Greece set to import foreign workers

Greece set to import foreign workers

The list of transferable workers from third countries who will be able to come to Greece within 2023 and 2024 in order to fill some of the vacancies identified in the domestic labor market ranges from unskilled agriculture and construction workers, to butchers and workers in dairy production.

As of this year, the “importing” of foreign workers will be allowed in order to cover part of the needs primarily in the tourism sector, as the list includes specialties such as chefs and kitchen assistants, but also porters, gardeners and cleaners.

Overall, of course, the new ministerial decision published on Tuesday concerns only a part of the needs, namely 39%, since despite the 379,165 requests to fill vacant positions that were submitted, the import of only 147,925 workers from third countries was eventually approved, while an additional 20,000 positions will be covered by bilateral agreements with Egypt and Bangladesh.

Therefore, the maximum number of residence permits for third country citizens to work for the years 2023 and 2024 in the country is set at 167,925, close to the corresponding limit set for the two years 2021-2022 (168,632 permits).

With the new ministerial decision, 9,261 workers in the catering and accommodation sectors can be called up (against 2,811 in the previous two years). Of course, the number is significantly lower (11.5%) than the proposals submitted for 80,316 workers. Accordingly, the introduction of 10,338 workers to fill vacant positions in the construction industry was set as a maximum limit.

Transfers will be distributed in sectors where Greeks have not responded to job offers. At the same time, and with the aim of meeting needs, the new joint ministerial decision includes a number of flexibilities, such as the distribution of available positions at the regional level and not at the regional unit level, as was the case until now. Therefore, the phenomenon observed in previous years, with shortages of workers observed in one regional unit and a surplus in a neighboring unit, will be addressed. 

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