Skilled workers from four out of six non-EU Western Balkan countries have turned out to be among the world countries that benefited most last year from Germany’s new Skilled Immigration act.

Under the Act, which became effective on March 1, 2020, the German authorities have managed to issue as many as 30,200 visas to qualified specialists and trainees from third-countries, until the end of the year, on December 31.

Between March 1 and December 31, 2020, a total of 30,200 visas were issued to applicants under the Skilled Immigration Act,” a spokesperson said for Germany-Visa.org.

The same pointed out that the list of the top ten countries where German embassies that issued most visas under this Act are located is led by Serbia. The German embassy located in the capital of the latter, Belgrade, issued as many as 2,024 visas.

The country is known for having a large share of the population looking forward to moving to EU countries, in particular in Germany. A report of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) conducted in 2018 had revealed that 32 per cent of Serbs said they had considered the idea of leaving the country at least once.

Next in the list of top beneficiaries of Germany’s new Skilled Immigration act are citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, listed seventh among the top ten countries, to which the German Embassy in Sarajevo issued a total of 1,159 visas to work or search for a job in the EU’s largest economy.

Since 2018, 44,700 people have left the country OECD data shows, among which 54 per cent moved to Germany.

Citizens of the other two Western Balkan countries are listed ninth and tenth – Kosovo and Albania. The German Embassy located in the first issued a total of 792 visas, whereas the one located in Albania issued another 778 others.

Other countries listed in the top ten, alongside the ones mentioned above, are as follows:

  1. Belgrade, Serbia – 2,024
  2. Manila, the Philippines – 1,773
  3. Hanoi, Vietnam – 1,378
  4. Bangalore, India – 1,197
  5. Istanbul, Turkey – 1,183
  6. Kyiv, Ukraine – 1,177
  7. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1,159
  8. Moscow, Russia – 810
  9. Pristina, Kosovo – 792
  10. Tirana, Albania – 778

The German Skilled Immigration Act went into effect last year on March 1 as a part of a legislative package on migration adopted by the German Bundestag in June 2019. It enables skilled workers who have completed quality vocational training to enter Germany to find apprenticeships and gain employment.