The ever-growing demand for highly skilled professionals has forced many European countries to seek talents abroad. Making relocation and work/residence permit requirements easier to comply with is one of the best steps that governments can take to make talent attraction smooth and efficient.
Just like the other EU countries, Germany is ready to take this step towards attracting skilled workers, including IT professionals. The related benefits and derogations are covered by the EU Blue Card.
Read on to find out more and to see how you can apply for one.
What is the EU Blue Card for Germany?
The EU Blue Card for Germany is a type of temporary permit issued to confirm that a qualified professional from a non-EU country has the legal right to stay in Germany for the purpose of work.
In other words, it’s a bureaucracy-free and legal way to get your 3-in-1 – residence permit, work permit, and visa.
Who can apply for a Blue Card in Germany?
Until 01.03.2020, only university degree holders were eligible.
However, according to a new paragraph in the Residence Act, IT professionals who have completed vocational studies or possess enough relevant experience can now apply as well. If you belong to this group, you can check out the details on the new law.
What are the benefits of the Blue Card?
Apart from the fact that the Blue Card makes it easier for you to move to another country, it has a range of other perks that can even apply to your family members.
- Travel to other Schengen states as a tourist (up to 90 days within a 180-day period);
- Travel back to the home country or to other countries outside the EU for up to 12 months without the card expiring; this also applies to family members;
- Entry to other EU countries without a visa after 18 months.
Opportunities for further relocation or permanent residency
- You can apply for permanent residency after:
- working in Germany as a qualified professional for more than 33 months;
- obtaining at least a confirmed B1 level knowledge of the German language (according to the Common European Reference Framework for Languages – CEFR);
- You can apply for the Blue Card of another EU state.
- Ability to apply for reunification with spouses;
- Eligibility for the same social benefits as German citizens, for example in terms of education, healthcare, and travel.
Documents you will need for a Blue Card in Germany
- Original university degree recognized in Germany
- A job offer from a German employer that must:
- correspond to the stated qualification
- be valid for at least one year
- Completed application form. You can find one here.
- Proof of your gross annual salary. FAs of 2021, it should be no less than EUR 56,800, or no less than EUR 44,304 for professionals who work in shortage occupations, which includes IT jobs. In the latter case, your employer may need to fill out another form to be approved by the Federal Employment Agency.
- Proof of your health insurance
- A valid passport
- Two 35×45 mm photos
4 steps to getting your Blue Card in Germany
Step 1. Make sure your university qualification is recognized in Germany
Step 2. Prepare the required documents
Step 3. Apply to the local embassy or consulate
It is recommended that you schedule an appointment before applying. During the appointment submit the application and all the necessary documents. Remember that a certain fee will apply. How much depends on each particular case and the applicant’s country of residence.
Step 4. Wait for up to 90 days
After 90 days, your application will be either approved or rejected. You have the right to appeal the decision, but no later than within three days of receiving it.
Some of these answers may repeat the abovementioned information, but we have gathered them here for your convenience nonetheless.
How long will the Blue Card be valid?
The card is limited to a 4-year period and is issued for the timespan equaling the duration of your contract plus an additional 3 months.
Do I have to prove my German language knowledge?
No, that is not necessary.
Can I visit my home country?
Yes, you can stay there as well as in other non-EU countries for 12 consecutive months without losing your Blue Card.
Can I switch jobs prior to my current contract expiration?
Yes, you can. However, if it’s within the first two years, the shift needs to be approved by the Foreigners Registration Office.
What about my family? Will they need to prove their German language knowledge?
Spouses of the German Blue Cardholders do not need to have or prove any knowledge of the language and will immediately have access to the country’s general labor market.
Can they take my Blue Card away?
Yes, it is possible if the holder’s employer has committed fraud or if the holder:
- has an invalid passport
- has submitted false documents
- no longer complies with the stated conditions
We have done our best to make the process clear and transparent. However, we recommend that you double-check everything before applying because requirements may vary slightly depending on your qualifications and country of origin.
This is why we have gathered more helpful sources for you to check for any further up-to-date information.
- Immigration law news presented in a simple and concise way.
- Check your work and residence opportunities in Germany.
- Stay up-to-date regarding the yearly salary ranges in the Blue Card program.
- For help and advice, contact the employment agency via its hotline +49 (0) 1801 555111;
- Further addresses and contact details of employment agencies can be found here.