Because of the historical shortage of software developers in the European startup tech hubs, software developers are the most sought after workforce. So if you’re working as a developer, you’re definitely in a privileged position: you can find a job fairly quickly, apply and receive the EU Blue Card, and, finally, get a residence permit in far less time than other workers. In this article, let’s look closer at the best option you have for relocating to Germany, which is the EU Blue Card.
By the end of the article, you’ll be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the Blue Card?
- Why and when was the Blue Card introduced?
- Where can you use the Blue Card?
- What’s the difference between the Blue Card and say, the US Green Card?
- What do you need to apply for the Blue Card?
- Where do you apply for the EU Blue Card?
- How long will you wait for the EU Blue Card to be issued?
- What happens if you decide to change your job during the first two years of employment?
- What if you decide to leave the EU for a prolonged period of time?
- Can you move to another EU state with the same Blue Card?
- Can you leave the country to go on holiday?
- Is there any chance to become a permanent resident?
- Can you move in your family to Germany with your Blue Card?
- Can you offer any type of assistance in getting the job and applying for the Blue Card?
What is the Blue Card?
The EU Blue Card is a work permit for highly skilled applicants, which works across all member states of the European Union except the UK, Denmark, and Ireland. The Blue Card is issued for a limited period of time no longer than four years. In order to qualify for the Card, an applicant must possess a higher education degree from a recognized university equivalent to the German degree and a gross annual income of 53,600 EUR (or 41,808 EUR if you’re working in the field of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, or medicine).
Why and when was the Blue Card introduced?
In October 2007, the EU Commission adopted two proposals: the first one to establish a Framework Directive of admitting highly skilled migrants into the EU, later known as the EU Blue Card directive, and the second one to simplify migration procedures by channeling migrants into one single application procedure, later known as the single permit directive. By 2011 both directives had been adopted and became essential constituents of the EU Blue Card Scheme that defines the residence and work permit for highly skilled individuals. The main ideas behind the EU Blue Card initiative were to fill labor shortages, boost competition, cut excessive bureaucracy, promote diversity, simplify the movement of the non-EU citizens between the EU member states. The Card was adopted in Germany in 2012 and since then has become one of the most prestigious and popular options for non-EU developers and other highly qualified individuals. According to Eurostat, Germany has awarded around 85% of all Blue Cards in the European Union, and the number of issued Cards is steadily growing. Now, it’s high time to seize the opportunity and relocate.
Where can you use the EU Blue Card?
The EU Blue Card is recognized in 25 out of 28 EU countries, as said above it can’t be used in Denmark, Ireland, and the UK.
What’s the difference between the Blue Card and say, the US Green Card?
Since a lot of prospective EU Blue Card applicants believe that the Blue Card is somewhat similar to the US Green Card, we feel it’s important to differentiate: while with the Green Card you can move and work freely across all states of the USA, getting the EU Blue Card in Germany doesn’t necessarily mean you can move and work anywhere in Europe.
What do you need to apply for the Blue Card?
In order for you to apply for the EU Blue Card, you have to be a non-EU citizen, have an employment contract or a binding job offer, hold a degree from a university recognized by German authorities, and have an annual gross salary of no less than 53,600 EUR or 41,808 EUR in case you’re employed within the field of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, or work as a physician.
To check if your degree is recognized by the German authorities, search for the name of your educational institution in the “anabin” database and make sure it ranks as H+. However, in case you don’t find your university or college within the database or it ranks H-, you can request ZAB to reassess your institution or recognize your degree. Among other documents are travel paperwork and health insurance for yourself and anyone else who travels with you. In case you find a job through the Hirebacker project, we’ll help you to facilitate the above process.
Where do you apply for the EU Blue Card?
Either you or your employer needs to submit an application for the EU Blue Card to the competent authorities in the country where you wish you to work. With Hirebacker, we’ll take that responsibility on us and apply for the EU Blue Card on your behalf.
How long will you wait for the EU Blue Card to be issued?
The processing of your application will depend on multiple factors like the season, backlog of applications, availability of officers, etc. On average, the process takes from a few days to several weeks; however, the longest processing time is three months.
What happens if you decide to change your job during the first two years of employment?
If you decide to change your job during the first two years of your employment in Germany, you will need to confirm your choice with the immigration authorities. Basically, what it implies is that you will have to pass through the same procedure of applying for the EU Blue Card like the first time. In case, the minimum wage threshold has been changed during those two years, you will have to prove your eligibility according to the new standard.
What if you decide to leave the EU for a prolonged period of time?
In case you need to return to your home country or travel outside Germany to any EU country, you are able to do so for a period of no longer than one year. However, any time spent outside Germany doesn’t count in permanent settlement permit applications.
Can you move to another EU state with the same Blue Card?
Yes, you can move to another EU state provided you’ve spent at least 18 months in the country where your original Blue Card was issued. However, by relocating to another state, you’ll have to reapply for the EU Blue Card again there, in your destination country.
Can you leave the country to go on holiday?
You can go on holiday within the Schengen zone at any time during the year for up to 90 days per 180 day period as a tourist.