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Berlin, July 05, 2022 – IT professionals from Russia and Belarus who are willing to emigrate should be brought to Germany. The digital association Bitkom advocates this and makes suggestions on how this can be achieved. Accordingly, an immediate #greencard22 program should be launched to recruit Russian and Belarusian IT experts quickly and unbureaucratically and integrate them fully and permanently into the labor market and society. There are 96,000 vacancies for IT specialists in the German economy.

The #greencard22 emergency program provides for IT specialists from Russia and Belarus to receive a residence permit within one week, provided they have a job offer. In addition, the visa procedure for finding a job and the professional recognition procedure are to be accelerated. The application procedures are to be completely digitalized and binding processing deadlines are to be set. Proof of German language skills is to be dispensed with completely.

In addition, practical support must be provided to those wishing to immigrate. IT specialists in Russia and Belarus should be provided with target-group-specific information, including in Russian-language job portals. Existing services provided by German authorities should be bundled, expanded and marketed, such as the “Working and Living in Germany” hotline, online advice services on housing, school and childcare, or integration and language courses. IT professionals who cannot be supported by their new employer in organizational, bureaucratic and practical matters should receive a voucher for a relocation service from the authorities. Close family members also need support. In addition to spouses and children, life partners should also receive a visa from day one to live and work in Germany.

The #greencard22 campaign is based on the green card program, which brought more than 13,000 IT specialists from non-EU countries to Germany in the 1990s. Each green card created an additional 2.5 new jobs.

Qualified immigration is an important component of a broad, long-term strategy to counter the shortage of skilled workers. This also includes teaching digital skills across the entire education chain. Women in particular should be encouraged to pursue a career in IT. Over the next ten years, many female and male IT experts from the baby boomers born between 1958 and 1968 will retire. Only about one in two of the resulting vacancies can be filled by the next generation of IT professionals.