BITKOM satisfied with German immigration changes

In an effort to keep pace with the United States and other countries that are opening their doors to foreign IT workers, Germany’s main IT industry association used last year’s CeBIT trade show to recommend radical changes in Germany’s immigration policy aimed at attracting as many as 50,000 highly skilled IT workers from other countries.

This year, officials of the Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien, e.V., (BITKOM) reported that only 5,800 foreign applicants have entered the country under the special work permit program that was put in place in August five months after BITKOM’s recommendation.

Despite the relatively low number, BITKOM officials speaking at a news conference here Wednesday, a day before the CeBIT trade show officially opens, said they were satisfied with the program thus far, but they called on the German government to make changes so that more programmers, systems administrators and other technically skilled people from countries outside the European Union would apply.

Of the 5,800 who have accepted IT jobs in Germany, the highest number came from Russia, followed by citizens of the Baltic states, Poland and India, J