Would you like to live and work in Germany, a member state of the European Union?
Living and working abroad has become an attractive prospect for many, and good preparation is the key to a successful transition. This includes fulfilling any legal requirements, such as being in possession of a legitimate visa.
In 2012, as a result of the Transposition Act for the European Union’s Directive on Highly-Qualified Employment (Directive 2009/50/EC), the EU Blue Card for Germany was introduced as a new residence title (in accordance with section 19a of the German Residence Act – Aufenthaltsgesetz – AufenthG).
The EU Blue Card is an accredited work permit, specifically intended for highly qualified citizens, from non-EU countries, who wish to work and reside within the European Union (Germany).
Legal basis and preconditions:
In order for the EU Blue Card to be issued, applicants are required to meet the following conditions:
- Qualifying diploma/degree on university or college-level. If the degree was not acquired in Germany, then it must be either approved by the State, or equivalent to a German degree with the same qualifications (section 19a subs. 1 No. 1a of the Residence Act).
- Contract of employment, or legally binding job offer.
- Minimum annual gross salary of 50.800 Euro (4.134 Euro per month). An exception is made for those working in the so-called shortage occupations (scientists, mathematics, engineers, doctors and IT- skilled workers), with a lower salary threshold of 39.624 Euro (3.302 Euro per month). If applicants can prove this level of income, the consent of the Federal Employment Agency is no longer required in order to grant the EU Blue Card (section 2 subs. 1 No. 2a of the German Employment Ordinance – Beschäftigungsverordnung). The salary threshold is adjusted annually, based on developments in national salaries.
When first issued, the permit is restricted to a maximum of four years. In the case that the employment contract be shorter than four years, the residence title is then issued for a period that is limited to the term of the employment contract, plus three months.
Who is responsible? To whom can I turn to obtain an EU Blue Card or information about it?
Depending on your current situation, there are different ways to go about applying for the EU Blue Card. Citizens who are already residing in Germany and are in possession of a different residence title, can contact the immigration office responsible for their place of residence, for further information.
Candidates from non-EU states are obligated to first apply for a residence/work permit, which can be obtained at the German Embassy in their home country. Upon arrival in Germany, an application for the EU Blue Card must be made at the designated immigration office.
In any case, individuals must apply for the EU Blue Card before the initial Visa expires.