With Germany’s new Regulation on the Immigration of Skilled Workers, what will be the Consequences for BiH?

April 20, 2019 1:00 PM

When a Bosnian politician announces the creation of 100,000 new jobs, we joke in Bosnia that half of these will be abroad. With Germany’s new regulation on the immigration of skilled workers, an increased number of people could reach Germany- this will have consequences for Bosnia, EURACTIV Germany reports.

In front of the German Embassy in Sarajevo, the queue is long on a Monday morning in December, even despite the drizzle. Like many other Bosnians, the people here want to try their luck in Germany. One of them is Anel Vojić, who has waited 17 months to stand in line.

Vojić is 32 and has arrived from Bihać, a small town in western Bosnia. He finished business school, but did not find work. “If one is not member of a party, it is impossible to acquire a well-paid job in Bihać. The country is getting more and more corrupt and I don’t see any hope here anymore,” he said. His last job as a bouncer earned him around €250 per month. Now he has had enough and wants to try his luck in Germany.

For him, and for many others, this could become easier in the future: With a new regulation, Germany wants to speed up the processing of applications, because the German economy is currently lacking workers. Currently, one has to wait around eight to ten months for a visa – depending on the type of application, as Damir Kapidžić, Professor of Political Science at the University of Sarajevo confirmed to EURACTIV.

To improve the chances of qualified citizens from non-EU countries to obtain a German visa quickly, the German regulation on the immigration of skilled workers (Fachkräfteeinimmungsgesetz, FKEG) is currently being refined. It should help close the growing gap on the labour market. German employer associations are saying the new law is long “overdue and urgently needed”.

In contrast to current provisions, this is intended to abolish the so-called “priority check”, i.e. the obligation for companies to check whether an EU national (including from Germany), would also be suitable for the job before hiring a foreign skilled worker.

In addition, the regulation further extends the recognition of vocational qualifications – similar to the recognition of university degrees – and procedures are also to be accelerated.

In Germany, the new law is seen as a triple-win situation: the German labour market, workers from non-EU countries and their countries of origin would all benefit from the deal. To this end, Germany is investing in countries of origin, and efforts are being made to make the recruitment of skilled workers more sustainable.

If everything goes according to plan, the new regulation should come into force at the beginning of next year.

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