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The German Federal Government and the States have approved a new visa category this week, which will enable professional esports players from non-EU countries to go through easier procedures to obtain permanent residency in Germany.

According to the German Esports Federation (ESBD), the new changes have been approved due to the new Skilled Immigration Act.

These changes, ESBD claims, will strengthen Germany as a host for international events and enable the recruitment of players and coaches from non-EU countries.

The President of the ESBD Hans Jagnow claims that the German esports visa will turn out to be a big advantage for events hosted in Germany, since Germany is the first country in the world to establish a visa solely dedicated to esports, and as such the country is expected to host more international esports events.

This development also may serve as a model for other nations. The visa requirements for esports professionals should be harmonized internationally in order to allow easy access to tournaments and leagues for esports athletes all over the world,” Jagnow says.

Hans Jagnow

Further, President Jagnow asserts that compilations in visa issues for participants at esports in Germany are part of the past, highlighting that the ESBD continuously promoted the idea of simplifying entry conditions

Visa issues at esports events in Germany will be a story of the past. The explicit recognition by the German government is an important signal in the national and international discussion about esports,” he assesses.

The German Federal Government has already established short-term visas for esports athletes, which is part of Germany Visa category for Cultural, Film Crew, Sports, and Religious Event Purposes.

The new visa category for esports athletes will become available in conjunction with the Skilled Immigration Act, presumably in March 2020.

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.

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