Individuals interested in obtaining a German EU Blue Card have something to look forward to this year.
According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in Germany, there will be a decrease in the minimum annual gross salary needed to apply for a German EU blue card. This requirement will decrease by 0.7%. As such, employees in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine should just earn at least 43,992 euros per year. This is lower than the previous salary requirement of 56,400 euros. Applicants are also only required to obtain a 6-month work contract instead of the previous 12-month contract requirement.
The EU blue card is given to foreign individuals who are classified as skilled workers and university graduates. The reduction in the salary requirement and the duration of the work contract were done to decrease barriers for foreign workers in obtaining a German EU blue card. This will help fill in occupations in the country that lack employees.
Steps in Applying for a German EU Blue Card
The applicant for the German EU blue card should have a degree issued by a German university or a university recognized by Germany. For those planning to work in the fields of health, law, education, and engineering, the degree obtained by the applicant should be recognized by specific German authorities. This is because these professions are regulated by the government.
The job offer must also be given by a company based in Germany. Those who are categorized as freelancers or self-employed cannot apply for a German EU blue card. If an individual is unable to obtain a work contract with the minimum salary requirement, approval must be obtained from the German Federal Employment Agency.
After obtaining a job offer, the applicant should apply for a German visa. Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America are not required to apply for a German visa. All other individuals are required to apply for a German visa.
To start the process of obtaining an employment visa in Germany, the following documents are required: 2 fully completed application forms, 2 passport photos, passport, proof of residence, health insurance, employment contract or job offer, curriculum vitae, proof of qualification, proof of clean criminal record, proof of paid visa fee, and declaration of accuracy of information.
Individuals who have completed the aforementioned requirements for visa application should head to the German embassy or other relevant institutions in their respective home countries to submit their application. It usually takes 1-3 months for the application to be processed. The lead time will highly depend on the number of applications being processed and the specific conditions applicable to the applicant.
Then, the applicant should also apply for German health insurance, either from public or private companies. The ability to obtain approval for private insurance is dependent on one’s salary. As of last year, individuals interested in applying for private health insurance should earn at least 64,350 euros annually. However, individuals with public health insurance will not have any problems with medical costs since it provides reliable coverage for most health concerns. Basic coverage includes in-patient and out-patient hospital services, prescription drugs, medical check-ups, mental health services, dental care, pregnancy, and ambulatory needs.
Upon arriving in Germany, the individual should register at the Registration Office where one resides. The required documents in the application for the EU blue card are: passport, biometric picture, application form for residence permit, work contract or offer, academic certificate, German health insurance, and certificate of residence registration. If applicable, marriage and birth certificates are also needed.
When complete with all the documents needed, the application for the German EU blue card should be submitted to the Ausländerbehörde. A residence card is required before starting work. The process of application will take 3 months. However, most find out the status of their application as quickly as 5-6 weeks.
Benefits of Being an EU Blue Card Holder
When approved, individuals can enjoy the different benefits of being an EU blue card holder.
After 33 months of being an EU blue card holder, individuals can apply for a German settlement permit. This provides individuals with the opportunity to live in Germany without time restrictions, freely change employers and industries, and start a business. Furthermore, 3 months are given to those who lose their job or whose work contract reaches its end. The EU blue card holder’s spouse and dependent children can also go to Germany, with their spouses able to work in any profession they choose.
For those interested in bringing their spouse and dependent children to Germany, the EU blue card holder should be able to financially support their family members, have a residence suitable for the size of the family, and apply for German health insurance for all members. Children will be allowed to go to German schools. Their spouses can freely decide on the profession they want to work in and are not bound by the same salary requirements.
Individuals who are currently residing in Germany but do not have an EU blue card yet can coordinate with the German Immigration Authorities. This should be done 4-6 weeks before the expiration of the residence permit. The EU blue card is valid as long as one has a work contract, with an additional 3 months after the termination of the work contract. Any changes in employment should be reported to the local German Immigration Authority. However, after 2 years, individuals can change jobs without seeking approval from the relevant institutions.
Individuals working in the fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine can consider Germany as their option for employment. With the demand for workers from such fields and the decrease in the minimum annual salary needed to apply for an EU blue card, the labor market in the country seems receptive to the influx of foreign workers. They will also have the opportunity to bring their families with them, provided that certain conditions are met. This decreases family separation and provides opportunities for members to progress their education and careers in Germany.