EU Blue Card Germany

Since Brexit, Germany has enhanced efforts to attract skilled British professionals through the EU Blue Card scheme. This guide details the EU Blue Card policy focused on UK applicants. It outlines the criteria around qualifications, job offers, and salary thresholds.

If you require legal support and advice on securing EU Blue Card status. Contact Total Law at 0333 305 9375. Our solicitors will provide tailored guidance on securing residency rights in Germany and ensure your application is successful.

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    Understanding the EU Blue Card

    The Germany EU Blue Card is a residence permit designed for highly qualified UK professionals wishing to work in Germany. Its purpose is to attract them to fill labour shortages in Germany. It offers applicants similar rights and benefits as German citizens.

    This card offers numerous benefits and advantages compared to other visas. It allows qualified applicants like engineers, doctors, and IT specialists to access Germany’s employment market while enabling local employers to hire talent for crucial positions.

    The benefits for applicants include:

    • They can work freely in any field across Germany without needing additional permits.
    • They have the same rights and benefits as German citizens under employment law.
    • After 33 months with the Blue Card and demonstrating German language skills (A1 level), they can apply for permanent residence permit or German citizenship.
    • Spouses and dependent children under 21 can join them in Germany.
    • They can travel freely within the Schengen Area without additional visas.

    In comparison with other types of visas, the EU Blue Card offers several distinct advantages. For UK applicants, it streamlines entry into multiple EU member states and enables them to pursue job opportunities without requiring separate permits.

    It provides more rights that are not typically available through other visas. For instance with the German Blue Card, you can access Germany’s education and health care systems.

    While there are numerous benefits, these are several limitations that you must be aware of.

    UK applicants must have a higher education qualification (a recognized degree of any level.), or five years of experience relevant to their field.

    There are also specific salary requirements. The minimum annual gross salary threshold varies by profession but generally exceeds what is required for other work visas.

    Moreover, while holding an EU Blue Card, the stay in Germany will be linked specifically to employment and requires additional authorization when changing jobs.

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    Eligibility Criteria For The German EU Blue Card

    To obtain a German EU Blue Card as a UK citizen you must meet specific requirements. First, you need a job offer from a German company that meets the minimum salary threshold.

    The German government requires that your employment contract includes a gross annual salary of at least €56,800 or €44,304 if your occupation is in high demand. Such as mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering or medical professions.

    Your qualifications and experience also play a crucial role in obtaining the German Blue Card. UK applicants must meet strict criteria, including:

    • Hold a recognised degree from an accredited university. UK degrees might require additional verification for equivalence by the German authorities.
    • A job that matches the higher education qualification or experience.
    • A binding work contract must be for at least six months.
    • At least five years of relevant professional experience directly related to the job.

    Additionally, the job offered must fall within a field facing a skilled labour shortage in Germany.

    There are exceptions for certain high-demand professions like doctors with specialist training who may qualify even without meeting these requirements.

    Proficiency in German isn’t mandatory for this permit, but having this knowledge could positively influence your application.

    You can find out more about the salary thresholds and eligibility criteria on the official website of the German federal employment agency. Or contact our immigration specialists at Total Law on 0333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss your visa application.

    What Are Documents Required For The German Blue Card?

    When preparing your application for the German Blue Card, you are required to submit several key documents. These include:

    • A valid UK passport with at least six months beyond the intended stay.
    • For non-British applicants, a current UK residence permit (BRP)/visa .
    • Two recent biometric passport photos meeting German specifications.
    • A completed EU Blue Card application form.
    • An original or certified copy of your recognized university degree.
    • A signed contract from a German employer that specifies your job title, duties, and annual gross salary.
    • A valid public health insurance confirmation or private health insurance certificate.
    • A registration certificate (Anmeldung) confirming your address in Germany.
    • Proof of occupation in the UK, either an employer letter or recent payslips (3 months).

    Additional documents may be requested, such as:

    • Professional certifications or licences
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume
    • German language proficiency (A1 level)
    • Proof of sufficient financial resources

    You must ensure the documents are accurate and complete before applying for the permit. Due to the complexity of an application, speak to one of our immigration solicitors at Total Law. Contact us today at 0333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss your needs.

    The EU Blue Card For IT professionals Without A Formal Qualification

    Information technology professionals without a university qualification may still meet the eligibility criteria for Germany’s EU Blue Card. Instead of a degree, applicants can demonstrate sufficient expertise through extensive industry experience and non-formal credentials.

    Alternative Qualifying Criteria

    While the standard eligibility pathway relies on a recognized higher education degree, the EU Blue Card program offers alternatives for IT experts. Specifically, if an applicant possesses:

    • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience in a specialised technical field such as software engineering, data science, cybersecurity, or network administration.
    • Demonstrated proficiency in programming languages like Python, Java, C++.
    • Skills in managing complex systems, product development, or database management.

    Recognition Of Non-formal Qualifications

    In some cases, non-formal qualifications may also be recognized when applying for the EU Blue Card. This means that specific certifications or training programs related to your area of expertise could serve as evidence of your professional competence.

    For example, completing a specialised coding bootcamp or obtaining industry-recognized certifications like CompTIA Security+ can enhance your eligibility status.

    While these non-traditional qualifications might not replace a formal degree entirely, they can help strengthen your application by demonstrating practical knowledge and skills.

    Application Evidence Requirements

    Apart from work experience and non-formal qualifications, there are additional requirements specifically tailored to IT professionals. These may include showcasing your technical prowess through previous work products when applying, such as:

    • Portfolios of successfully launched applications, programs, or security tools.
    • Project implementation histories resolving complex technical problems.
    • References from reputable tech companies attesting to contributions.
    • Code samples indicating your skill level.

    How To Get The EU Blue Card

    Applying for an EU Blue Card to work in Germany can be complex for British citizens after Brexit. UK citizens no longer benefit from automatic freedom of movement within the EU and need to apply for the Blue Card. This step-by-step guide will help to navigate the process smoothly.

    1. Confirm Your Eligibility

    Ensure you meet the basic EU Blue Card requirements around qualifications such as a recognized university degree, or job offer that meets the salary thresholds.

    €56,800 for general fields and €44,304 for shortage occupations.

    1. Compile Required Documents

    Prepare the documents, including:

    • Valid UK passport (Or current UK residence permit (BRP)
    • Recognized university degree or proof of professional experience
    • Employment contract meeting the Blue Card requirements
    • Additional documents such as professional certifications, CV, and proof of language skills (optional)

    Ensure all documents are translated into German if necessary and neatly organised.

    1. Submit Online Application

    Accurately complete the online application form and pay the required fees, including a €75 National Visa fee and approximately €100-150 for the residency permit.

    After submitting an application, you will need to attend an interview for fingerprints and photographs. Be prepared to answer questions about your plans in Germany.

    The average processing times for UK applicants are around 2-3 months.

    1. Receive and Activate Blue Card

    If approved, you will receive your EU Blue Card, register your residence in Germany and obtain health insurance. You can now begin working in Germany.

    Once in Germany, ensure that you register at your local office to activate your card’s full permissions.

    [Video walking through the key steps to apply for an EU Blue Card for Germany.]

    For more guidance on German visa applications check the resources section on the German Immigration Portal. Or schedule an advising session with our immigration lawyers at Total Law. Contact us at 0333 305 9375 or message us online.

    For help obtaining a EU Blue Card, speak with our team today. Contact Us

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      Changing Jobs With EU Blue Cards

      When considering changing jobs while holding the EU Blue Card there are several things to consider. Firstly, the new job must be within the same field as the one for which you initially obtained the EU Blue Card for.

      For instance, if your card was granted for a position in engineering it is not possible to switch to a healthcare job without applying for a new blue card settlement permit.

      If you find a new job opportunity in the same field, you still need to notify the German embassy or consulate about your intention to change employers.

      Before changing jobs, you need to consider:

      • The gross annual salary offered must meet or exceed the minimum salary requirements.
      • If you have been employed for less than 33 months with the German Blue Card, you may need to apply for a new one with your new employer’s details.
      • If you have been employed for more than 33 months with the German Blue Card, you may be eligible to switch jobs without needing to apply for a new permit.

      Once you receive approval from the German embassy, you will be able to switch employers and commence work in your new role.

      If there are delays or issues during the transition between jobs, it could affect your legal right to reside and work within the European Union. Understanding these implications is critical for ensuring continuous compliance with immigration regulations.

      We recommend you:

      1. Ensure timely notification of intent when changing employers.
      2. Understand potential impacts on residency status due to job transitions.
      3. Evaluate salary offers against minimum thresholds required by immigration regulations.
      4. Review contractual terms thoroughly before accepting a new employment opportunity.

      Validity Of The EU Blue Card Germany

      The standard validity period of an EU Blue Card issued in Germany is four years. However, if your contract duration is less than four years, the blue card will carry the same expiration date.

      To continue living and working legally in Germany beyond the date stipulated on your permit, you must submit a renewal application at least 2 months prior to its expiration.

      Key documents needed include:

      • Updated employment contract from your employer meeting salary thresholds
      • Proof of ongoing health insurance coverage
      • Demonstrated German language skills at B1 level or higher

      Obligations For Retaining It

      As an EU Blue Card holder, you must fulfil certain obligations to retain a valid resident status. These include:

      • Maintaining continuous employment in your approved professional field. If you lose your job, you have a 3-month grace period to find qualifying new employment.
      • Informing the Foreign Residents Office about any address changes within 1 week of moving homes even within Germany. Failing to do so can risk your status.
      • Not exceeding 90 days of absence from Germany in any 180-day period. Prolonged time away can jeopardise future renewals.

      Impact On Family Members

      Your spouse and children also receive resident permits if accompanied by an EU Blue Card holder. Spouses can access Germany’s employment market. However, children require separate work authorization upon turning legal working age.

      All family members should similarly avoid extended absences, which could affect their eligibility when the permits are up for renewal.

      Visa-free travel With An EU Blue Card

      Having the EU Blue Card as a citizen of the UK comes with the advantage of being able to travel visa free throughout the European Union. This means you can explore any of the 26 Schengen countries, including tourist destinations, like France, Italy and Spain without having to go through the hassle of applying for a separate visa.

      It is important to note that not all member states of the European Union are part of the Schengen Area. If your travels extend beyond these countries or involve Schengen states such as Bulgaria or Romania you may need additional documentation.

      Furthermore, if you hold a Blue Card and want to work in any Schengen country you will need specific work authorization. It’s essential to be aware of this restriction.

      There are also time limitations on how long you can stay in these countries. Typically you are allowed stays up to 90 days within any 180 day period for tourism purposes or for business meetings and conferences. You can also visit family members who reside there during this time.

      It is crucial to understand that exceeding this limit could lead to consequences such as fines or even deportation, from the country where the violation occurs.

      Rights And Responsibilities Of EU Blue Card Holders

      The German EU Blue Card or Residence Permit provides you with various rights as a UK citizen. You can work in Germany for a duration exceeding 90 days without requiring a permit.

      You have the privilege of bringing your family members including your spouse and children under the age of 21 who will enjoy the same entitlements as you.

      This includes access to healthcare and social security services in Germany ensuring that both you and your family receive care and support while residing in the country.

      It is important to recognize that holding an EU Blue Card also entails responsibilities. As a cardholder it becomes your duty to adhere to all laws and regulations governing employment, taxation and residency in Germany.

      It is also important you maintain a valid health insurance certificate or electronic health card for yourself and family members throughout your stay.

      Should there be any changes in your information or circumstances, such as a change of address, it is your responsibility to update the authorities in Germany. This ensures that your residency status remains valid and compliant.

      We can make your German EU Blue Card visa application process hassle-free. Contact Us

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Trying to navigate Germany’s complex immigration system in order to obtain an EU Blue Card can be incredibly challenging without the right guidance. From preparing your documents to passing your visa interview, many obstacles can derail an application.

        Save yourself the headaches and anxiety by having our seasoned immigration lawyers at Total Law support you through the process. Our experts can:

        • Assess your background, and qualifications for EU Blue Card eligibility.
        • Assist in compiling, translating and verifying all necessary paperwork.
        • Ensure you have all the relevant documentation and evidence.
        • Facilitate visa extensions, and address queries from officials.

        With our vast experience navigating EU immigration policies. We can offer practical advice and assistance so you can avoid pitfalls achieving your ambitions abroad. Contact Total Law today at 0333 305 9375 to schedule your consultation.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You must have a job offer or employment contract from a German company to apply for the EU Blue Card. You cannot apply for it independently without a sponsoring employer.

                  The main difference lies in the eligibility criteria and flexibility. The EU Blue Card is temporary, while permanent residence allows unrestricted work and residency rights within Germany.

                  UK citizens with a German EU Blue Card cannot automatically work in other EU countries due to Brexit. If you want to work in another EU country after 18 months in Germany, you can apply for a separate work permit or visa specific to that country.

                  Obtaining an EU Blue Card requires meeting specific qualifications and documentation. While not overly complex, it does involve providing evidence of employment, qualifications, and meeting certain salary thresholds set by the German government.

                  Holders enjoy various advantages such as easier family reunification, access to social security benefits, favourable conditions for permanent residency application after 33 months of working in Germany (or 21 months if B1 level language skills are proven).