Germany has announced plans to ease visa requirements for skilled Russian workers who are considering emigrating following the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, warned that Russian workers in Germany were at risk of being recruited for industrial espionage.
The Federal Employment Agency has issued a so-called “global approval for access to the labour market” for Russian employees of German international companies, provided they are earning a salary of at least 43.992 euros per year. This status will last until 30 September, it automatically grants skilled Russian workers a long-term visa (rather than a 90-day Schengen visa), without them needing to obtain the approval of the Federal Employment Agency on a case-by-case basis.
According to a spokesperson for the Federal Foreign Office, more than 600 visas were issued for Russian skilled workers between the beginning of the war and the beginning of May. Around 30 percent of these applicants were already in Germany.
Spain is the latest territory that has joined the European countries’ list to suspend its Golden Visa program to citizens from Russia due to the latter’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.