Blue Card Germany: New Residence Permit for Foreign Professionals

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Everything You Need to Know about the New “Blue Card” for Germany

The law regarding the implementation of guidelines for highly qualified professionals in the European Union (HQRLUmsG) from June 1, 2012 has gone into effect on August 1, 2012. It introduces the “Blue Card EU” as a new residence permit, given to those foreign nationals who hold a university degree or comparable qualifications.

We have already examined the new law carefully and hereby would like to answer the most important questions concerning the Blue Card for you:

Who is eligible for a Blue Card?

A foreign national is eligible for a Blue Card EU (residence permit according to § 19a AufenthG n.F.) if he/she holds a German university degree, a foreign but recognized university diploma or a foreign degree comparable to a German degree.

In contrast to the US Greencard, the Blue Card is only granted for a specific job, which generates an annual gross pay of 47.600 EUR, or 37.128 EUR in case of so-called shortage occupations (scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and IT specialists).

How long is the Blue Card valid?

The Blue Card EU is limited to a maximum period of four years. If the employment relationship lasts less than four years, the Blue Card is granted for the duration of the employment contract plus another additional three months.

Will a priority check take place? Will members of the German labor market receive privileged treatment? Will the working conditions be checked?

A priority check as well as an inspection of the working conditions will be waived if the income requirement of 46.400 EUR (2014: 47,600 €) is met.

For graduates of national universities working in so-called shortage occupations, a priority check and the inspection of working conditions will also be waived.

For graduates of foreign universities, the priority check will be foregone if a job offer for a shortage occupation exists. An inspection of working conditions, however, will take place.

Can family members of Blue Card holders enter Germany at the same time?

Yes. Family members may accompany the Blue Card holder and will receive residence permits in Germany as well.

Can family members of Blue Card holders work freely within Germany?

Family members of Blue Card holders may immediately work without restrictions.

Is it necessary for spouses to have knowledge of the German language prior to the arrival?

Spousal reunification may not be made conditional on integration efforts which may or may not have taken place prior to the arrival. Proof of basic German language skills is not required.

When can Blue card holders receive permanent residency?

Blue card holders can receive permanent residency after 33 months; if German language skills according to level B1 can be proven, this period is shortened to 21 months.

Can the Blue Card become invalid after an extended stay outside the EU?

Blue Card EU holders may stay outside the EU for up to twelve months without the residence permit becoming invalid.

Can Blue Card holders move to another EU country?

Highly qualified persons holding a Blue Card may move to another EU country after a period of 18 months has passed.

Will stays in other EU countries with the Blue Card be counted towards the right of permanent residence?

Stays in different member states of the EU may be cumulated towards the obtainment of the right of permanent residence.

Do visa procedures become necessary in case of migration within the EU?

An application may be filed by the majority of applicants within the country. The application must be filed within a month upon arrival in Germany.

Interested in the Blue Card?

Would you like to recruit qualified foreign professionals, and require legal assistance regarding the process?

Since 1998, vpmk Attorneys have been active predominately in business law, aliens law and work permit law, and can look back on several years of experience in both fields. Our highly specialized team of attorneys cultivates contacts to a number of aliens departments and employment agencies nationwide, and has successfully managed various visa procedures from countries all over the world.

In us you find a personal point of contact; we provide professional consultation for your individual needs and generally answer your requests on the same day. Legal consultation can be conducted in English, French and Spanish. Furthermore, our office has Russian- and Italian-speaking employees, who will be happy to interpret during consultations.

We are happy to advise you! If you are interested in our services, we will gladly put together a concrete proposal for you.

Important note:

Please note that we cannot assist you with the job search in Germany.

There is now the possibility to apply for a visa valid up to six months in order to search for employment in Germany. We will gladly inform you on the matter during a detailed initial consultation.

Blue Card Germany: New Residence Permit for Foreign Professionals

vpmk Rechtsanwälte | Berlin

Monbijouplatz 3a
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Telefon +49 (0) 30. 536 33 99 0
Telefax +49 (0) 30. 536 33 99 8

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