to enter Germany and search for a job for up to a year.

That means participants are no longer required to present a contract with a German company before being able to enter Germany. They also don’t have to present a qualification recognized by or obtained in Germany. This is intended to reduce bureaucracy and shorten procedures.

“We are ensuring that workers and skilled workers that our economy has urgently needed for years can come to our country,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Saturday.

The new visa scheme is part of an extensive package of legislation aimed at tackling Germany’s acute shortage of skilled labour.

The first stage came into force in November 2023 and mainly included easing the way to a residency permit known as the EU Blue Card and for recognized skilled workers.

From Saturday, opportunities for jobseekers from the Western Balkans have also been expanded, including for non-skilled workers. However, a contract with a German company is still required under this scheme as a precondition to enter Germany.

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