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How Germany wants to make it easier for IT workers from India to get visas

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How Germany wants to make it easier for IT workers from India to get visas
Scholz visiting SAP in Bengaluru on Sunday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Kappeler

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that he wants to bring more IT workers from India to Germany - and reduce the bureaucratic hurdles needed to do so.


One of the first steps Germany wants to take to make it easier for skilled workers to come to the country is to “simplify the issuing of visas," Scholz said during a visit on Sunday to the southern tech metropolis of Bengaluru, India’s third-largest city. 

Indian citizens need a visa to come to Germany, even for a tourist visit. Currently, Indians applying for a visa for a work or job seeker's permit - even when applied for at their home embassy - often have to wait several months.

Scholz wants to speed up the process, he said, particularly as skilled workers are needed to meet Germany’s growing demand for software development. 

"I am quite sure that many will want to take advantage of the opportunities to work in Germany," Scholz said.


According to the current coalition government’s plans, it will be easier for sought-after skilled workers to come to Germany, even without a concrete job offer. They should also be able to bring their families with them. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Germany wants to make immigration easier for skilled workers

Language skills would not necessarily be required, Scholz said. "It's clear that anyone who comes to Germany as an IT specialist will first be able to talk easily with all their colleagues in English because many in Germany can speak English." 

He added that German can always be “learned later”.

One of Scholz’s stops on the visit was the Bengaluru site of the German IT company SAP. The fact that many German companies have relocated their software development to India is “not a problem,” he said, “but part of the division of labour”.

Germany to become more independent from China

With a population of around 1.4 billion, India is just behind China as the country with the second-largest population in the world. The lack of job opportunities for young people in many regions has led them to seek jobs abroad, with many applying for positions in Germany.


There has been a 550 percent increase in the number of IT workers from India in the past 10 years, according to the Cologne-based German Business Institute.

Last year, the German embassy in New Delhi said it issued visas to some 2,500 to 3,000 professionals, including mainly IT specialists. This year, according to the report, they expect a significant increase in the number of visas issued.

READ ALSO: Indians in Germany: Who are they and where do they live?

On Saturday, Scholz agreed with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expand economic relations between the two countries. 

"Investments are to be expanded, and the number of employees is to be massively increased," Scholz said, referring to the 1,800 German companies in India so far. 

Both Modi and he would advocate for an EU-India free trade agreement, Scholz said.

Part of Germany’s push to recruit more workers from India is tied to its desire to become less dependent on China, currently its largest trading partner. 

"We want to and must use the potential that exists here," Scholz said in Bengaluru. "This also helps us strengthen the resilience of our own economy."

READ ALSO: Germany's Scholz in India to press on EU trade deal


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