I am in Syria(specifically in Damascus). Seems war is rolling out. Most of the people are moving to border regions but I cant and I am a programmer worked as a remote dev for an Australian startup. But I am not sure how long I will be able to work living in Syria. I want move to Europe specially in Germany as the startup scene is booming in Berlin. So can you guys give me suggestion of legal way to move in Germany as an asylum and will I be able to work if I can move. I went through google but couldn't find much information. And I will be happy to have contact with startups that are hiring dev. I have couple of years backend development experience with Python(Django),LAMP,Node.js and some unix skill. Thanks in advance.
There's a lot of bad information here on Berlin. For context, I'm a non-EU software developer that lives in Berlin and now has permanent residence, as is my girlfriend.
Germany is actually one of the easiest countries to get an immigrant work visa for. I would recommend skipping seeking asylum. There's a large enough job market in Berlin for developers that the work visa route will almost certainly be the fastest and least painful for you.
If you have a university degree, you should be able to get a Blue Card. In fact, Germany will give you a 6 month visa to visit the country and look for a job. Since you're already working remotely, finding money to support yourself during that time should not be difficult.
The salary requirement that others list here is incorrect for software developers. The typical Blue Card minimum required salary is €46,400/year, however, software development is an in-demand job ("Mangelberuf"), which lowers the minimum to €39,192/year, which is above the standard salary that you'd find for development positions at Berlin startups.
If you go the Blue Card route, you'll be eligible for permanent residence in 3 years.
If you don't have a university degree, you're still in pretty good shape. Then, in practice, what you need is a job offer (with a contract). Your residence permit, prior to getting permanent residence, will be connected to your specific job at a specific company (though in practice this just means you have to go to the foreigner's office to apply for a new visa when you change jobs). This was the old system that I went through (before the Blue Card was introduced, which my girlfriend used). Basically if you have a job offer and a reasonable salary, you're next to guaranteed to be able to get a work permit. I've never heard of a software developer having their request denied.
However, that system is not nearly as streamlined, so you actually usually need to already be in Berlin to apply for it. I would recommend finding any excuse you can to come to Berlin on a visitors' visa (language course, conference, whatever) and stay as long as you can. I think you'd be able to find a job and kick off the work permit stuff in a 2 month timeframe.
Going that route you're able to apply for permanent residence after 5 years, though it's a slightly nicer version of permanent residence than the one you get via the Blue Card route since it's transferable to all EU countries except the UK and Ireland.
Official things in Germany will naturally be mostly in German, but the startup scene functions primarily in English. It's totally normal for job interviews and work meetings / emails / etc. to be in English.
If you have questions on this stuff feel free to drop me a line. My email address is in my profile.
+1. You were probably just using the wrong term, that may also be why your Google search did not turn up anything. Asylum is only for political refugees. These are not allowed to work, need to live in provided (usually very bad) residences, their children are not allowed to go to school, etc.
its not as easy as you picture it, especially for Syrians.
I wanted to send my sister (Syrian) to continue her education in medicine, the German embassy in Syria completely rejected the application.
I tried in Dubai, they asked me to open a bank account for her in Germany, all banks refused to do so. I had eventually to find workarounds (through some powerful friends) and I was able finally to open that account in Wiesbaden.
Now my sister has an official residency visa and she went to open an account in Berlin, but again all banks rejected her request because she is Syrian.
It's not at all surprising for me that the German embassy in Syria is swamped at the moment and that makes things more difficult.
However, things are pretty different when you're applying as a student vs. applying as a software developer. There's going to be a lot more scrutiny of the financial situation of a potential student from a country in crisis than for a skilled worker with a job offer. German politics have shifted in recent years because of a labor shortage to where, at least officially, there's a lot of support for qualified workers to move here.
Now, that doesn't mean that there's no racism, but while I don't have any Syrian friends here, I do have a handful of friends from Iran and I've not heard of them having problems at all with things like setting up bank accounts or managing official stuff.
in the case of Germany I think Government are not the bad people here, they have actually tried to make it easier for Syrian. but most the people who work at embassies / banks etc .. make it impossible for Syrians abroad to reach Germany.
I have friends who managed to get their visas after filing lawsuits against those embassies, but those who only have german friends/relatives who understand and know the German law.
I think it's important to note that these are two very different examples. The OP is specifically discussing the experience and approach for a skilled worker in a job search situation where a country is actively seeking that type of worker. That's entirely different to wanting to move somewhere for further your education in a highly competitive field like medicine.
I wonder if she tried GLS Bank? They style themselves as a fair/alternative bank only investing in ethically good things. Lot's of people I know moved their bank account there. It would be interesting to hear if they reject to give bank accounts to people in need. Although perhaps there is something in German law that prevents banks from doing that?
I'm not German, but I know from experience how many will not call you back if you just have a foreign sounding name. I really thought banks would be different though, I guess there must be many Syrian people in Germany and they all need bank accounts. I would guess that there are some organization for immigrants or even some for Syrian immigrants in Germany, and they could probably help you out with some recommendations.
They don't know whether you are some regular person just trying to live your life, or some supporter of the sanctioned regime trying to protect ill-gotten gains by moving them out of the country. Unfortunately the latter is a frequent occurrence in military conflicts. The problem is that they don't really have the cultural or social context to judge which sort of Syrian person you are.
The best idea I can come up with offhand is consider a closer but wealthier and more stable country as an intermediate destination, such as Turkey or Dubai, but I realize that's not very helpful.
I'm guessing that you (like me) come from one of exactly 7 countries whose citizens have the privilege of being able to apply for a work visa from within Germany while here on a tourist visa (or, more commonly, a visa-waiver). I can assure you that Syria is most definitely not on that list, and that almost everyone in the world is actually required to obtain a work visa in their home country.
I am. My girlfriend is not. We both got our visas in Germany. (Her case, however, was slightly different than the norm since she went from an academic work visa for post-docs, to a Blue Card, to permanent residence.)
A Syrian would certainly need a visa to enter Germany in general. I believe that you're incorrect as to whether or not, given a valid visa to enter the country, a Syrian citizen would be able to apply for a further visa from within the country.
For reference, this is the actual law that I was referring to which provides for highly qualified foreigners to get a visa to look for work in Germany for six months:
I believe zb is correct. I'm also a Blue Card holder living in Berlin, and as a US citizen, I was able to enter Germany on a tourist visa and then apply for the Blue Card from here. However, a friend of mine from the Philippines was in a very similar situation (got a job offer while he was here on a tourist visa) and he had to return home to apply for the Blue Card, since the Philippines are not on that short list of exempted countries. Your girlfriend's case was indeed different, since she wasn't trying to convert from a tourist visa.
Starting around "Important! If you enter the country without a visa or with a Schengen visa..." (This site's aimed towards students, but I believe the info on entering the country is still applicable here.)
In the OP's specific case (especially considering the fact that the German embassy in Syria is currently closed), I would definitely recommend contacting an immigration lawyer in Germany before entering the country. It's possible that there are other options or exceptions that I'm not aware of.
Salaries are pretty low compared to the US. 50-75k euros for developers is pretty common (even in Scandinavia).
On the other hand living costs in berlin are much lower compared to other cities in europe (even compared to other cities in germany).
However, I cannot confirm the minimum wages required by a job under blue card. AFAIR, the blue card covers a broad spectrum of jobs and the wage listed above probably take diverse industries into account.
Taxes in europe are very situation specific (married/single, mortgage, car/bus/work-from-home, public-health insurance, pension, unemployment). I guess this is also country specific inside the EU. For example, in Finland, we do not have progressive tax (or so I am made to believe).
I have saved enough to live 1-2 years. But how long it takes to get Blue card? I do have an Uni degree and how much I can expect with my around 2.5 years experience. Some of the Berlin startup contacted with me regarding my expectation, as why asking you.
The tricky thing is probably going to be that I expect the German embassy in Syria is totally swamped. If you can get a visitors' visa for Germany, it would probably be easier to apply for it in person here.
When applying in Germany, if everything goes well, you can get a Blue Card with two trips to the foreigners' office -- one to apply and another to pick it up a few weeks later.
Presumably you'd be able to get the visa to seek work pending a Blue Card with a single visit to the foreigners' office.
Salaries are much lower than the US in Berlin, where the range is roughly €35k-75k. With your experience I'd expect you to be in the €40-55k range here.
Skip Germany and go to Sweden or England, where people are more than happy to speak English, and there is already many Syrians in Sweden, especially in Sodertalje. Sweden will accept you based on your skills far more easily than Germany, all you need is to find a job, and right now the market is open for a guy of your skills - programmers are in high demand. Look around on various Sweden/Stockholm job posting sites, from there you get the visa and safety. The startup scene is also nice.
As someone else mentioned in Germany as asylum seeker you arent allowed to work. You can come to Sweden and seek asylum and you'd be allowed to work, and when you do sign a contract then you can get a permit to stay and cancel the asylum request. PM me and Ill give you names of good companies that are on the lookout to hire.
As others said, to be able to apply for asylum in EU country X, you have to first set foot in that country X and not in another one, so, go to Turkey or Israel and then fly to Sweden from there.
Sweden is also more flexible, its a country where they look out for the best interest of you as a human (mostly), so if you come to Sweden and continue working for Australian company - it is enough to get a work permit, all you have to do is prove that you earn more than minimum amount, I believe around 1500usd and pay taxes, to be accepted.
As a war refugee my self, I urge you strongly to leave Syria now, for the love of god no matter the price, buy those tickets and get the hell out of there and far away as possible, Sweden, Canada, Australia. (Not Germany, France, Italy, USA, Turkey they all suck.)
Your life is all you got, dont waste it on that war. Take with your closest family if you can.
> Not Germany, France, Italy, USA, Turkey they all suck
As a German, I really have to agree. Don't get trapped here. It's not a very friendly country, especially compared to the scandinavian ones. Xenophobia is also an issue. If I was seeking asylum in order to start a new life somewhere, I'd much rather try for London or Stockholm. Asylum in Germany is more like being in protective custody. Do not do this.
Yeah, but asylum recipients (asylees?) don't get to choose where they are settled. You could end up in Oberunterschwabenhafen and not be allowed to leave the village.
Germany is a bad choice for asylum - I mean, it's great that Germany has a robust system for asylum, because there are people who genuinely need it and benefit from it, but if you're looking for a place to work, this is probably the wrong mechanism.
I have many German friends, so it pains me to say this; but yes, you are right: parts of Germany still have a problem with racism.
My sister-in-law (originally from Kenya) used to live in Germany for many years, and found the abuse she received there demoralizing and (ultimately) intolerable. She now lives here in the UK, and is much, much, much happier as a result, although I think the psychological scars from her time in Germany will remain with her for the rest of her life.
As a Turkish who has been working in Germany (Stuttgart) for the last four years, I'd recommend here, Stuttgart, as a pleasant destination. When you find a job which pays a reasonable amount, they can hire you and you get a visa. Don't ever go to Turkey. Don't even enter Turkish soil. You'll be trapped. They started treating Syrians as if they were second class and didn't even keep guiding them, let alone provide shelter and food (or, a job). I'm really ashamed of how Turkey behaved in this crisis. Maybe you'll have better luck in Israel but I have no idea.
I leave in germany in Munich. People will not say it. But they are not just conservative but quite racist.Most compagny here ask foreigners to give their ass (gay 4 job)in order to keep à job or get one....specially in the it. Didnt comply So i got fired..thats reality
Wow, maybe I just got too lucky. My boss and coworkers would be the last people I'd call racist. Well, sometimes they make jokes about my accent and "weird keyboard layout" but those are all friendly jokes. I'm really sorry for you. By the way, did this happen a lot? Asking out of curiosity; what kind of rules did they want you to comply?
As a German citizen I really hate to say this, but recently there has been a hitch in the media where there were protests by neonazi groups in front of asylum homes. Sadly, there are still people who see asylum seekers as potential job-stealers, showing them nothing but hate and would like to throw them all out, regardless of their skills.
This is absolutely not the general opinion in Germany, but at least some people think so.
The English Defence League's stature within society can be easily understood by the fact that their homepage is outranked on google by the English Disco Lovers, a group set up specifically to steal their acronym.
Although in all fairness that could say a great deal about the passion the English have for disco that was previously untapped until this group was formed (is it wrong to joke about such a serious topic?)
It's not quite the same. Apart from the fact that the EDL are not neonazis, over 100 asylum seekers were killed by racists in the last 20 years in Germany. Some of the bigger events were racist riots in Rostock  and Hoyerswerda , and arson attacks on asylum seeker homes in Solingen  and Lubeck.
The "Amadeu Antonio Stiftung" has a list  of 183 deaths after 1990, where they describe the circumstances of each death. There is also a German wikipedia article that discusses different statistics .
Sorry, both sources are in German. Maybe Google translate will help a little?
I would say don't go to former East Germany, including Berlin. Bayern and Baden Württemberg are one of the most peaceful and safe regions in whole Europe, though a bit conservative. I absolute love leaving there, although I'm a foreigner which still can't speak proper German or Schwäbisch.
Though, as a white man, my experience about behaviour of natives might lack first hand perspective of how it looks for black people.
Including Berlin, seriously? I'm tempted to agree with you on the rest of eastern Germany, at least rural regions. But Berlin is more of a multicultural, open-minded island.
Southern Germans however, as you say, tend to be quite conservative. I'm glad for you that you like it here. But as I see it, the most important reason keeping the south from being as unfriendly to foreigners as the east, is its relative economic success and therefore less need for scapegoats.
Especially concerning muslims or people from muslim countries, xenophobia is crossing over to be the majority opinion. Over half of all Germans believe Islam to be a threat.
Having an arab/turkish name can disqualify you for most job interviews, regardless of background or skill. There was a bestseller in the past years where someone wanted to rationalize social inequality towards especially turks with the basic idea that turks in Germany are genetically inferior in intelligence and will "dilute" our gene pool because of their high reproductive rates...
The only saving grace in that incidence was that most Germans pushed back heavily, at least at that time.
This "dishonest nonsense" has been proven in studies and it vibrates with my own experience in companies where behind the curtains this stuff is rationalized a lot.
Sarrazin didn't "raise important issues". He made superficially rational arguments which have in many cases been disproven completely. However these rationalisations were then echoed by racist beliefs buried in society and the discussion became one of racism versus civil rights, ending totally unproductively.
The main "issue" was that "turks are genetically inferior in intelligence so we need not try and give them better chances in education or employment". He didn't even propose to deport two million fellow citizens, but others did that for him in response...
Only a very few cases? Oh really? If you think that you live in a pipe dream. I am not sure if Germany has been studied specifically, but other European countries have, and the USA. Minorities with ethnic sounding names in a white majority face discrimination and challenges.
"It indicates that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller."
"Adida found that in at least two sectors, a Muslim candidate is around 2.5 times less likely to get a job interview than a Christian one, with all else being equal. These results were backed up by a large survey, which showed that among second-generation Senegalese immigrants, Muslim households earn far less than Christian equivalents."
"They found that resumes with Arab/Muslim names were 10% less likely to be called in for an interview and that IAT scores indicating bias against Arabs directly correlated with the likelihood of a callback.
Rooth then followed up with many of the employers who had unwittingly taken part in the first half of the study. The employers filled out three different explicit measures of bias against Arabs and Muslims and then took an IAT that paired Swedish and Arab names with work- associated words such as “lazy”, “slow”, “efficient” and “hard-working”. Not surprisingly, “the IAT scores of the 193 recruiters participating in this study show that a very clear majority associate words signaling negative productivity… with belonging to the Arab/Muslim minority”."
> no. 'disqualifies you from job interviews' only applies in very few cases. obviously there will be some discrimination overall, but it's not a serious reason to avoid Germany.
Unless you are Arab/Muslim, you are very embedded into the Arab/Muslim community/culture, or you are well-versed in the stats on the subject, it really seems like you're speaking from a place of ignorance.
> It is also true that part of this underperformance may have a genetic cause.
It's highly unlikely that such a general descriptor as "job performance" across all industries would have anything to do with genetic factors. The fact that you even bother to mention it makes me think that you're putting more stock in the idea than it is worth.
If you say a "part of this underperformance has a genetic cause" that can't be falsified. How could it?
But: Can you show that genetics has a practical relevance in HR and social policy decisions? Can it have any? Should it have any?
We can see and show factors of discrimination that are definitely not genetic and definitely not a general genetic disadvantage between Germans and other "races" (I shudder at these words...), and that makes it really hard to believe we shouldn't try and ameliorate those because "Hey, it's all genetics anyway!"
So far no one has been able to show me any practical consequence from the theoretical allegations of intellectual performance being genetic.
I must agree to skip Germany. The main problems for asylum seekers are no "Arbeitserlaubniss", so you are not allowed to work legally (you might sell drugs, thats what the thugs want). And even worse you have a "Residenzpficht", so you are not allowed to leave your village or suburb. Thats why police is always searching for foreigners first, because they might violate "Residenzpflicht" by being in the wrong county for a family party, and might have drugs.
Let me throw Estonia into the bucket, and drop the asylum. Its easy to found a company there. You don't pay corporate tax, only a flat income tax, and you have access to EU market.
I've been trying to come to Finland to study. I became very interested about Finland after I saw some of the the things happening in Aalto University(Startup Saunna, Venture Garage and such). But my Residence Permit application was rejected last year and it was very frustrating. The rejection letter got lost in the mail and for the last six months my communication with the Finnish Immigration has been futile and I still don't know the reason of rejection.
Where are you now? It might be easier if you were to visit Finland first on a tourist visa and apply from here.
There's also been talk of having the Startup Life program (http://startuplife.fi/) take interns from abroad and get them to work for Finnish startups. That may be a good stepping stone for you. I'll ask around about it and get back to you via Twitter.
I'm in Bangladesh. I would've come to Finland on a tourist visa and apply from there, but looks like that is not allowed for my country. Do you think applying from any other EU countries can make things easier?
I would love to intern at a Finnish startup. I'll keep my eyes on twitter :)
My cousin also fled Syria and came to Germany. It wasn't that hard, but the work situation is indeed very difficult for people with asylum status.
If you leave for Sweden make sure you will seek these places that have a lot of Syrians, like the mentioned Södertälje. It will be much easier there to get help in all occurring matters. God knows, it is hard enough to flee your home country, so you should pick the easiest and most frictionless option possible.
i dont know if this is true or not, but i heard you should avoid passing through Greece. Best option is to make your way to Turkey, and from there straight to Western Europe. And if possible, do not attempt to go alone, but travel with a group of people. You'll encounter a lot of people who will try to take advantage of you.
Another option, if you belong to a minority: Stick with your people, seek their centers and get their advise. (This may sound kind of racist. But Syria has a lot of minorities, each with a different approach to this situation. Don't be fooled, it is War, so everybody will rather help their people first. I don't make the rules...)
I'd say don't come to England either - Asylum claimants aren't allowed to work while their claim is processed. The claims take of the order of years to process, because there's a big backlog (some claims 5 or 10 years old, if I remember.)
(I won't go into the politics of the UKBA, but suffice to say that the people who are "customer facing" are the ones who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near vulnerable people - and removing them is politically impossible.)
Getting around on the streets is no problem, everybody in sweden speaks quite good english, even paperwork from bank/government can some times be found in english. Finding a job is possible but you only have 5% of the job market that natives do (95% of all statistics are made up on the spot), and that's assuming you are looking for a position that requires higher education. Finding a basic job such as being a waitress without native language is hard.
Seeking asylum in Germany is terrible, agreed, but it is so much easier to get a work permit visa here when you do have a job offer - good luck trying to get the work permit in the UK. In OP's case the best scenario would be to get a job offer from a Berlin based company and have the company apply for te work permit - it's a streamlined process that takes around 4 weeks.
Couldn't you dress yourself as a highly religious woman (using a burka)? You wear an attire covering your entire body, right? Not sure what rights religious people enjoy, but maybe you could pass as a woman.
I'm a Syrian hacker myself, and I can suggest you a better option. Go to Dubai, it is easy to get a visit visa first, if you are in damascus you can go through Beirut Airport as the path is still safe between the cities (got many friends coming through that route). then you can try to find a job in Dubai (should be easier as the economy is growing and since you speak the language), I myself know many startups and companies and will try to help you as well.
if you find a good job in Dubai you might give up the whole idea of moving to Europe as the standard of living is really high and the country is tax-free and amazing. but still you should be able to get a Schengen visit visa easily (especially if you work for a good company).
I worked in Dubai and that is not correct. It is not a major issue, but Dubai currently has tightened on visa requirements for Syrians and is next to impossible for Qatar also, which would have been another alternative. I am moving again to Dubai next month for a two year stint. If you know anyone in Dubai that can push for you to get a visa, make it your first choice. At least it will give you time to make your next move.
I agree, that's one good example of social inequality. though, to be fair, I think the rulers are trying to improve the laws and the culture, for a third-world country UAE can never be compared to any of its neighbours where women can't even drive.
> I think the rulers are trying to improve the laws and the culture
How? As I understand it the actual UAE citizens are getting 'fat' off of the oil money, so all of the menial labour work goes to poor foreigners that are bussed in from SE Asia. It's going to be difficult to change a culture of people that are used to poor Asians doing all of the 'crap jobs' for them while they just bask in money (so to speak).
I strongly support level09's comment. It's wiser than going to Europe for instance. Safer and with better perspective.
Why would you want to go to Europe anyway? Compared to Dubai (especially since you speak the language) it provides harder living conditions and the whole process of getting and staying there is a pain. Also, sad but true: some European societies are plagued with either latent, or even blatant racism.
Be careful if you are tempted by Australia, in light of your employer. Refugees are a huge political issue in the current federal election and the two major parties are competing to see who can be the most inhumane. The Australia government is ignoring the UN refugee convention, with refugees without a visa being forcibly, and permanently, exported to Manus Island. The catch 22 is that the Australian government won't hand out a visa if there is any inkling that a person might be a refugee, so the phrase "without a visa" can be replaced with "all". Be cautious of researching refugee issues under your own identity, if you intend to apply for an Australian visa.
If you can get an Australia work visa and make it onto Australian soil, you might be able to circumvent the "no visa" rule. In this case, be wary of the possibility of detention, possibly indefinite, inside Australia. Australian officials will also do their best to keep a new arrival ignorant of their rights, allowing them to be deported, so find out exactly what your rights are and what the procedure and legally correct wording is to claim asylum and activate the UN process.
If considering Australia, perhaps get some advice from an expert, such as Sr Pat Sealey ? (Presumably she can be contacted though her order's South Australian address .)
1. Keep your job with the Australian start up.
2. Fly to Malaysia. You don't need visa to enter the country.
3. Once you are in region in a safe place, you can figure out the next step. You will be in the most growing economic zone in the world. Don't go to Europe. Everybody's trying to get to Europe right now.
Find a lawyer in Germany, and get advice from them before you go.
My knowledge is both limited, 12+ years outdated, and restricted to the UK, but here is my tuppence-worth anyway:
1. It is both a legal and a bureaucratic process.
2. Apply for asylum at the first possible opportunity. At the border crossing-point or airport, if possible.
3. Don't lie.
4. Be prepared with documentary evidence to back up any statements that you are going to make.
5. If possible, have documentary evidence that you are facing persecution, or that your life is in danger. (Sounds silly in the current situation, I know, but anyway...)
6. Make sure that a friendly party (or your lawyer) has a copy of these documents.
It might be easier, if the danger looks like it is going to be temporary, to reach out and try to get somebody to "host" you, and go on a visitor's visa.
I second what w_t_payne said. The following are just some ideas, please keep in mind that I'm no lawyer! This is no legal advice at all!
If you do have relatives in Germany, that might be a route to explore. I heard something in the news, that this may be an option.
For working though, that's going to be a tough one. Reading the Wikipedia article (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeitserlaubnis) right, it states that:
"Asylbewerber dürfen für die ersten 12 Monate überhaupt nicht arbeiten (§ 61 Abs. 2 AsylVfG), anschließend gilt ein nachrangiger Arbeitsmarktzugang nach der BeschVerfV (siehe oben)."
Which translates to: people seeking asylum must not take up any employment for the first 12 month.
As well as "Asylberechtigte, Konventionsflüchtlinge (§ 25 Abs. 1 und 2 AufenthG) sowie Ausländer mit einer Niederlassungserlaubnis (§ 9 Abs. 1 AufenthG) haben nach dem Aufenthaltsgesetz ein Recht auf Erwerbstätigkeit.", which transaltes to: people granted asylum (and some others) holding a residence permit, are allowed to work.
That's both ends of the spectrum, so there may be some middle ground after 12 month. I'm not lawyer though!
PS: regarding hosting, from my exprience it's a somewhat lengthy progress, depending on the regonal administration. Your host will have to provide financial standing for your stay (requirements differ for the duration of your stay), with that he or she has to send that document certifying the financial standing as well as a signed invitation to you (the original), with which you have to go to the german emabassy in your country and apply for a temporary visa.
I am not an expert so don´t take my word for it. But I heard that a general role has always been that you have to get to the country you which to have asylum in in order to apply. European union is discussion a banded that rule for Syria but I dont know the status of that decision. An other rule is that you have to apply for asylum in the first country you get into.
Maybe you can do a think of virtually applying for visa in sweden and write a pressrelease and push it on mynewsdesk.com. Startup community is also big in Sweden and we need skilled developers (Im swedish).
Carl Bildt,Foreign Minister of Sweden since 2006 (https://twitter.com/carlbildt) is very active on twitter and in my guess most likely to respond to a virtual request for visa by twitter and second life. This is a long shot but something you can try by your computer.
When you get visa in any EU country it is easy to move to germany and travel over boarders within EU.
You use the word asylum, which has a very specific meaning, but if you can find a skilled job, you might be able to migrate to another country through more conventional and less bureaucratic means. IANAL, but those are my 2 cents.
Forget Germany as an asylum target. Our politicians have massively restricted asylum acceptance and even for those who do get accepted it's a hell of a fight and even more paperwork.
Also, you have the problem that you likely won't even be able to enter the European Union, except if you smuggle yourself via the Turkish-Greek border - but then again, the Germans simply fly you to Greece because this is the place where you entered the European Union technically.
Sorry for your situation and I hope you stay safe!
If you smuggle yourself via the Turkish-Greek border then you are stuck in the wonderful country of Greece forever basically.
High unemployment, laws that are really unfriendly to asylum seekers (less than 2% acceptance rate) and the nazist party (facepalm..) has risen from obscurity to 5% in the latest elections, to 15% in the polls...
So less than ideal environment for a programmer :)
Too many people have gone that route and now are stuck here because of that Dublin 2 convention that will return asylum seekers to the country that they entered the EU in the first place...
So do whatever you can to avoid Greece as an entry country to EU. Try Sweden, you would love it except for the weather :)
Germany is difficult, but not impossible. As an alternative you could try not to get asylum, but a blue card (EU). Unfortunately you'll need a university degree + yearly incoming in 2013 of 46.400 OR uni degree + special demand in germany (IT is such an area) + yearly income of 36.192.
The good thing is, according to my research the income requirement is floating. In other terms, you just need an income which is "usual for your region".
Of course, you would need a visa too.
What I am trying to suggest is you search an potential employer first and ask him to deal with the visa/eu card details. That way you wouldn't get the german citizenship in first glance; not sure if you really aim at that or if you would like to return after the war.
Anyway you can reach citizenship after living 8 years in germany (please note there are some restrictions, like no criminal acts, accepting liberal and democratic orders and so on).
This information might be useful for you as well: "By the way: are you still job-hunting and would like to look for a post that corresponds to your qualifications in Germany? In that case, you are entitled to a six-month visa. The condition is that you have a university degree and are able to support yourself while you stay in Germany. Please note that the visa entitling you to hunt for jobs does not entitle you to work. Once you find a suitable post, you can immediately apply for the appropriate residence permit while, of course, remaining in Germany. You can apply for the visa to the German mission abroad in your area. They will tell you exactly which conditions you have to fulfill to be able to apply."
I honestly don't know much about the visa situation that everyone is talking about, but it really sounds to me like you should first leave on a tourist visa (vacation, conference, whatever), ASAP, and then figure out the actual legal situation.
You could just go to a different country that doesn't have a war, rent an apartment there with an internet connection, and continue to work for the Australian company. You are already remote, what does it matter where you live?
There are some schemes in place that make it easier for non-EU nationals to get a work permit in Germany, it would require you to find an employer that pays a wage above a certain threshold (I believe it's called Blue Card).
Becoming a refugee is a bad idea. Get a schengen visa, go to a country like Latvia, show them your references, bank statement with decent documented income, open a company (costs 1000-2000 EUR), and get a residence visa. Takes a few months but you can live most of that time on a 90/180 schengen visa, maybe leaving out 1 or max 2 months which you can spend at home or in a non-schengen European country like Cyprus, which is also close to you that helps. Then get your residence visa and go to Germany - that will not be entirely legal (you'll be supposed not to spend outside of a country where you visa is more than half of your time), but with no borders within Schengen, it is hard to check, and if you don't want to get officially hired for a fulltime job in Berlin (which is hardly your intention), you'll have no problem.
You can do that right in Germany, but may take more cash and time, you will always be able to switch a country once your startup gets going and you are more relaxed cash-wise.
I would also advise against Germany, one of the problems is that people who seek asylum in Germany are not allowed to work. ( I know nothing about other countries, but if you work for an Australian company, it would perhaps best to ask them for help.)
I think you are likely to have greater luck on a working visa than as an 'asylum' seeker (which European governments consider themselves flooded by, and you'll have to prove specific persecution in your home country rather than skills in your job). What you need is the right visa which your skills can qualify you for and will lead to permanent residency or citizenship. This will vary by country. A difficulty with Germany may be that a lot of the process will be hard to understand if you can't read German.
Good luck to you. I (white Australian) visited Syria a few years ago. Every piece of news I hear now from Syria just saddens me.
I am not sure what would be the "best" next step, but I want to leave Syria asap. Planning to move to Iraq first then I will go for the next destination. As far as discussed seems I dont need asylum because I do have some skill set that can be fit into a job market. But will I be able to live there for couple of years? This is getting crazy here and I dont know how long I will have the internet connection and other to work in my remote job(though my employer is very helpful). Seems next couple of days will make my way for at least next couple of years of my life.
I don't know if I'm late on this or not. Anyway, you may want to go to Thailand for some time. Live on tourist Visa, renew them in neighbouring countries while enjoying time off. You could easily spend about a year without running into any Visa problem and work remotely for the Australian company. There are a couple of startups there (http://playbasis.com for example) and many startup guys spend a sizeable amount of time working from there while enjoying life. I suppose it would give you time to prepare for your next move. I can help with anything Thailand-related if you need (though I'm back in Europe now). As I see things, Europe is not the immigration heaven it used to be although there's room for skilled workers due recent policies in most countries. Either way, it won't be simple.
As an asylum-seeker you are not allowed to work in Germany. You will be “stored” in a camp and are forced to stay there until you can move back to Syria. Better go to a Scandinavian country, where you will be treated as a human beeing.
I used to live next to a shelter like that, and the thing is a total shithole. Walls destroyed, stinks like hell, major crime around the shelter. A week before I left a 11 year old girl was gang-raped by the asylees. I do not blame germans who decide it's best for them to just send the asylum seekers back to their own countries.
The main principle of humanitarian help is very valuable. We shall not abandon our core values, just because some people go ahead and cheat on us. Yes, some do. I know that and I don't like that either.
In general every person on the planet should be able to live peacefully and in dignity and if leaders in other countries do not build a system that is capable of providing this for all inhabitants, we should give them asylum and protect them from harassment.
Regarding those who are leaving their country and seeking asylum only for economical reasons, trying to escape poverty and a bleak future prospect, we shall not forget that a lot of our wealth is build on exploiting other countries. Our wealth is built on a system, that lets money and goods flow while disallowing the same freedom for people.
No, there is no excuse for rape and there never can be.
But before we judge these people we should always reconsider: Why are they here? What is their situation in the country where they come from? What kind of chance do they have in their country? What kind of chance do they have here? Do we give them a chance to behave and act well?
I refuse to follow the growing mob that does not reflect on the global situation, that does not differentiate and treats every foreigner the same, that suspects that every refugee is a criminal, dirty and trying to rape our children.
Since many are coming as refugees from Syria, it could be an idea to apply for a regular visa, either for working or studying in Germany. Note that the German mission in Damascus is closed and you have to contact any embassy or mission outside Syria. They suggest using the embassy in Beirut. Problem is that you need to translate all paper stuff to German and I can't estimate the time it takes.
Usually it's 2-10 days for visits under 90 days, it can take longer (even months) for visits over 90 days or working permits.
If you come for work, you need an invitation from an employer. But I don't know how long the handling takes with the mission (they have to okay it first), especially since the Damascus mission is down.
Perhaps you qualify for the EU Blue Card (skilled immigrants):
An intermediate option might be moving to Lebanon temporarily. It is still relatively (to syria) safe. As a Syrian, you dont need visa or residency permit. You can continue your work from here and figure out your next move; namely apply for immigration visas here-and-there.
If one EU state offers you asylum, which shouldn't be too hard because your country is notoriously dangerous, then you can work anywhere in the EU. So you could get asylum from Italy or France, then move to Berlin when you have your papers, which takes several months during which you can't have a declared job (in France, they may make sure you don't work by sending you to a transit camp, which is basically a jail).
If you tell them you're an experimented software engineer, it may be much faster to get a work visa than asylum. Ask for this work visa to each embassy in Damascus.
Also, Morrocoan cities are growing like crazy. There may be some business to do there and they may give visas more easily.
Well, everyone else has given an idea about why you shouldn't go to Berlin.
In case you have a powerful reason for still going there, a few quick points: English is not that common, but is far more common than in the neighboring cities - you probably won't be super comfortable, but you'll survive. If you are on a budget and/or planning to live on whatever money you already have, Berlin is much cheaper than any of the other countries mentioned. There's also a very large Turkish community, in case that means something for you.
Keep in mind all the negative comments mentioned, though. This points are valid when you are a regular citizen, but as a refugee they might not apply.
Don't waste any time, get out of the country asap on regular touristic visa. Usually it means you can stay "on a vacation" for up to 30 days at once and 3 months in total (you just cross the border and return), which should be enough to see what's going on with Syria. Legally you can't work, but if you already have an online job no one will stop you to continue working. If the war starts you can then obtain the refugee status in that country on the basis that you can't return to your homeland. The refugee status doesn't mean that you have to stay in that country, as an educated refugee you can apply for a work visa in other countries through their embassies.
I'm not an expert. But if you are seeking asylum, you will not be allowed to work for about a year. The biggest problem with Asylum in Germany is probably how to enter Germany before any of the other countries between Germany and Syria...
You might try a "blue card", if you can get a good salary. But I am not sure how easy that is from Syria at the moment...
Also keep in mind that islamophobia in Germany is rising across the board. And no, my fellow Germans generally make no distinction between copts, syrian christians or muslims.
I'm in Berlin startup scene and I can tell you that is quite easy to get a working permit as a software dev, basically only thing you need besides your passport is an employment contract with more than 33k€ per year. (search term: blue card)
Don't go the asylum way if you have the software skills. Blue card is much easier and a safe bet.
The processing can take up to 6-8 weeks though…
And as for language, at least in Berlin tech companies, english is the language of business…
I would take any option because safety trumps analysis paralysis. It may also possible to build up to working remotely for US-based startups, 37signals or github style. And if you happen to later find a place with low expenses and good healthcare, that would be even better.
- Canada (Vancouver especially)
The US is out for USG failure and lack of universal healthcare.
Manwin Montreal (pornhub,brazzers, basically all the relevant porn sites) is always looking for people. From what I can tell we ship in a lot of guys from other countries. The HR team seems to be on top of that.
German here. I think asylum isn't what you want. If the company in Australia that you worked for can not help you get in touch with companies in Germany. Tell them what you can do for them and about your situation. A lot companies are used to employ IT professionals from all over the world and know how to do get you here.
Hi I will update this post, but I think you have several options. Try to get to any country you can that is in Schengen, once you are in you can carry on your freelance work, apply for working visa and go to Berlin for interviews. If you find a company to work for they will help you out, almost every country is in demand for devs.
I theory, I believe you may just come to Europe and if you state at the border that you seek an asylum they can't refuse you ( according to international laws, until your asylum is decided on ) and then take it from there.
Turkey is the closest country you don't need a visa for.
I will make an update but in any case don't double-check everything yourself, those are few things I vaguely remember from school.
We're looking for a Python hacker in a personalization & analytics startup Filmaster.TV. We're based in Warsaw, Poland. It shouldn't be a problem getting a work permit. We're already hiring an American guy and we've been through the procedure. Read about the job and the company here: http://filmaster.tv/jobs.html and if you're interested, happy to talk on hangout.
I think if western countries are too hard for you you should try some eastern Europe ones. They have few if any request for asylum. Also visas and permits might be easier to get. You might do it faster, as there are no lines, and after move on to your wanted country. Once you are in EU, borders are pretty much open. although do your research before, I sadly cant give more advice at the moment
1) Get a job in the EU.
2) Have your employer work through all the necessary hassles for you to move there from their end. It will be much easier than you trying to do this in Syria and most European employers will have experience with this.
I don't know about Germany but I know in Amsterdam booking.com is always looking for smart folks.
We're a Berlin-based tech company that has successfully hired programmers from the Middle East, so we have some experiences with the Blue Card visa process and helping with to relocate to Berlin. The good news is, we're still actively recruiting so please get in touch if we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMHO, it is easier to follow the rules. If you have a genuine need for asylum, then the UK is obliged, under international law, to offer it.
What the UK is not obliged to do is put up with people who try to pull a fast one; and there are a lot of those around, moresthepity.
If you present yourself honestly to the UKBA officials, with a genuine need for asylum, with relevant documentation, telling the truth, and not trying to be dodgy in any way, they will (in all probability) grant you the right to remain in the UK for a limited time.
Work with them, not against them, and they will work with you. If you have a genuine case, they are there to help you.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people that they see are (very bad) liars, so a lot of asylum-seekers get rejected, on the basis that nothing that they say can be trusted. Of course, they have the right to appeal that judgement, but if you lie, you will get caught out, and the appeal will be rejected.
I am no expert on asylum situations, but my impression is that the first country in the European zone that you enter is the one that decides which asylum rules you'll follow. You need to speak to a lawyer. Sorry I can't provide any more insight than this. Good luck.
Your best solution might be to move to whatever country will be most likely to accept your asylum request (and preferably will let you continue to remotely work) and then apply for a work visa to a country with more of a tech scene.