Blue Card Extension Germany: Requirements and Application Process

Understanding the Blue Card Extension in Germany

As a Blue Card holder in Germany, you may be wondering about the extension of your Blue Card. The Blue Card is a permit for highly skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in Germany. It is issued for a maximum of four years and can be extended if certain requirements are met.

To be eligible for a Blue Card extension in Germany, you must have a valid employment contract with a salary that meets the minimum income requirement. As of 2023, the minimum income requirement for Blue Card holders in Germany is €56,800 per year. However, this amount may vary depending on your profession and location.

To apply for a Blue Card extension in Germany, you must submit your application to the relevant immigration authority at least two months before your current Blue Card expires. You will need to provide proof of your employment, your salary, and your German language proficiency.

It is important to note that the extension of your Blue Card in Germany is not automatic. Your application will be reviewed by the immigration authority, and they may request additional documents or information before making a decision.

If your Blue Card extension application is approved, you will receive a new Blue Card with an extended validity period. You may also be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Germany after a certain number of years.

In summary, the Blue Card extension in Germany is possible if you meet the eligibility requirements and submit a timely and complete application. Keep in mind that the extension is not guaranteed, and you may need to provide additional information or documents to support your application.

Eligibility Criteria for Blue Card Extension

If you are a highly-skilled migrant in Germany holding a Blue Card, you may be eligible for an extension of your residence permit. To qualify for a Blue Card extension, you must meet certain requirements, including qualification requirements and job offer and employment contract requirements.

Qualification Requirements

To be eligible for a Blue Card extension, you must have a higher education degree or a comparable qualification, such as a German degree, in a field related to your profession. Your professional qualifications must also meet the requirements of the occupation practice permit.

Job Offer and Employment Contract

In addition to the qualification requirements, you must also have a concrete job offer in Germany that matches your qualifications. Your gross annual salary must be at least 55,200 EUR or 43,056 EUR if your profession is in mathematics, IT, natural sciences, or human medicine. If you have a university degree, the minimum gross salary requirement is 43,056 EUR.

Your employment contract must also meet certain requirements. It must be for at least one year and must specify the start and end dates of your employment. The contract must also state your job title, job description, and gross salary.

To apply for a Blue Card extension, you must submit your application to the relevant immigration authority at least eight weeks before your current Blue Card expires.

Overall, meeting the qualification and job offer requirements is crucial for obtaining a Blue Card extension in Germany. If you have any questions or need assistance with your application, you should contact your employer or a qualified immigration lawyer.

Application Process for Blue Card Extension

If you wish to extend your Blue Card in Germany, you need to follow a specific process. Here is a brief overview of the steps you need to take to extend your Blue Card:

Required Documents

Before you begin the extension process, you need to gather all the required documents. These documents include:

  • Your passport
  • Your current Blue Card
  • A biometric photo
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources

Visa Application and Fee

Once you have all the required documents, you need to apply for a visa extension at the Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Office) in your city of residence. You can request an appointment online or by phone.

During your appointment, you will need to provide all the required documents and pay the visa extension fee. The fee varies depending on the length of your extension.

After you submit your application, an immigration officer will review your application and notify you of their decision. If your application is approved, you will receive a new Blue Card with an extended validity period.

It is important to note that the extension process should be initiated before your current Blue Card expires. If your Blue Card expires before you initiate the extension process, you may face penalties or even deportation.

In summary, extending your Blue Card in Germany requires you to gather all the necessary documents, apply for a visa extension at the Ausländerbehörde, and pay the visa extension fee. Make sure to initiate the extension process before your current Blue Card expires to avoid any issues.

Rights and Advantages of Blue Card Holders

As a Blue Card holder in Germany, you are entitled to several rights and advantages. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important ones.

Family Reunification and Spouse Rights

If you are a Blue Card holder in Germany, you can bring your family members to live with you. Your spouse and children under the age of 18 can join you in Germany. They will be granted a residence permit for the same duration as your Blue Card. After two years of residency in Germany, your spouse can also work without any restrictions.

Permanent Residence and Citizenship

A Blue Card holder in Germany can apply for a permanent residence permit after 33 months of residency. If you have sufficient knowledge of the German language, you can apply after just 21 months. The permanent residence permit is valid for an unlimited period and allows you to work and live in Germany without any restrictions.

After eight years of continuous residency in Germany, you can apply for German citizenship. As a Blue Card holder, you can apply for citizenship after just 21 months if you have sufficient knowledge of the German language.

In summary, as a Blue Card holder in Germany, you have the right to bring your family members to live with you, apply for a permanent residence permit, and eventually apply for German citizenship. These rights and advantages make it an attractive option for highly skilled migrants who want to settle in Germany.

Blue Card Salary Threshold and Occupation Practice

If you are a Blue Card holder in Germany, you need to meet certain salary requirements to extend your residence permit. As per the current rules, you need to earn at least 1.5 times the average gross annual income in Germany to renew your Blue Card. However, if you are working in a shortage occupation, you only need to earn 1.2 times the average gross annual income in Germany.

It is essential to note that the salary threshold varies depending on the occupation and the region. For example, if you are working in a field with a high demand for skilled workers, such as IT or engineering, the salary threshold may be higher than other fields. In contrast, if you are working in a region with a lower cost of living, the salary threshold may be lower.

To determine whether you meet the salary threshold, your employer needs to provide proof of your income. This proof can be in the form of payslips, tax statements, or bank statements. It is also essential to ensure that your income meets the threshold throughout the period you have held the Blue Card.

If you do not meet the salary threshold, you may not be able to extend your Blue Card. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be able to extend your Blue Card for up to six months while you search for a new job.

In conclusion, if you are a Blue Card holder in Germany, it is crucial to ensure that you meet the salary threshold to extend your residence permit. The salary threshold varies depending on the occupation and the region, and your employer needs to provide proof of your income.

Language Skills Requirement

To obtain an extension of your Blue Card in Germany, you must meet certain language skills requirements. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is the standard used to measure language proficiency in Germany. The CEFR has six levels of proficiency: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.

If you are applying for an extension of your Blue Card, you must have at least a B1 level of proficiency in either German or English. This requirement applies to both the main Blue Card holder and their family members.

It is important to note that the language skills requirement is not necessary for initial Blue Card applications. However, it is still highly recommended to have a basic understanding of German or English to help with the integration process.

To prove your language proficiency, you can take a language test from a recognized institution. The most common language tests accepted in Germany are the TestDaF for German and the TOEFL or IELTS for English. These tests are designed to assess your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

If you are a graduate of a German university, you may be eligible for an extension of your Blue Card without having to take a language test. Graduates are granted an extension from 12 to 18 months to find a job related to their field of study. However, this extension only applies if you have a basic understanding of the German language and knowledge of German society.

Overall, having a good understanding of German or English is essential for obtaining an extension of your Blue Card in Germany. It is recommended to start learning the language as soon as possible to ensure a smooth integration process.

Impact of Covid-19 on Blue Card Extension

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Blue Card extension in Germany. The pandemic has caused a slowdown in the processing of Blue Card applications, which has resulted in delays and longer waiting times for applicants. Additionally, the pandemic has led to a decrease in the number of job opportunities available, which has made it more difficult for applicants to meet the salary requirements for the Blue Card.

The rising cost of living in Germany due to the pandemic has also made it more difficult for applicants to meet the financial requirements for the Blue Card. The pandemic has caused a significant negative impact on the economy, which has led to job losses and reduced salaries for many workers. This has made it more challenging for applicants to meet the financial requirements for the Blue Card, which requires a minimum salary level.

Moreover, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of digitalization in the application process. With the pandemic restrictions in place, many applicants have had to rely on online application processes, which has increased the need for digitalization in the application process. The German government has taken steps to improve the digitalization of the Blue Card application process, which has made it easier for applicants to apply online.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Blue Card extension in Germany. The pandemic has caused delays in the processing of applications, made it more challenging for applicants to meet the salary and financial requirements, and highlighted the need for digitalization in the application process.

Comparison of Blue Card with Other Work Permits

EU Blue Card Vs Green Card

The EU Blue Card is a work permit that allows highly skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in an EU member state. It was introduced in 2009 through the EU Directive 2009/50/EC. It has several advantages over other work permits, including the Green Card in the United States.

One of the main advantages of the EU Blue Card is that it allows the holder to work and live in any EU member state, whereas the Green Card only allows the holder to work and live in the United States. Additionally, the EU Blue Card allows the holder to bring their family with them, whereas the Green Card only allows the holder’s immediate family to accompany them.

Another advantage of the EU Blue Card is that it is easier to obtain than the Green Card. The application process for the EU Blue Card is less complex and time-consuming than the Green Card application process.

Comparison with Other Countries

The EU Blue Card is not the only work permit available to highly skilled workers. Other countries such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom also have work permits for skilled workers.

Compared to these countries, the EU Blue Card has several advantages. For example, it allows the holder to work and live in any EU member state, whereas work permits in other countries only allow the holder to work and live in that specific country. Additionally, the EU Blue Card is easier to obtain than work permits in some other countries, such as Australia and Canada.

However, some countries have work permits that are more advantageous in certain respects. For example, the United States has the H-1B visa, which allows the holder to work in the United States for up to six years and can lead to permanent residency. In contrast, the EU Blue Card is only valid for four years and does not automatically lead to permanent residency.

In conclusion, the EU Blue Card is a highly advantageous work permit for skilled workers looking to work and live in an EU member state. While it may not be as advantageous as work permits in some other countries in certain respects, it offers several advantages over other work permits and is easier to obtain.

Important Contacts and Hotlines

If you are looking to extend your Blue Card in Germany, it’s important to know who to contact for help and guidance. Here are some important contacts and hotlines that you can reach out to:

  • Hotline for Highly Skilled Professionals: The Federal Employment Agency operates a hotline for highly skilled professionals, including Blue Card holders. You can call them at +49 30 1815 1111 for assistance with your Blue Card extension.

  • Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte: Schlun & Elseven is a German law firm that specializes in immigration law. They can provide legal assistance with your Blue Card extension and answer any questions you may have. You can contact them through their website or call them at +49 221 93295960.

  • Central Office for Foreign Education: If you are planning to pursue further education in Germany, the Central Office for Foreign Education can help you with the recognition of your foreign qualifications. They can also provide guidance on applying for a Blue Card extension for the purpose of further education. You can contact them through their website or call them at +49 228 8820.

It’s important to note that while these contacts can provide valuable assistance, they may not be able to answer all of your questions or provide a solution to your specific situation. It’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer for personalized advice and guidance.

Updates and Regulations for Blue Card Extension

If you are a non-EU citizen who wants to work and live in Germany, you may apply for a Blue Card. This card allows you to stay and work in Germany for up to four years. However, if you want to stay longer, you need to extend your Blue Card. Here are some updates and regulations you need to know about the Blue Card extension in Germany.

Regulations

To extend your Blue Card, you need to meet certain requirements. You must have a valid passport, a job offer that meets the minimum salary requirement, and a university degree or comparable qualification. You also need to have health insurance and a clean criminal record.

Necessary documents

To apply for a Blue Card extension, you need to submit certain documents. These include a valid passport, a job contract, proof of health insurance, and proof of your university degree or comparable qualification. You also need to provide evidence of your current salary and tax payments.

Expiry

Your Blue Card will expire after four years. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for an extension. You can apply for an extension up to three months before your Blue Card expires.

Non-EU citizens

If you are a non-EU citizen, you need to apply for a Blue Card before coming to Germany. You cannot apply for a Blue Card if you are already in Germany on a tourist visa or any other type of visa.

Outside the EU

If you are outside the EU and want to apply for a Blue Card, you need to apply at the German embassy or consulate in your home country.

Migration and residence

If you want to change your job while on a Blue Card, you need to inform the Federal Employment Agency. You also need to meet the minimum salary requirement for your new job. If you lose your job, you have three months to find a new job that meets the minimum salary requirement. If you cannot find a new job, you have to leave Germany.

In summary, to extend your Blue Card in Germany, you need to meet certain requirements and submit the necessary documents. Your Blue Card will expire after four years, and you need to apply for an extension if you want to stay longer. If you are a non-EU citizen, you need to apply for a Blue Card before coming to Germany, and if you want to change your job while on a Blue Card, you need to inform the Federal Employment Agency.

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