Schengen Visa holders that are currently stranded in Germany will have the privilege of staying and seeking employment in the country until 30 September 2020, according to an announcement made by Germany’s Ministry of Interior.
The action comes in response to a large number of tourists and travelers holding Schengen Visas that expired during the time of widespread lockdowns due to worldwide travel being effectively cut off for several months now.
The exception to the regular visa rules will include travelers who entered the country with a Schengen Visa on 17 March or those who entered after 17 March and stayed within Germany until 30 June.
Travelers will be allowed to stay in the country with a temporary exemption from regulations requiring a residence permit or other types of long-term visas.
“Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this regulation regulates the extension of the temporary exemption from the requirement of a residence permit for holders of Schengen visas in the federal territory and the temporary exemption from the requirement of a residence permit for transit through the federal territory for the purpose of leaving the Schengen,” the announcement stated.
People stranded in Germany will also have the opportunity to find work in the country within the allotted time frame as well.
“Foreigners who are exempt from the requirement of a residence permit in accordance with paragraph 1 are permitted to pursue gainful employment to which their Schengen visa has been entitled until September 30, 2020. This also includes employment that is not considered employment within the meaning of the Residence Act,” the announcement further stated.
The ordinance was put into effect by Germany’s Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer. It is set to expire on 30 June 2020 unless further action is deemed necessary to combat the COVId-19 crisis.
As of the publication of this article, COVID-19 cases in Germany have spiked. The increase in cases comes after the easing of lockdown procedures that have been effective in Germany and all of Schengen for the past several months.
To date, the tourism industry has suffered dramatically as the result of the pandemic that effectively put the entire world on lockdown, and the industry is desperately trying to make a revival. This is especially prevalent in Europe, where the tourism sector may end up ultimately having been the hardest-hit industry in the region.