Radicevic: Germany does not expect a large influx of Albanians after visa liberalization for Kosovo
Journalist Nenad Radicevic, a long-time correspondent for Serbian media in Germany, says that after visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens in January 2024, Germany does not expect a significant influx of Albanians.
"Visa liberalization does not automatically mean enabling permanent or temporary residence in European Union countries, but the possibility of staying there without a visa for only 90 days within six months. In Germany, there is no expectation of a significant influx since they regulated it in 2015. At that time, during the refugee crisis and the influx of asylum seekers from the Western Balkans, they introduced regulations that allowed citizens of the Western Balkans to obtain a visa for temporary residence in Germany through a simplified procedure and without knowledge of the German language if they found a job," Radicevic says for Kosovo Online.
He explains that Germany thus enabled unskilled labor, who often came, thinking they could seek asylum, to come legally to Germany if they wanted to work. On the other hand, the same regulation shortened the procedure for assessing whether someone could get asylum, aiming to prevent illegal migrations.
"This allowed them to quickly deport people applying for asylum, whom Germans generally consider irregular. So, the regulation that facilitates easier access to work in Germany should, according to Germans, prevent illegal migrations. There will probably be some migrations, but to what extent is a big question, as those who wanted to stay illegally in the EU could already enter the country with a standard tourist visa and then stay beyond the period given by the visa. Because of all this, there is no fear that there will be a significant influx of people after the visa liberalization that Kosovo is getting," Radicevic says.
He also notes that Germany might not always be the most common destination for Albanians.
"More often, it's Switzerland or Italy due to various cultural differences, and primarily because there is a large Albanian diaspora in those countries. Due to connections and the possibility of someone helping you, those countries are more common choices. In Germany, there are plenty of statistics showing the number of illegal migrants, but it is known that Switzerland and Italy are their destinations in Europe, with the United States ranking third, but that is unrelated to the EU and the Schengen area," Radicevic said.