Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock draws a positive interim conclusion from the action plan for fast-track visa procedures for foreign skilled workers. At the German embassy in New Delhi, India, waiting times for national visas have now been reduced to two weeks. “People used to have to wait nine months,” said Baerbock. Progress had been made because the procedures had been digitalised and centralised, said the Minister, adding that the aim was to implement digitalisation of the entire visa process by the end of the legislative period next year. 

Since it supports the diplomatic missions abroad in processing applications, the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs was “already the largest facility in the world for issuing national visas”, said the Minister. Baerbock noted that Germany needed an influx of 400,000 people per year to keep the number of those in employment at a constant level, so according to forecasts this would require an increase of some 63 percent in national visas. 

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