Read in today's edition
- Waiting times for visas at all embassies
- RWR card - Vienna deputy mayor Wiederkehr announces relief
- Refugee crisis affects housing market in urban centres
- Pandemic delays successful integration for expats and their families
- Labour shortage in Austria
a lot has happened at MOVES consulting in the past months. We won several new service-contracts of bigger company clients and were able to expand our existing locations in Germany, Poland, Austria with locations in the following countries: Spain: Barcelona/Madrid, Netherlands: Amsterdam and surroundings, UK: London and surroundings. Therefore we also grew our team. We are happy to welcome our new employees to the team.
The face of the world as we were used to it has changed dramatically since the beginning of 2020. The pandemic has had a major impact on mobility. Home office has been made compulsory in some countries not only due to the pandemic but by law. Also, our team members work remote.
The war in Ukraine has had an impact on our work and those of our clients' employees who are based in Europe. Read more about these issues here:
Waiting times in embassies
2,42VFS has been the service partner for all visa matters for all European embassies worldwide for about 2 years now. More and more VFS offices announce that due to extremely heavy travel and ongoing pandemic events, there are excessively long waiting times for business and tourist visas at all embassies. Plan for a delay in appointments or waiting times of up to 12 weeks. The issuing of the visa can then take another 4 - 6 weeks. An example is the Danish Embassy in Delhi. This stands for numerous other embassies worldwide: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/ind/en/dnk/news/temporary-suspension-of-new-visa-appointment.
NO Skilled worker permit for Ukrainian refugees
The military conflict in Ukraine and the accompanying influx of refugees has also brought highly qualified key workers to the EU. Once the administrative part is done and the asylum status is recognised, a Ukrainian citizen has full access to the labour market. A work permit for asylum seekers is applied for directly at the labour office and is issued within 3-4 weeks.
This permit ends for the first time when the refugee residence card expires, which is initially issued for 1 year at a time. After the residence card has been extended, the work permit can be extended.
IMPORTANT! A recognised refugee cannot be approved as a key worker. This is excluded by law. According to information from the MA35 in Vienna, they are required to reject applications for the RWR Card or Blue Card EU from applicants with recognised asylum status.
RWR Card Austria: Christoph Wiederkehr - Deputy Mayor of Vienna announces facilitationsIn March, Johannes Kopf, Chairman of the Vienna AMS, together with the Deputy Mayor of Vienna, Christoph Wiederkehr, invited company representatives to a discussion and survey round. The aim was to discuss suggestions and criticism concerning the RWR card. The desire for shorter processing times and easier access to the various categories of the residence card for key workers, as well as faster reunification of families, were discussed. It has already been announced that it will soon be possible to apply for families together with the key worker. Families will then finally be able to enter the country together with the key worker and will no longer have to wait months abroad, separated from the family's breadwinner, for their applications to be approved. A big step forward and an even bigger relief for the families.
Blue Card Germany - Easier access for key workers
In the competition for sought-after key workers, Germany has again lowered the requirements for obtaining the Blue Card Germany:
To obtain an EU Blue Card in Germany, you must have a minimum annual gross salary of €56,400. For employment in the professional fields of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, engineering and human medicine (excluding dentistry), a reduced minimum annual gross salary of €43,992 applies,the Office for Migration and Refugees notes in its updated guidelines for obtaining such a residence permit in Germany in 2022.
Further facilitations are planned. For example, apprenticeship qualifications in shortage occupations are to be recognised in the future. Since 2020, it has been possible to train apprentices from third countries in shortage occupations. A Blue Card will be issued here. It is now also possible to employ employees from third countries with a 6-month contract instead of the previous minimum duration of 12 months. We will keep you up to date.
Refugee crisis affects housing market in urban centres
According to wohnungsboerse.net, prices per square metre for rental flats have risen noticeably across Europe in recent years. In large cities such as Vienna, for example, private main rents rose by 35% for new rentals between 2008 and 2016 (according to a report in the Wiener Zeitung).
Our staff in Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg noticed that with the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict and the accompanying refugee crisis, prices for furnished temporary accommodation virtually exploded. While at the beginning of the year it was still possible to rent a 1-2 room flat in Hamburg or Berlin for our expats on a "temporary living" basis for about 800 to 1000 EUR for 1 month, these prices have now exploded to 1600 to 2000 EUR. The reason for this is not only the empty housing market, but also the fact that the city governments heavily subsidise accommodation for Ukrainian refugees and landlords want to make a buck here and therefore prefer to rent to refugees.
Employers who want to assist in the search for housing and their employees will probably have to reckon with excessive costs in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna for some time to come.
Pandemic - consequences for expats and their families when integrating in the new environment
In today's edition, the Salzburger Nachrichten writes what many of us have experienced first-hand or have observed in our immediate social environment: Corona has caused depression and mental disorders to rise worldwide (source WHO).
No one will deny or trivialise this.
However, what we at MOVES consulting have been emphasising and repeatedly addressing for many years is at the same time the other side of the "expat career" coin. It is not uncommon for a life abroad, no matter how aspired to, to have negative effects on the social life of the accompanying family. The distance to friends, family and everything one was used to leads to a feeling of being uprooted. If, on top of that, the partner's intensive professional travel activities mean that you are alone a lot right at the beginning of your stay abroad, it is not far to the first depressive episodes. We experience this very often in our daily work.
Corona has also increased this problem. Lockdowns, entry restrictions, unrecognised vaccinations have meant that newly arrived expats and their families have not been able to start building a new social environment straight away, as is usually the case. Initial experiences in the new environment were even mostly negative.
How often did we have to hear the sentence: I'm getting a divorce and going back to my home country!
But a few times we were able to help avoid this final step by offering our expat coaching. A form of coaching based on many years of experience abroad, specialised training and expertise in settling expats. Personal counselling is my personal trait and has been formed into a service of its own: www.lebensberatung1080wien.at
If you want to support your employees, here is a good opportunity for their travelling partners and families.