Ever since the German green card scheme, that was meant to attract IT
professionals from non-EU countries, was discontinued in December
2004, Indian techies have missed it badly. The scheme, which came into
effect from mid-2000, was meant to fill skill gaps in the country's IT
Not surprisingly, the largest number of German green
cards were issued to Indians. And now, with the introduction of the new
German 'blue card initiative' from August 1, 2012, skilled and highly
qualified workers from India can again look forward to tapping
opportunities in Germany.
Along with the new scheme, the German
government has also announced the Recognition Act, which facilitates the
recognition of foreign professional credentials.
Bid to tap skills The
changes to the Residence Act include regulations regarding the issuance
of the new EU blue card which is a residence permit intended for
highly skilled non-EU nationals seeking employment in Germany. It also
offers new benefits for foreign students. While pointing out the
advantages of the blue card scheme for young professionals from India,
the German ambassador in Delhi Michael Steiner, said at a recent Global
Skills Summit organised by FICCI that while India has the advantage of a
young workforce, Germany is an ageing society that needs skilled
"The new EU blue card is one step towards providing
better access to jobs in Germany for skilled international workers.
India has a young workforce and an enormous potential to become the
country with the largest number of qualified young people. Germany and
many of our European partners are ageing societies that need skilled
workers. Young and qualified Indians could cater to this specific need,"
Ambassador Steiner said.
Advantage for students Germany has
announced a slew of changes targeted specially at wooing foreign
students and academics in German universities. "Today's ideas are what
make tomorrow's technologies, products and services possible. This is
why we are providing targeted funding for young academics including
measures that make it easier for specialists and scientists from abroad
to come to Germany," Federal minister of education and research Annette
Schavan, said while unveiling the changes last month.
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is very upbeat about the opportunities
that will be now available for foreign students. "This new law gives
foreign academics more freedom of choice on extending their stay in
Germany. This is an important step at a time when we are urgently in
need of skilled workers," president of DAAD, Margret Wintermantel,
In the academic year 2010-11, the number of Indian
students in Germany has gone up to 5,038, an increase of approximately
24% over the previous year. Now, with the new right to residence after
study and easing of post-study employment prospects, the numbers are
expected to go up further. "Since 2000, when the earlier green card
scheme was launched, Germany needed to attract Indian software
But because of language problems and a perception
among skilled Indians that countries such as the US and UK were better
to live in, the best talent from India did not move here," says
Chirantan Banerjee, a researcher at the University of Bonn and a
permanent resident of Germany on the merit of his high-end research
work. Banerjee believes that for the new system to work, the German
government should revamp its immigration policy to attract very high end
talent from India to gain knowledge capital.