Greece Has Opened Applications for 5,000 Seasonal Workers From Egypt

As of June 10, 2024, an electronic platform for employers to submit applications to hire Egyptian seasonal workers in the agricultural sector will be available on the website of Greece’s Migration and Asylum Ministry.

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Following the recent agreement between Greece and Egypt reached in May of this year, the two countries aim to tackle labour shortages noted in several fields, Schengen.News reports.

The agreement also expected the recruitment of a total of 5,000 seasonal workers in the agricultural sector by 2024.

2,400 Skilled Egyptian Seasonal Workers Have Already Been Drafted

Greek media reports that Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis revealed that the first list of 2,400 qualified Egyptian seasonal workers has already been drawn up in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of Labour.

Greece’s cooperation with Egypt in immigration matters is also of strategic importance. Following my recent visit to Cairo, the activation of the electronic platform signals our will to immediately implement the agreement, signed in 2022 by the then-foreign minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, for up to 5,000 Egyptian seasonal land workers, to cover primary sector gaps.

Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis

In addition, the bilateral agreement procedure includes two changes regarding the permanent transfer procedure. Thus, the changes in question are as follows:

  • The positions of 5000 workers are available for the entire Greek territory from a common “reservoir” and are reserved by one-stop services during the processing of the request
  • The joint pool of candidate workers, from which the employer can transfer workers, is formed and proposed by the Egyptian side according to the criteria defined by the Greek authorities (Ministry of Rural Development and Food).

In 2023, the Greek government presented plans to create new laws to update the process of granting residence permits.

The changes to residence permits are based on laws that seek to give legal status to nearly 30,000 irregular migrants. To qualify, migrants must prove they have three years of residence and employment in the Hellenic Republic.

EU Allocated €7.4 Billion for Egypt to Halt Migrant Flow From North Africa to EU

In March this year, the European Union announced a “strategic partnership” with Egypt and a €7.4 billion deal to stem the flow of migrants from North Africa to Europe. With a population of 106 million and limited foreign investment, economic difficulties have pushed more and more Egyptians to seek better opportunities abroad.

Human rights groups have criticized Western support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who came to power a decade ago after leading the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected leader.