Germany plans new visa aimed at attracting more Indian tech workers

The German government has announced plans to make it easier for IT workers from India to obtain work visas in Germany.

While visiting Bengaluru, the center of India’s tech sector, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a televised press conference Sunday with the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, where he said Germany not only wants to be able to recruit and attract skilled Indian workers but work with India on the research and development of IT and software.

“We want to simplify the issuing of visas,” Scholz said. “We intend to modernize the whole bureaucratic process in addition to legal modernization.” He noted that Germany needs many skilled workers to meet the country’s demand for software development.

“A lot of reform proposals have already been collected and we are continuing to work on them,” Scholz said.

Under the plans, the new visa would make it easier for skilled workers to come to Germany with their families, while a relaxing of language requirements would also help to make Germany a more attractive destination for sought-after professionals.

“It is clear that anyone who comes to Germany as an IT specialist can first easily converse with all his or her colleagues in English, because many in Germany can speak English,” Scholz said.

Despite many big tech companies laying off large numbers of employees in recent months, the global demand for skilled tech workers remains high. According to a study by management consulting firm Korn Ferry, by 2030 there will be a projected global human talent shortage of 85 million people.

“In tech alone, the US could lose out on $162 billion worth of revenues annually unless it finds more high-tech workers,” according to the report. “India could become the next tech leader; the study suggest that the country could have a surplus of more than 1 million high-skilled tech workers by 2030.”

Commenting on research undertaken by the firm, Yannick Binvel, president of Korn Ferry’s Global Industrial Markets practice, wrote in the report that “Governments and organizations must make talent strategy a key priority and take steps now to educate, train, and upskill their existing workforces.”

Germany is not the only country looking to attract skilled workers to tackle the growing skills gap.

In the US, the H1-B visa allows companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. However, the visa has not always been supported across the political spectrum. During his presidency, Donald Trump stopped the distribution of new H1-B visas and attempted to raise employer compliance obligations and reduce H-1B visa validity for workers employed at third-party job sites.

All of these proposals were ultimately overturned by current US President Joe Biden early in his first term.

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