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New Office for Faster Processing of Employment and Jobseeker VisasThe German Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened today a new office, within the framework of the Foreigner’s Office, which will ensure that new employment and job seeker visa applicants under the new skilled immigration law, set to take effect on March 1, 2020, would be processed within shorter periods than now.

The Ministry has announced the opening of the new office through a video posted on its Facebook page, in which two employees of the MFA, set to lead the teams within the new office, explain the main reasons behind its opening.

According to Jan Freigang, one of the two speakers featured in the video, a fresh office space and new teams will work on “an important and exciting new job: Germany needs skilled workers.”

No matter if it is in the nursing, in the craft or in the IT industry. For this there is the Trades force Immigration Act, which will come into force on the 1st of March. With our new team, we want to ensure that skilled workers, which the German economy urgently needs, can also get a visa for entry as quickly as possible,” Freigang says.

The German law on Skilled Immigrants has been approved a year ago by the Merkel Cabinet, in a bid to deal with the labor shortage in the country by luring skilled foreign labor. The long-awaited law, which is due to come into force in March 2020, removes several obstacles for skilled immigrants wishing to work in Germany, in particular for those that can fill job shortages that EU nationals cannot.

The new law also permits immigrants with appropriate qualifications, German knowledge and necessary financial means, to come to Germany and seek work, which opportunity was previously reserved only for the highly-qualified professionals.

However, due to the high volume of applications the German embassies abroad are receiving and processing continuously, the German Foreigner’s Office has established the new office, the main task of which will be receiving employment visa applications from embassies and consulates abroad and directly process them.

Co-speaker Feride Ozdemir further explains that in some countries waiting times are very long due to the high demand for visas to Germany, and how the new office is going to assist them.

We, here in Berlin would like to support and relieve our embassies and consulates by taking over the processing of visa applications for skilled workers. In practice, this works in such a way that the application is made in the embassy, we take the exam in Berlin and if all is correct, the embassy gives the visa,” she adds.

German businesses, in particular those suffering because of the absence of appropriately qualified workers, have been demanding the new law for almost three decades. Among them, companies in the IT sector. At the time the law was approved, the German IT sector federation Bitkom had announced that there were 82,000 vacant jobs in the IT companies, twice as much as the previous year.

Whereas, a one-year old study of the Bertelsmann Foundation had estimated that Germany would need 260,000 workers per year to close the labor gap, 146,000 of these workers coming from countries outside of the European Union. The study has also estimated that by 2060, 40 years from now, without immigrations the population of Germany would shrink by a third, what would then have a devastating impact on the economy of Germany, currently the fourth largest in the world.

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