The EU Blue Card has made it more straightforward than ever for professionals outside of the European Union to work in Germany and other EU member states. To benefit from the EU Blue Card in Germany, the applicant must reach a certain gross income threshold. However, this means that, as a residence permit, it is strongly linked to the holder’s employment and that difficulties can arise when the person on the EU Blue Card has a change of employer. In this article, we will outline how the cardholder should proceed in the event of a change of employment.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we are a full-service law firm with offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf. Our business immigration team advises on all German immigration law and residence permit issues. Should you find yourself in a position where you need specialised legal assistance or legal representation, our lawyers can be reached using our details below this article.

If you have a particular issue or legal question concerning German Immigration Law, you can contact our law office anytime. Our lawyers for German Immigration Law can be reached by phone, email and also provide video conferencing options. For more legal information, please visit our Immigration Information Germany Center.

Change of Employer and the EU Blue Card

As the EU Blue Card is linked to the person’s employment, there can be challenges when the cardholder changes their employment. Should the cardholder wish to change their employer within the first two years of employment, they will require the authorisation of the German immigration services. This applies in cases where the company they wish to move to is within Germany. Our lawyers can be consulted on matters concerning the application for this authorisation and will assist you in challenging the immigration services’ decision should they decide against you.

Should the cardholder want to change employment to a company based in another EU country (one where the EU Blue Card is used), they can make that change after 18 months of continuous employment. They should notify the local immigration services of the new country about the move within one month of arrival.

There are also provisions for cases where cardholders find themselves without a job. The EU Blue Card’s validity remains in place for three months following the end of a contract, enabling the holder to find a new job. However, it should be noted that there is a responsibility for the EU Blue Card holder to communicate their current status to the competent immigration authorities of the Member State of residence (i.e. the German immigration authorities). Open and transparent communication is the best way of avoiding legal disputes or challenges.

After the two years, if the cardholder was employed continuously at their company during that time, there is no need to amend the EU Blue Card when changing employer. However, the new employment contract should also reach the required threshold for the employee to be eligible for the EU Blue Card.

Extending the EU Blue Card

It should be noted that the EU Blue Card is intended as a temporary residence permit. It is valid for four years, or in cases where the duration of the employment contract is shorter than that period, it is issued for the term of that employment contract, plus three months. These three months allows its holder to seek alternative employment if they wish to continue living in Germany. Also, the applicant can extend the EU Blue Card if the requirements are met and the application is made appropriately.

For EU Blue Cardholders looking to make Germany their home, there is the opportunity to gain permanent residence after 33 months (or 21 months in cases where they have the required B1 standard of German). Once again, this needs to be applied for, and the application must meet the requirements for permanent residency. If you require assistance with the application, don’t hesitate to contact our legal team for specialised assistance.

Applying for the EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a residence permit that allows professionals from outside the EU to live and work in the European Union’s different countries. It is valid in most EU member states (Ireland and Denmark are the only exceptions). It is legislated for under § 18b German Residence Act. To apply for the EU Blue Card, the applicant must have a university degree (one recognised in Germany) and earn above the threshold of €56,400 gross salary (2022 requirement). For those in positions with work shortages in Germany, the minimum threshold is €43,992. Positions with work shortages in Germany include information technology, medicine, and mathematics.

For full details about the benefits of the EU Blue Card and the application process, please visit our EU Blue Card page.

Applicants should also only seek the EU Blue Card when they have a concrete job offer in Germany. For those without a job offer in Germany but who are interested in working in Germany, other options such as the Job Seeker Visa are also available. If you apply for an EU Blue Card and require further advice and assistance, our lawyers are here to help.

Legal Advice for EU Blue Cards, the Change of Employer and Other Immigration Issues

Should you have further legal questions or require the specialised assistance of business immigration lawyers, our team is here to help you. Our qualified lawyers have many years of experience with applications, procedures and negotiations at the immigration authorities and will, of course, represent you in the event of any difficulties.

With offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf and conference rooms in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt, you can benefit from our support and advice throughout Germany. Also, we offer our services in English and German for smooth communication. Contact us today using our contact details below.