The citizens of the Western Balkans – BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, can work in Germany since November 2015, thanks to the so-called Western Balkans Regulation.
The only condition is for candidates to have a contract with a German company. Their number is not small. German embassies in the region issued a total of 19,294 visas in the first nine months of this year.
In the year of 2017, most of them were issued in BiH – 4,702, and in Kosovo – 4,758. Macedonia follows with 3,675 and Serbia with 3,613 issued visas. The Embassy in Tirana issued a total of 2,796 visas in the same period, as announced by Deutsche Welle.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that “there is a large increase in the number of visa applications in Western Balkan countries for people who want to work in Germany and that number is recording constant increase.”
However, the period for processing of the application is very long, especially the amount of time between scheduling the interview and filing documents, said Carola Burkert, a migration expert at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The first in the list of countries with longest procedure is Kosovo, where the waiting time is one year, and it is followed by BiH and Serbia with seven months and Albania with six months. Moreover, there is a also a long procedure for visa processing as well.
In the latest study of the Interactive Advertising Bureau called “the Regulation for the Western Balkans: Work, not Asylum,” was established that there is a large difference between the number of issued visas and the number of authorizations by the Employment Bureau, which are necessary for obtaining a visa to start working in Germany.
Their number was increased to 128,000 in the period from November 2015 to September 2017, but the number of issued visas amounted to only 38,000.