Germany has issued more than 50,000 visas to skilled workers and trainees from third countries through the Skilled Workers Immigration Act since March 1, 2020, when the regulation came into force.
The milestone was announced today by the German Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs upon a conference of the European Commission, on which the latter approved the establishment of the so-called Talent Partnerships with third countries.
“The talent partnerships with their close ties to the respective partner country can, in perspective, become an additional important means of attracting skilled workers and strengthening training structures in third countries,” the Ministry said in a press release.
In an announcement made on March 1, 2021, the same Ministry had revealed that almost 30,000 visas have been granted to qualified specialists and trainees from third countries, from March 1 to December 31, 2020, despite the pandemic.
The Act implements easier procedures and rules for working in Germany for non-EU nationals by making it possible for these workers to gain employment in Germany, even in jobs that could be filled by Germans or EU nationals. The Act also permits foreigners to come to Germany for up to half a year to seek work.
It has been established in a bid of the German authorities to grant easier access to the German labour market for qualified workers who could fill many employment positions in the country that remain vacant due to lack of skills and workers.
At the time, in an exchange of emails with SchengenVisaInfo.com, a German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson had revealed that highly skilled workers from four Western Balkans countries – Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania – were among the ones that benefited most from the Act. These countries were listed among the top ten countries, the citizens of which were granted most visas under the Act.
On the other hand, the Commission’s Talent Partnership initiative has been launched today under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum for the same reasons. Through it the EU intends to address the skills shortages in the European Union and to strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries.
Commenting on the initiative, the Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said that well-managed legal migration could bring great benefits to the European society and the economy, in particular as the block emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Upskilling our existing workforce is essential, but labour migration can also play an important role in reducing the skills gap and boosting EU innovation potential. Talent Partnerships are a “triple win” for all the parties involved – Member States, partner countries and migrants themselves,” he noted.
The European Commission unfolded its proposal for the new Pact on Migration and Asylum on September 24, which sets out improved and faster procedures throughout the asylum and migration system and balances the principles of fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity amongst the Member States.