What is the Blue Card and How to get it and work in Germany?

What is the German Blue Card and How to get it and work in Germany?

As per the data from OECD, the immigrant working population of Germany is over 36 million which comes out to be one of the highest globally. Most of these workers have a technical skill that is in high demand in Germany right now.

Now if you are following the previous blogs of DevHof, you’d probably already know the vision of DevHof and most importantly are looking for working opportunities in Germany. You must already know the perks of working in Germany, that includes low working hours with high pay as compared to India. But besides just searching for jobs, there is another important aspect that you need to take care of. The work permit.

In this blog, I will discuss the kind of work permits that immigrants require to work in Germany.  So read on.

The new immigration laws

It is not always easy to get a work visa in Germany, especially if you’re not from the EU/EEA/Swiss. This is due to the fact that you require a permit of residence that has work authorisation in case you are outside of European Union. 

But in the light of Germany’s new partnership with India, there will be a relaxation in immigration laws. The Skilled Immigration Act, is legislation that improves the likelihood for the deserving and qualified professionals to receive the permit of work. The new regulations will be implemented on 1st March 2020. With more time in this partnership, the skilled workers with vocational, non-academic training from non-EU countries will be able to easily migrate to Germany for work purposes. However, the current rules will still be applicable just with some more relaxation. The time period for which you can work is mentioned over the residence permit you will get.

Normally, people from India require a work visa that must be in possession by the candidate before travelling to Germany. For this, you need to have a job in place. If you need a work visa, you will also need to get a residence permit once you get to Germany.

German embassies and consulates are responsible for issuing visas and residence permits. Residence permits and work visas usually feature your photo and are stuck into your passport. They detail what kind of permit or visa you have, how long you can stay in the country and whether or not you’re permitted to work. There are various work permits depending upon the work. 

Types of work permit in Germany

There are different types of work permits and visas, so you’ll need to ensure you apply for the right one. There is a general employment permit for those who work in jobs that don’t require you to be highly educated or highly skilled and is mostly designated for workers from the EU/EEA or Switzerland. Then there is University graduate permit for Foreign graduates who hold a recognized university degree and have sufficient funds can get a six-month residence permit to look for work during which time you are not allowed to actually work. 

The one that should interest the elite workforce from non-EU countries like India is the Blue card.

What is a Blue card?
A Blue Card is a plastic card that looks like a driving license, and also features your photo. This is the legal document that makes you eligible as a German worker.
Same as the Green Card in the US, professionals from non-EU countries are able to work in Germany with the Blue Card.

Who all need an EU Blue Card?
Blue cards are for those with a university degree and a guaranteed job with a useful skill set for occupations where there is a shortage of workers. This gives you a four-year residence permit and means family members can also come to live and work in Germany.
If you’re highly skilled or have an exceptional history of work, you can apply for a settlement permit. This allows you and your family members to live and work in Germany indefinitely.

Eligibility for Blue card
You will be eligible to get the blue card if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a non-EU national 
  • You must have a higher education qualification. 
  • You must have a valid work contract, or binding job offer, in Germany 

You must earn at least the minimum salary set by the threshold in order to be considered a suitable EU Blue Card candidate.

  • For professions with skill shortage: the rough salary is €43,056.
  • For university graduates the rough salary figure is €55,200.
  • For roles where a “special interest” is requested, the salary range is lower with a  relative ease of obtaining the visa

The figures presented are based on the salary limits in Germany since January 2020. The minimum varies yearly though the figures are comparable to the preceding years.

Applying for the Blue Card

As per the new laws, the employers won’t be responsible for applying the visa and work permits for their foreign employees. It is your responsibility to apply for the same.

Applying EU VisaHowever, you must look for the companies who are ready to accept foreigners as their employees and are really in need of the skill set you possess as this can help you receive sponsorship from the company for your EU Blue Card application.
The time duration of your application is usually one to three months. It can vary depending upon your status of job or your geographic location and the busy schedule of your local visa office. 

Keep all the documents and certificates handy to fasten the process. Here is a list of documents you will need:

  1. Two completed application forms – printed as well as signed
  2. Two passport size photographs
  3. Valid passport
  4. Proof of residence – a driver’s license or utility bill
  5. Health insurance certificate – this should be arranged from your German employer. If you don’t have one, you’ll need a European Health Insurance, or travel insurance covering the time from entering the country until your employment begins
  6. Employment contract or binding job offer with detailed salary and job description
  7. An updated CV – this must be an account of your academic qualifications & job experience
  8. Proof of qualification – this includes certificates and diplomas
  9. Personal covering letter – this should detail the exact Purpose and duration of your stay in Germany
  10. Proof of a no criminal record
  11. Proof of a paid visa fee – a long-stay German visa costs €75
  12. Declaration of Accuracy of Information

Application process
The application process of Blue card is rather simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Apply for the Job
  • Apply for the German long stay visa
  • Make an appointment at a visa office
  • Visit your nearest visa office with all the valid documents on the date of appointment 
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Wait for arrival of your application 

The application fee for the Germany Blue Card is €140. When applying to renew your EU Blue Card in Germany, you will have to spend only €100.

Changing or renewing work permits in Germany

In case you leave your job or have to change your job, you are obligated to file for a renewal of visa. The ease with your visa will be renewed depends on the kind of visa you have. If your permit is eligible for a certain company only, leaving it would render it invalid. The same way if you received your visa through your spouse who possesses a permanent permit or is a resident of Germany, you’ll lose your privilege in case of a divorce. In these cases, you have to apply for a new permit that has an authentic purpose listed. 

Some permits like the general employment permit or student permit that aren’t dependent on an individual’s employment are easily extendable. Just visit your nearest visa office and get the procedure done. 

Note: If you are still looking for suitable roles in Germany, you can come and stay in Germany for up to 6 months to find one; the visa for this purpose is issued to you if you have a valid and recognized university degree and have enough funds to support yourself for your stay. Note that you will not be allowed to be employed for this time. Once you have found a job, you can quickly apply for the required Blue Card in Germany without having to leave the country. You can stay in the country till you receive your appointment letter. 

Wishing you all the luck in your endeavors!