THE CRITICISM IS INCREASING: THE GERMAN VISA AND IMMIGRATION PROCESS NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED BY CANADA, USA, and other Lands
By Kevin Stoda, Wiesbaden
(Note: the names and some small details are changed to protect the identities of the North Americans mentioned in this article.)
This article begins laying the groundwork for an international investigation of German Visa laws and practices as of 2009-2010. Until a few years ago, Germany was the number one destination in Europe for immigrants. That has changed sharply due partially to a serious of draconian measures implemented in the last half decade.
Let me tell you about Molly.
Molly is an American who used to work for the USA State Department during the Reagan years in Bonn. Later, Molly returned to Europe around 1990 and has worked free-lance in both the Czech Republic and Germany for most of the past 20 years.
As Molly has gotten older, she has tried to get a better social welfare net under her wings--as well as health insurance--but for the past few years in Germany, she has only received a visa to work freelance as trainer, i.e. not a type of visa enabling her to become employed full-time and thus become eligible to receive the benefits of laboring so many years in Europe (in terms of health care and other benefits). In short, Molly has only a freelance visa and being a North American provides little to no benefits in Europe these days.
Belatedly in early 2009, the Riad Family from Canada discovered this same fact about receiving-only-limited-to-poor-help in obtaining proper visas from German officials. The Riads learned the-hard-way that it is often much harder than one would think to either continue receiving visas or to ever receive a renewal of a work visa in Germany--regardless of how many qualifications one has.
The father of the Riad household is Abdul. He had received a well-paying job offer to come to Germany and work in 2007.
Before bringing his family to Europe, Abdul had been assured that Germany was a changing land and was interested in integrating foreigners, especially technically gifted foreigners, such as himself. Since Abdul was in-between work at the time, he accepted the well-paying offer to come to Germany two years ago. He soon moved here to work near Wiesbaden in Hessen with his entire household.
Then in late 2008 came the big economic collapse across the European continent. Abdul's firm was not spared. Abdul was laid off earlier this very year.
Abdul's wife, Melinda, is a certified English trainer, so when Abdul was laid off in late 2008, Melinda quickly went out looking for work. However, even after Melinda had found herself a lot of work as an English trainer with one several of the local Wiesbaden firms, the Integrationsamt (local Wiesbaden Visa Office) in town refused to allow Melinda to receive her work visa. The visa office claimed incorrectly that there are many Germans who can or are willing to do similar work.
NOTE: One reason many German citizens do not take such training jobs in firms and in private universities is because the work is often unsteady, or underpaid s, and/or it is offered without the traditional working benefits which typical Germans have come to demand and expect over the decades.
Meanwhile, as Abdul is a highly trained and qualified technician, he has gone out to interview for several well-paying positions. However, unlike at his original workplace in Germany, once Abdul walked into the interview door and was seen as a foreigner, i.e. of Middle Eastern parentage, his chances of landing a new job in Germany became worse by the week.