The word Blue Card seems to have a magic connotation these days. Appointments seem to get fixed faster, documents examined within days and the visa issued at a speed rate. It is true that the Blue Card EU is a prestigious title that, if possible, you should try to qualify for when you come to Germany for work purposes. But there are also a number of requirements attached to that, some of which may be difficult to meet. In the end, the Blue Card is also “just” a work permit and has a good alternative. In case you are worried you will not qualify for the Blue Card, let me reassure you: Life is also good with a normal work title.
The privileges of the small, blue card
The Blue Card was introduced in 2012 as a better way to attract highly qualified professionals. You need to have a valid work contract for Germany in order to get it, and it is limited to the duration of your contract just like any other work permit. There are, however, two main areas in which the Blue Card will make your life easier:
First: It is usually faster to get.
Attracting many Blue Card holders to work in Germany is a national interest. You can notice this when looking at the time the Office for Foreign Education takes to evaluate university degrees: Two weeks for Blue Card applicants, up to 3 months for all others. That’s not fair, you might say, and it’s true. Applying for a Blue Card as a national visa usually goes faster in the German consulates across the world, and it sometimes seems to open doors just by introducing yourself as a “Blue Card holder”.
Second: You can switch it faster for a permanent residence permit
If you plan to stay in Germany for good (or at least, for quite some time), the Blue Card offers another important advantage: With it, you can apply for a permanent residence permit after 21 or 33 months of working here, depending on your level of German. The permanent residence permit is of unlimited duration, and although it might be revoked under certain circumstances, allows you to stay in Germany for life. With a “normal” work permit, you can earliest apply for it after five years and you will have to prove some German skills.
A good alternative: The work permit
If the Blue Card is not an option for you, you may still go for the normal work permit. Depending on the reason you were denied a Blue Card, this will require more effort – it is also by far easier to get a work permit with a recognized university degree than without. But the work permit is a valid and widely used residence permit for Germany, and although final integration will be slower, it gives you the same rights than the Blue Card.
And don’t despair: We are here to help you. Contact us if you would like to have assistance with your visa, and we will advise you, help you with (almost) all problems and guide you through this at times confusing process. Let us know!