BERLIN, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- A change of policy by the German government in 2016 has witnessed a surge in the number of migrant workers from Western Balkan states in the country, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The number of work permits for migrant labor from the region rose to 62,957 in the first eight months of 2017, up nearly 60 percent year on year, newspaper Welt said, quoting data from the Federal Labor Office.
In response to a dramatic increase in the number of asylum seekers from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia at the peak of the refugee crisis 2015, Berlin initiated a new migrant labor scheme which allows citizens of these countries to move to Germany for work under certain circumstances.
Individuals from Western Balkan region can now secure entry to Germany if they have an advance job offer, for example.
Nonetheless, the number of rejected labor migrants also rose in 2017. Around 17,500 applicants under the new scheme were still turned away because they could not show evidence of a concrete job offer, or because there were already too many German applicants.