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Sunday, May 13, 2012

EU Blue Card - Germany Joins the Club

And it looks like Germany has joined the EU Blue Card club.

According to news sources, the Bundestag passed legislation in May to implement the 2009 EU Directive creating this new work permit for highly-qualified migrants from non-EU countries.

Anti-immigration rhetoric may be common in Germany but the reality is that a combination of a low birth-rate and a net migration rate of 0.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (which means that the number of emigrants versus immigrants is about equal)) has industry hungry for workers. Hans Heinrich Driftmann of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce DIHK estimated in 2011 that Germany lacks 400,000 skilled workers (engineers, craftsmen and skilled labor).

The measure did not pass without a fight.  This article reports that there was a 90 minute debate over the Blue Card requirements with some opponents arguing that the salary requirements were too low and others arguing that the language requirements (learning German gets a migrant worker more favorable treatment) were too onerous.  One Green parliament member said that the latter was just silly and that good English for a job that requires those language skills ought to be sufficient, "Otherwise, Germany can only hope to draw good minds from Austria and German-speaking Switzerland,"

But it did pass in the end.  So how does one go about applying?  I poked around and found some good information in French, German and English on the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) site here.  From there I followed a link to the International Placement Services site which offers more information and a migration check which is a little wizard that guides you through the process of determining what kind of migration options (work and residency permits) are available to you based on your situation.  Another resource is the EU Immigration Portal which is a very rich source of information about EU migration procedures by country and has a list of contacts.

Bon dimanche, everyone!


Anonymous said...

I have one doubt.What is the difference between blue card and work permit? This question arises becuase in both requirement is getting employment contract which is very difficult as no company prefer to giving employment cotract outside catch 22 situation is still get work permit have contract and to have contract ,have work permit

Mercy said...

Thank you so much for posting this. You are a star. I have been waiting for Germany to implement the Blue card and have been following your blog. Many thanks.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@Mercy, you are most welcome. Good news, isn't it? Hey, they need the workers and I know a lot of people who would LOVE to go to Germany. Good luck to you!

@anonymous, difference is that the Blue card doesn't confine you to one EU country. In fact you will have access to ALL the nations in the Euro-zone. Yes, you still have to land a contract but, once you do, you can stay in country 1 for a few years and then move on to country 2. Spouses can also work. Very nice.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Correction: All the nations in the EU EXCEPT the UK and Denmark.

Ovid said...


I believe you'll find that in addition to the UK and Denmakr, Ireland also opted out of the Blue Card.

Also, I seem to recall that the wording of the text of the law was changed to allow countries to later restrict Blue Card holder entrants from other countries (in case, for example, there's a flood of Blue Card holders from Germany and France to the lovely beaches in Portugal).

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Thanks, Curtis. yes, you are right and Ireland did opt out as well. Would not surprise me one whit to hear that they will try to control mobility within the EU countries that are participating. Not sure this will work. Do you know about the Austrian red white red card?
They seem to want to poach those EU Blue Card holders from other EU states. :-)


Ovid said...

Victoria, thanks for the tip on the Red-White-Red card. That's a new post for me :)

Mercy said...

Hi Victoria,

How are you? I hope you are well. Please I have been looking to apply for jobs in Germany to apply in order to obtain the Blue Card but I am struggling any site where I can apply for IT jobs. Please do you have any links where I could search and apply for IT jobs in Germany?

Many thanks.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Mercy,

I would head over to EURES the EU Job Mobility Portal

They have a search engine and it looks like they have over 1 million job advertised. I think you can also upload your CV.

This is definitely the place to start.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

helo can i asked what is CV?