EU Blue Card – a chance for academics and specialists in Germany
Through the “EU Blue Card”, a residence and work permit especially for academics and the most highly qualified workers from outside of the EU, the EU is trying to counteract a shortage of skilled workers, which is also prevalent in Germany. Consequently, applying for this kind of residence permit provides an attractive opportunity for engineers and natural scientists (amongst others) to find a job in Germany.
Residence with an EU Blue Card is temporary, with the validity lasting between one and four years. The EU Blue Card is valid for the duration of the employment contract plus another three months, and also entitles the holder to move on to another EU member state following an 18-month residence in Germany. If you have a temporary employment contract, you can extend the validity of your EU Blue Card or subsequently apply for a permanent residence permit.
The requirements for an EU Blue Card include:
- A German university degree, a recognised foreign equivalent or evidence of study comparable to university level in Germany
- Employment that corresponds to the respective qualifications and a minimum gross annual salary of €50,800 for 2018 (€39,624 for certain sought-after specialists)
You must apply for an EU Blue Card at a German embassy or consulate in your home country before your arrival in Germany. The fees will not exceed €140 for the issuance of the Blue Card or €100 for an extension.
Further information on the EU Blue Card can be found at http://www.bluecard-eu.de
Residence permit in Germany
In Germany, you can obtain different types of residence permits, sometimes known in German as “Aufenthaltstitel”, which regulate residence and permission to work in Germany. The type of permit you will be issued with depends primarily on the type and purpose of your stay. Some residence permits are temporary, whereas others are permanent.
Which conditions must I fulfil as an EU citizen to receive a residence permit?
In order to be able to move to Germany, live and work there, you do not need to apply for a visa or residence permit if you are an EU citizen. You only need a valid identification document from your home country (identity card and/or passport). Nevertheless, you are legally obliged to register your address within two weeks of your arrival in Germany at the registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).
How can I obtain a German residence permit as a non-EU citizen?
If you come from a country outside of the European Union, you will generally require a visa for your arrival in Germany, which you can apply for at a German embassy or consulate in your home country and which is valid for up to three months. Once in Germany, a foreigners’ registration office (Ausländerbehörde) will provide you with an appropriate residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel), depending on the type and purpose of your stay.
Temporary residence permit in Germany
Temporary residence permits are linked to the duration and purpose of your (work-related) stay, and can also be given certain restrictions.
Permanent residence permit in Germany
As opposed to a residence permit, a “settlement permit” is not temporary and essentially entitles you to carry out a job in Germany without any restrictions, and also provides you with access to the German job market and social security. A settlement permit is issued under certain conditions (such as ownership of a residence for over five years and proof of knowledge of the German language). Special rules apply for highly qualified specialists, which facilitate the route to a permanent residence permit.
“Permanent EU residency” is another permanent residence permit, which can be obtained in an EU member state and which also allows you to move on to another EU country.
Further information can be found on the official website of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
This visa regulation does not apply to USA, Canadian, Australian, Israeli, Japanese, New Zealand or South Korean (Republic of Korea) nationals: as a citizen of one of these countries, you can, in principle, also travel to Germany without a visa and apply for your residence permit directly at the relevant foreigners’ registration office.