Source: Schengen Visa Info
The European Union’s population is aging. The factors behind this phenomenon are many, but the declining fertility rates and the increased life expectancy, along with migration to countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, are the main ones.
Member States are also offering better conditions for migrants in a bid to put an end to poor labor practices for migrants, who are often hired with minimal wages and face longer working hours...
As a result, European countries are facing a labor shortage in several areas, in particular in service and building and highly skilled positions. To fight these shortages, the EU Member States are facilitating some of their tightest conditions for moving from a third country to their territory for employment purposes, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, these Member States, as well as the EU, are also offering better conditions for migrants in a bid to put an end to poor labor practices for migrants, who are often hired with minimal wages and face longer working hours than those of EU origin.
For example, since August 2, all Member States are obliged to apply the Directive on work-life balance, which foresees parental and carers leave and the right to request flexible working arrangements and the same should apply to both types of workers, those of EU and non-EU nationality.
Individually, in recent months, the Member States have facilitated several of their immigration rules, in particular for employees, in their bid to make it easier to bring foreign workers to their territory.
Finland: Fast-Tracked Procedures for Skilled Workers & Start-up Entrepreneurs & Long-Term Residence Permits for Students & Researchers
After months of warning of such a move, Finland has finally started applying a fast-track procedure for highly skilled workers and start-up entrepreneurs together with their families, processing their applications within a period of 14 days.
At the same time, the country has started granting students and their eligible family members a single residence permit for the whole duration of their studies. This means that students no longer need to renew their Finnish residence permits every year. At the same time, they can now enter Finland with their Long Term (D) visas without having to wait for their residence permit cards.
“The national D visa, on the other hand, allows international experts and their families to enter Finland as soon as they receive a favorable decision. There is no longer a need to wait for the permit card to arrive before entering Finland,” explains a statement of the EU Commission in this regard.
Announcing the decision back on June 16 this year, Minister Tuula Haatainen has said that the Finnish government is firm in its intention to ease the immigration of skilled workers into the country and will further introduce other measures to accelerate work and migration based on education and make the country more alluring to international experts.
The country is also working toward making it easier for students and researchers to stay in Finland and look for work after completing their studies.
Italy Increases Migrant Work Permit Quotas for 2022
In a bid to cover the lack of personnel in specific sectors, the Italian government has allowed a total of 75,000 people to arrive in Italy for work in 2022, setting the quota at 5,000 more than the previous year.
According to the country’s Minister of Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, the decision has also been taken due to the war in Ukraine, which contributes to the risk that a grain crisis may lead to a wave of migrants reaching the country.
“Work is underway at the Cabinet to verify the possibility to speed up procedures since there is a lack of personnel in specific sectors,” reads a statement from the Ministry.
Before this decision, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Italy’s Puglia farms needed another 100,000 seasonal workers in order to guarantee summer harvest fields.
France Increases Minimum Monthly Salary by 2%
The French government has increased the minimum monthly salary by 2.01 percent since August 1.
“Due to inflation, the minimum interprofessional growth wage will automatically increase on August 1 by 2.01 percent. For a full-time worker, the monthly minimum wage will increase from 1,302.64 euros to 1,329.06 euros net,” a statement of the French government reads.
As a result, the minimum monthly salary required for the following immigration categories has increased to:
- Intra-Company Transferees (ICTs) to €1,678.95
- Passeport Talent – Employees on Assignment to €3,022.11
- Passeport Talent – Qualified Employees to €3,357.90
The minimum salary for holders of EU Blue Cards is 1.5 times the average gross salary of reference fixed by the French authorities, which currently is €53,836.50 per year.
Spain Eases Work Permit Requirements for Foreigners
Since July 27, Spain has made it easier for foreign nationals residing in Spain to obtain a work permit through a more streamlined process that reduces the work permit application requirements for certain applicants.
The move has been taken in a bid of the authorities to tackle the problem of labor market shortages, and the same will also enable around 500,000 undocumented workers who do not hold the necessary legal documents to work legally in Spain, as well as students from non-EU countries. The latter will be able to work up to 30 hours per week while studying in Spain.
At the same time, foreign students will be eligible to start working in the country as soon as they graduate. Previously, they had to wait for a period of three years before being able to get a job in this country.
The Spanish government will soon publish a list of high-demand jobs that will be open to foreign nationals.
Netherlands: Highly Skilled Migrants From Several Countries Temporarily Eligible to Work Without a Residence Permit
Highly skilled migrants from countries that do not need a long-term visa (MVV) in order to move to the Netherlands will now be allowed to start working in the country even if their residence permit is not ready yet.
The decision has been taken by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), and the same will remain effective for a maximum period of four months, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“From July 22, 2022, a highly skilled migrant who is not subject to an MVV may start working if the residence document is not ready yet. This must be stated in the notification you have received and may be for a maximum of four months,” the IND announced on August 1.
Exempt from the requirement to obtain a long-term Dutch visa for stays longer than three months in the country are the nationals of the EU/EEA Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Vatican City, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, South Korea, and Switzerland.
According to this decision, nationals of these countries can just move to the Netherlands and start working immediately while they wait for their residence permit to be ready.
Denmark Publishes New Lists of Labor Shortages for Which Foreign Workers Are Needed
Denmark has updated the lists of jobs for which there is a shortage of workers in the country. The two lists, called the Positive List for Highly Educated and the Positive List for Skilled Workers, serve as a ‘map’ for foreign workers who wish to move to Denmark for employment purposes.
“The Positive List for People with a Higher Education will, as of July 1, 2022, include a total of 45 job titles, while the Positive List for Skilled Work includes 46 job titles,” the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration notes in a statement, adding that both lists will remain effective until December 31.
The Positive List for Skilled Workers includes jobs like Laboratory technician, Plumbing Technician, Plumber, Construction Manager, Appraiser, Merchandiser, Buyer, Shipping Agent, Caseworker, unemployment insurance fund, Real Estate Agent, Logistic Assistant, sales and purchasing, Legal Secretary, Medical Secretary, Caseworker, building projects, Family Counsellor, Parish Clerk, Head Chef, Senior Clerk, Office Assistant, Bookkeeper, Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerk, Finance Assistant, Sales Support Assistant, Insurance Clerk, Payroll Bookkeeper, Human Resources Assistant, etc.
Whereas the Positive List for People with a Higher Education includes jobs like Daily Manager, Production Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer Environmental Engineer, Town Planner, Medical Doctor, Nurse, Midwife, Dentist, Associate Professor at a University College or a Business Academy, Primary School Teacher, Social Education Worker, Economist, Psychologist, Radiographer, etc.
Sweden: New Work Permit Rules in Order to Avoid Exploitation of Foreign Workers
Sweden now obliges employers to report any change in employment rules and conditions for their foreign workers in order to prevent their exploitation as well as to attract and retain international competence.
“Sweden is already an attractive country for people who want to come to Sweden to work. The new rules give the Swedish Migration Agency more tools to continue to promote labor immigration that meets companies’ needs for competence and prevents people from becoming the victims of rogue employers,” noted the Head of Legal Affairs at the Swedish Migration Agency, Carl Bexelius, while announcing the decision, which became effective on July 1.
Foreign workers can no longer be expelled due to minor errors, and employers who fail to report the working conditions for non-EU employees at the request of the Agency may be fined.
At the same time, the applicants are now obliged to attach the employment contract to the application file that is lodged at the Agency.
Portugal Launches 6-Month Valid Visa for Foreign Workers
Foreign workers can now move to Portugal with the intention of working for a short period of only six months, as the Portuguese government has given the green light to the creation of such a visa.
“This [new visa] allows foreign nationals to enter Portuguese territory who [so far] have come looking for work for a period of 120 days, extended to another 60 days, for a total of 180 days”, the country’s Minister of Parliamentary affairs has announced,
According to him, the measure has been announced in order to promote regular and safe migration. At the same time, the country has also abolished the quota regime for migration.
Ireland Introduced Four Changes to Immigration System for Workers
Starting from autumn this year, new changes will be imposed to Ireland’s Employment Permit System for workers from third countries, including here introducing new seasonal work permits.
Through the new changes, the Irish authorities intend to create a more responsive system to address the country’s labor market challenges, as well as to introduce an index for salary thresholds. The new changes also include the revision of the labor market test process.
“With a record 2.5 million plus people at work in Ireland, the new Employment Permits Bill will allow us to better compete for global talent, fill labor market gaps, support local enterprises and encourage foreign direct investment while at the same time protecting the rights of workers in the State,” said the Minister of State for Business, Retail Damien English, while announcing the move.