More than 40% of international students wish to work in Germany after completing studies at a German university. Many students aspire to get a work visa as a sure way to stay and work in Germany post-studies. But did you know that an EU Blue Card in Germany is easier to obtain for international students? Learn everything there is to know about the EU Blue Card through this article.
What is an EU Blue Card in Germany?
EU Blue Cards are work and residence permits issued by EU member states. This permit is issued to nationals of Non-EU countries (or third world countries). A non-EU national with a Blue Card has permission to reside in the EU and engage in valid employment. An EU Blue Card must not be mistaken as a permit for permanent residence. It is issued on a temporary basis.
The EU Blue Card is primarily directed toward attracting foreign talent into the EU. Highly qualified foreigners can participate in occupations with a shortage of skilled personnel.
The issuance of an EU Blue card in Germany depends on certain criteria. Many university graduates consider the Blue Card as the main residence permit. The procedure for obtaining one is pretty straightforward and unbureaucratic.
Apart from Denmark and Ireland, the EU Blue Card can be applied in all member states. The conditions for application vary with each region.
What benefits do you get with an EU Blue Card in Germany?
The obvious benefit of the EU Blue card is the ability to live and work in Germany legally. The Card comes with several other benefits, listed below.
- The EU Blue Card allows the holder’s spouse and dependent children to move to Germany.
- The holder’s spouse is allowed to work in any suitable profession in Germany.
- After 33 months, one can apply for permanent residence.
- Under some conditions, one can apply for a permanent residence permit in 21 months.
Who can get the EU Blue Card?
Prospective applicants must meet the following criteria for an EU Blue Card.
- You must have a higher education degree. The degree must be from either German universities or from an institution recognized in Germany.
- You must have a valid employment contract. Self-employed people cannot apply for a Blue Card.
- Your annual gross salary must be at least 54,600 euros (as of 2022). For professionals in the field of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering, and human medicine, the gross annual salary must be at least € 43,992 (as of 2022).
- People from professions that require a license, for example medicine, must work towards obtaining the license.
How long is the EU Blue Card valid in Germany?
An EU Blue Card has a maximum validity of four years. If a person’s employment contract is less than four years, the Card is issued for three months beyond the contract. Once the employment contract ends, one has three months to look for another job.
A person can apply for permanent residence after 33 months. If the person knows German up to level B1, they can apply for permanent residence in 21 months.
Documents to apply for EU Blue Card
The Federal Foreign Office states the following requirements to apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany.
- Completed online application form
- Biometric passport photo
- A recognized university degree
- A job offer that states your salary
EU Blue Card: Application Process
The official website for working in Germany, Make it in Germany, lays down the following process.
- Checking the requirements for Blue Card
- Preparing the required documents
- Requesting an appointment at the German embassy
- Applying for a visa in the country of residence
- Issuance of the entry visa to practice a qualified profession. (Note: health insurance must be taken before entering Germany)
- Booking plane ticket/journey to Germany
- Upon reaching Germany, making an appointment at the competent Foreigners’ Authority
- Requesting a list of the required documents at the Foreigners’ Authority and preparing them
- Applying for the EU Blue Card with a fee of approximately 100 euros.
There are exceptions to this process.
Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States do not need a visa to enter Germany. They can apply for the EU Blue Card at the immigration authority in Germany within three months. They may take up employment once the EU Blue Card has been issued.
Additionally, holders of EU Blue Card from other EU member states for at least 18 months can enter Germany without a visa. They can apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany within one month of entering the country.
How can international students apply for an EU Blue Card?
International students cannot apply for an EU Blue card during their study period. The only valid residence permit for their entire study duration is the “student visa.”
After completing their education at a German university, students can extend their duration to 18 months to search for a suitable job in Germany. Read the blog to learn more about post-study work options for international students
If international students can receive a job offer that meets the gross annual salary quota for an EU Blue Card in Germany, they may proceed with the application for the Blue Card.
Students should remember that it is not possible to obtain an EU Blue Card in Germany without a higher education qualification.
What happens when EU Blue Card holders lose their job?
Under the unfortunate scenario that Blue Card holders lose their job, they must notify the competent immigration authority. They are, however, still entitled to reside in Germany. The immigration authority may specify a time limitation. Foreigners may be given time to seek new employment, usually three months.
Can I live or work elsewhere while having an EU Blue Card from Germany?
With a Blue Card, the place of work can differ from the place of residence as long as it is within Germany.
Only holders of a “permit for frontier workers” living in another member state can engage in cross-border employment in Germany. The immigration authority at the place of employment issues the permit for frontier workers.
For tourist visits, EU Blue Card holders can spend up to 90 days of visa-free periods within 180 days in other Schengen states.
Additionally, those who have held an EU Blue Card from another member state for at least 18 months can enter Germany without a visa. They can apply for a Blue Card in Germany within one month.
EU Blue Card holders can also visit non-EU countries for up to 12 consecutive months. It will not affect their residence title in Germany. But the period of time spent outside Germany will not count towards the application for a settlement permit.
Have more questions about studying, working, and living in Germany? Get expert opinions and guidance from our counselors at Gyanberry. Contact us today and get your queries answered!