Much-needed reforms to EU visa rules, which are not methodical throughout the continent, could facilitate many tech workers to shift to Europe.
The European Commission has recently suggested amendments to the seven-year-old Blue Card visa programme for talented workers which previously proved to be a roadblock for many applicants.
In fact, between 2012 and 2014, just about 30,480 Blue Card visas were issued, 90 percent of them being given by Germany alone.
Terming this programme unattractive, Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Migration Commissioner, at a press conference on 7 June in Strasbourg, said that it was not just about empowering people arriving in the Europe but also empowering the EU itself.
According to the European Commission, firms currently find it challenging to fill vacancies in the technology and healthcare sectors. From now on, it will be up to the countries in the EU to decide themselves if they wish to give visas on priority for applications, depending on the vacancies they need to fill.
Sounding a note of caution, Avramopoulos said that the Blue Card had to be a competitor for the Green Card of the US or else Europe could risk losing more than 20 million workers by 2036. According to him, this new visa programme would also add around €6.2 billion to the EU’s exchequer annually.
EU Policy Director of the App Developers Alliance, Catriona Meehan, said relaxing more rules under the new Blue Card visa programme would allow Europe’s tech industry to compete with other regions.
The EC estimates reveal that there would be around 800,000 vacant positions in the technology sector and about one million healthcare jobs by the year 2020.
The new visa programme requires applicants to have a job offer that will last for about six months. On the other hand, the existing Blue Card scheme allows visas to be issued for job contracts lasting one year or more.
If you are a tech worker, you could consider going to one of the countries in the EU. Y-Axis, with its 17 offices across India, will offer advice and assistance on how to go about it.