By: Nyima Sillah
Germany-based migration and human rights activist Yahya Sonko has on Tuesday revealed to this medium that more than 800 Gambian migrants in Germany received their 18-month residence permit last month.
According to Mr. Sonko, Germany’s new Opportunity Residence Act has paved the way for the issuance of residence permits to over 800 Gambians in September. The Act, which comes into force in January of next year, has also given hope to more than 1,500 Gambians, whose applications for an 18-month residence permit were being reviewed, The Voice gathered from Sonko, who relied on the latest report of the Germany Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).
The migration activist said Gambians in Germany have this year made significant strides in regularizing their statuses as well as joining the labor force.
He explained that the latest German Employment Agency report showed that 9,070 Gambians are currently employed in Germany, paying taxes and contributing „immensely“ to the development of Germany.
Sonko said the same report revealed that 2,570 Gambians did professional qualification and vocational training (Ausbildung) in Germany.
“The Gambians are doing a lot to have employment and stay rights,“ he highlighted.
Foreigners, who legally live long-term on German territory, have a right to access federal integration services under the Germany Residence Act, explained Sonko. The services, he added, include language lessons, integration in training, work, and education, as well as social integration.
‘‘But it was the other way round for Gambians in Germany. Some regions and institutions in Germany make it very difficult for Gambians to benefit from basic integration opportunities. With all these challenges against Gambians in Germany, the Gambian immigrants stay focused and determined to challenge all obstacles towards their integration and residency rights,“ Sonko pointed out.
He advised Gambian migrants in Germany to be law-abiding and always consult their helpers and lawyers.