All you can know about the Germany Blue Card for non-EU Engineers

source: German Institute for Economic Research, http://www.diw.de/
source: German Institute for Economic Research, http://www.diw.de/

During the few last years, the German economy is witnessing a significant growth. The automotive industry, which is the heart of the German machine is leading this phenomena. Volkswagen, the biggest cars producer scored last year the biggest turnover since it was created, although the automotive market was struggling against a purchase crisis. Germany is suffering also these years of a huge lack of highly-skilled engineers. According to the Association of German Engineers, (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, VDI), it has been reported that there were 76 400 vacant engineering jobs by the end of 2011. The same association declared in 2012 that because of the high average age of engineers working in Germany (50 to 51), there will soon be another huge demand for a new generation of engineers.

The Germans were aware of all this, a project-law is put on the negotiation table in 2009 and it has been subject of a long debate. The result showed up finally in June 2012 and has been applied and put into consideration since August 1st 2012: The European Union Blue Card.

Similar to the Green Card in the USA, the EU Blue Card offers highly educated skilled workers of non-EU-States the opportunity and the right to work and stay in the European Union and contribute to its economy. A foreign national is eligible for a Blue Card EU if he/she holds a German university degree, a foreign but recognized university diploma or a foreign degree comparable to a German degree, or at least a 5-year experience in a related profession and of course an employment contract from a German company for all the cases.

In contrast to the US Green Card, the Blue Card is only granted for a specific job, which generates, since January 2014, an annual gross pay of 37.128€ (and not 36.192€ any more) in case of so-called shortage occupations (scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and IT specialists). Note that the very normal gross salary of a normal engineer who has studied in Germany with no-outstanding skills in a given field is around 46000-48000€. The law has set this very low threshold to the amount of 37.128€€ only to maximize the number of incoming qualified people, at the expense of the salary and the cost of living.

The advantages of the EU Blue Card are then:

  • The greatest advantage is that the so-called, “Arbeitsmarktcheck” (labour market check) will be cancelled. This is a very important point, because this check usually extends the process from the application to the visa stamp in the passport for several weeks.
  • The Blue Card has got a maximum period of 4 years. But 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 (to give the opportunity to look for a new job).
  • About the permanent stay, foreigners who own the EU Blue Card can apply for permanent residence after 33 months. But if they have German language knowledge at level B1 then they can apply earlier after 21 months (19a, passage 6, law of residence).
  • Also, owners of the EU blue card can stay out of the EU for up to 12 months without losing the right of staying in Germany or the EU. Moreover, they have the right, after having stayed in Germany for 18 months, to move to another country of the EU.
  •  Relatives of the owners of the EU blue card can work without delay and without limits in Germany. The spouse in particular is not required to have proof of German language knowledge. Even simple knowledge of the German language is not necessary for marriage partners.
German Economy: Returning to zero growth in January 2013. Source: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.de/
German Economy: Returning to zero growth in January 2013.
Source: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.de/

Nevertheless, the future is still unknown with the coming crisis. In fact, the German economy decreased for the first time during the last two trimesters (first and second ones of 2013). The automotive market and the solar energy are facing huge problems inside the EU and are causing a lot of loss to the German companies. On the other hand, in manufacturing the business climate indicator continued to rise. Manufacturers are more satisfied with their current business situation than last month. The improvement in expectations with regard to future business developments continued into the New Year. Optimism is returning. After three successive declines, capacity utilisation rates also rose.

Already settled down in Germany ? Check what you will witness through your first year, from funny things that you should cross on the street and what you’ll be feeling by the end of your first year

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Imed says:

    Thank you Achref # Good news!

    Like

  2. hamid says:

    Hi,

    I am currently living in Kuwait and i have Pakistan passport. I have more than 8 Years of experience in IT, but my degree is (Bachelors in Arts), apart from that I have several certifications of IT. E.g MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, CICSP, VCP 5, ITIL. Can you please provide step by step process for applying EU Blue Card ?

    Regards

    Like

  3. achin15 says:

    Hi,

    Normally you don’t have a problem with you diploma to work in Germany. As far as I know, here how the procedure must go in Tunisia:

    http://www.tunis.diplo.de/contentblob/3763026/Daten/3296493/Blue_Card_fr2013.pdf

    it’s in French though, good luck ! Sorry couldn’t help more.

    PS: The first step would be to get a work contract, then everything next should be fine ;-)

    Regards,

    Like

    1. hamid says:

      Hi,

      Is language must to apply for bluecard ? and secondly is this blue card only for Germany ?

      Is there any difference in between Germany Blue card and EU Blue Card ?

      Regards,

      Like

      1. hamid says:

        What is the best way to apply for IT related Jobs in Germany ?

        Regards

        Like

      2. achin15 says:

        No the language is not a must, English is enough (for a beginning ;-) )

        The blue card is of course for Germany, they call it also EU Blue Card because you will have access to work in all the EU after spending 18 months in Germany + B2 language level.

        For IT opportunities, try to look online (example: http://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/ )

        Like

  4. Hamid says:

    Hi,

    How to get a job or contract without having knowledge of German language ? because to apply for Blue card you must need Job offer. So my question is as of now i do not know German language, so how any firm/company in Germany will offer me a job ?

    Regards,

    Hamid Ahmed

    Like

  5. achin15 says:

    There are a lot of company hiring English-speakers, I am now making an internship in Continental and 90% of the communication is in English. So try your shot ;-)
    All the best

    Like

  6. ramy elgizawy says:

    Dear sir
    i am electrical engineer
    work as electrical maintenance engineer for sedico pharmaceutical company at 6 october city in egypt
    i was born in 980
    i would like to work in germany
    and i hear on blu card germany but i need to follow the procedures that help me to work at germany
    kindly send for me the steps that i follow it by blu card
    or how i will start
    informing you i already stays at stuttgart untill 2/8/2013
    send me as soon as reply

    regards
    ramy
    supervisor electrical engineer
    sedico pharmaceutical company
    6 october-egypt

    Like

  7. achin15 says:

    Hi Ramy,

    Sorry for my late reply !

    The process of getting the Blue Card is quite simple, but only when you get a working contract within a German company (with the salary restrictions mentioned in the article).
    So if I were you, I would start applying around for a suitable position, when you got accepted, everything comes automatically after ;-)

    Best of luck
    Kind regards, Achraf.

    Like

  8. Ayman says:

    Hi there,
    Great web page, keep up the good work :)
    I have recently became very interested to apply for the EU Blue card, but faced some obsticals!!!
    To start with, I am an aircraft engineer , have been trying to apply for a jobs in Germany, England & france, however most of the times my application get rejecred as i dont have a work permit!! Its a catch 22 as i cant get an offer if i am not eligible to work in EU, and i cant apply for the Blue card if i dont have a job offer!!!
    Can you please shade some light in this area..
    Thanks

    Like

    1. achin15 says:

      Hi Aymen,

      Usually only consulting /service compnies look for candidates who already have a working permit. They want to hire “ready” people.
      Normal ones do not even ask about it before expressing that they would like to hire you after the interviews.
      My advice: don’t apply for consulting/service companies ;-)
      Best of Luck,
      Achraf

      Like

  9. Thanks Ach :) Your blog entries are very useful as usual. GG dude ;)

    Like

  10. A says:

    As per the above we can apply for a permanent residency after 33 months even if have no knowledge of German language . Is it correct? Also is it not mandatory to pay some amount to pension fund for the eligibility to get permanent residency.

    Like

    1. achin15 says:

      Yes you are right about the 33 months point ! But I don’t know about the second.

      Like

  11. Fatma says:

    Hi Achraf,

    I migration site regarding the blue card, they are mentioning the possibility to hold a blue card for 6 month while looking for jobs but they don’t mention the amount of money required for the stay ( as it is part of condition to obtain the blue card if you don’t pocess a contract)?
    Thank you

    Like

    1. Achraf says:

      3aslema Fatma,

      because the amount depends on which country. For Tunisia it’s the minimum amount that you should have to create a “compte bloqué”.
      I think it’s around 700€ x 6 months = 10 000 TND

      You should confirm this with the embassy.

      Courage, Achraf

      Like

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