Greece is all set to introduce a new scheme this fall (September, October, November) to offer Bangladeshi workers the opportunity to do seasonal work in the European country.
Making an announcement in this regard, Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, told InfoMigrants that Greece plans to offer seasonal worker visas to a large number of citizens of Bangladesh, according to a report published on SchengenVisaInfo.com.
On February 9 this year, Bangladesh and Greece signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to send 4,000 Bangladeshi workers to Greece annually.
The agreement was signed in Dhaka by Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad and his Greek counterpart, Panagiotis A Mitarakis.
"Bangladeshi workers will be provided with a 5-year temporary work permit. Under the agreement, seasonal workers will be hired in the agricultural sector," Imran Ahmad said in this regard.
Notis Mitarachi has confirmed that the scheme that will start this fall is a legal pathway for all people to work in Greece without relying on people smugglers.
Based on the figures provided by the Bangladesh Embassy in Athens, about 30,000 citizens from Bangladesh are currently living in the Hellenic Republic, while the same source notes that nearly half of them are believed to not have legal status.
Authorities in the Hellenic Republic have argued that the seasonal worker visa scheme, which is confined to the agricultural sector at present, is in line with the policy described as strict but fair by authorities in Greece.
"Greece does not accept illegal migration. We protect our borders. We do not allow smugglers to select who comes to Europe," Mitarachi said while talking to InfoMigrants.
It has been confirmed that the conditions for undocumented migrants from Bangladesh who receive regular status will be the same. It means that they will be permitted to stay in the Hellenic Republic for five years as seasonal workers, doing agricultural work.
Mitarachi also said that Greece is the first European country to grant a long-term seasonal visa, offering migrants dignity and security.