The German government has announced that it is implementing a new law that relaxes the visa rules for nurses, information technology (IT) specialists, workers with vocational training certificates, and other technical jobs badly needed by Europe’s richest country.
Under a recently enforced law known as Fachkraefteeinwanderungsgesetz (or “Skilled Workers Immigration Law”), anyone who is qualified and speaks good German can get a six-month visa to look for a job. This means that anyone who has passed vocational training that meets German standards will be given a working visa provided the worker has passed at least B1-level German language tests administered by the Goethe Institut.
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The new law also mandated the creation of a new agency to speed up the visa processing, which had previously taken up to six months. The goal now is to cut it down to three weeks, reported the Inquirer.
According to Agency board member Daniel Terzenbach, workers from South America, the Balkan states, and Asia, particularly Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines were of particular interest.
Germany requires about 1.2 million skilled workers mainly in construction, health and nursing, gastronomy, and IT sectors. The nursing branch has been identified as the most critical sector because the elderly population is growing.
A joint survey conducted by trade union Verdi and three associations of nursing agencies, as of December 2019, at least 50,000 nurses were needed by German hospitals.
Furthermore, based on a study by the German Economic Institute, approximately 307,000 nurses and caregivers will be needed by the European country by 2035. And by 2060, approximately 4.53 million people would require medical care and support from healthcare workers.
The population of people above age 60 is steadily rising because of good medical care in Germany plus the low birth rate, which has been a common trend in first-world countries such as Japan and most parts of Europe.
Also, the Digital industry lobby group Bitkom estimates that Germany currently lacks around 124,000 IT experts.
Bitkom spokesperson, Andreas Streim, shares: “We expect that foreign IT specialists can now be employed in a more simple and faster way.” He also noted that his group has been seeking to scrap the German language requirement for the IT sector.