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News 03 Aug 12

Germany Offers EU Blue Card to Qualified Kosovars

Germany is inviting qualified Kosovo citizens to apply for temporary work visas, after it decided to ease the procedures.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

German Ambassador to Kosovo Enrst Reichel promoted the country’s new employment initiative to attract highly qualified experts in IT, medicine and engineering.

Ambassador Reichel said that the visa requirements have been eased for qualified Kosovo citizens, who can now obtain an “EU blue card”.

“In Germany, we have a lack of qualified workforce for a wide range of highly skilled jobs,” Reichel is quoted as saying by his press office.

As of August 1, Germany has eased its work permits regime for highly qualified foreign workers providing they have been offered a job that pays no less than €45,000 a year.

Ambassador Reichel said that he is convinced that there are plenty of talented people in Kosovo who could profit from this initiative.

Over the past few years, Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system and maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance.

Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany and Switzerland - are estimated to account for about 14% of GDP, and donor-financed activities and aid for another 7.5%.

Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income of only $2,500 [€2,000]. Unemployment, around 40% of the population, is a significant problem that encourages outward migration and black market activity.

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