Germany needs more skilled workers. Especially in the health sector, the lack of nurses and caregivers becomes more and more of a problem. In order to tackle this problem, Germany tries to fill the gaps with skilled foreign workers. A great solution in theory, if there wasn’t the time-consuming application for visas.
In Germany’s hospitals and nursing homes is a huge lack of workers – tens of thousands of nurses and caregivers are missing. In order to fight this shortage, Germany wants to recruit skilled foreign workers and advertised this strongly all over the world, including in the Philippines. This advertisement showed its effects: In 2018, the German embassy in Manila processed almost 19.000 Schengen Visas as well as around 3300 national visas. According to the Federal Government at that time there were 527 people waiting on the entry permit, 266 of them being nurses. So in theory the problem could be fixed pretty easily – if there weren’t the extremely long waiting periods for visas to be processed by the German Government.
It can take months for one visa application to be processed.
The problem is that despite their possibility to work and the lack of skilled nurses in Germany there are extremely long waiting periods for their visa requests to be processed. It can take
months for one Visa to be arranged. “The reason for the long waiting times is the continuously and strongly increasing demand for a visa in the care sector”, so the government’s statement to a request of the German liberal party FDP. The FDP requested information as hospitals and nursing homes are deprived of urgently needed stuff, some of whom recruited and trained from their own resources.
Centralizing and outsourcing: German government approaches the problem.
In the statement it further says, that in order to take countermeasures, the personnel capacities at the visa offices of German diplomatic missions have already been expanded and further steps initiated. One of these further steps for example is the outsourcing of the processing of applications to external service providers. Next to that also the processing of application for work Visas or Schengen Visas should be centralised : The processing of work visas should be handled centrally by a newly established working unit at the Federal Foreign Office. This work unit will also include a competence centre for work visas in the health and care sector, which should support and relieve the foreign representatives in this area.
With these steps Germany hopes to be able to process visa applications quicker and fill the gaps in their health sector.