With the United Kingdom having left the European Union (“Brexit”), citizens of the UK no longer benefit from Freedom of Movement within the European Union. This change came into place at the start of 2021. UK citizens planning on living and working in Germany now require a residence permit. One option is the EU Blue Card, which allows its holder to live and work in Germany for four years. There are many advantages to the EU Blue Card, including enabling its holders to have accelerated access to permanent residency.

Before Brexit, UK citizens did not need residence permits to work in Germany; it may be daunting to apply for them now. Companies that typically hire employees from the UK may also need legal assistance overseeing the applications.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we are a full-service law firm specialising in business immigration. Our lawyers deeply understand immigration matters and will provide clear guidance on all requirements. Our lawyers offer comprehensive legal services and excellent legal representation if any further difficulties are involved. Contact us now to start a beneficial partnership today.

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.

EU Blue Card: The Benefits

The EU Blue Card allows its holder to work and reside in Germany for four years. It has made living in Europe more straightforward. Also, it provides holders with a clear avenue for permanent residency as following the 33 months, the applicant can seek a permanent residence permit. The accelerated option of seeking permanent residency after 21 months should the holder demonstrate that they possess German skills of at least a B1 level. However, if your employment contract is for less than four years, your EU Blue Card will be limited to the employment relationship duration plus three months. For UK citizens looking to work in Germany post-Brexit, an EU Blue Card is one of the most attractive residence permits.

The other benefits of the EU Blue Card are that it allows for family reunification. There are no German language requirements, and the possibility of seeking another job should complications arise with employment contracts during the holder’s time in Germany. Here are the benefits in more detail.

Family Reunification in Germany: EU Blue Card and Brexit

As an EU Blue Cardholder, you can live in Germany with your family. Family reunification under the EU Blue Card allows the holder to have family members such as their spouse (or long-term partner), their children, and others dependent on the holder (including step-children) to live in Germany with them. This dependency must be proven in the case of children over the age of 21.

When considering bringing the family to Germany, the holder must demonstrate that they have the financial resources to support their family members and that the family members have the required health insurance and suitable accommodation. Family reunification in Germany after Brexit is a significant concern. Our article on “Family Reunification: Third-Country Nationals” explains the options available to UK citizens in the current situation.

No German Language Requirement to Apply for EU Blue Card

In contrast to other residence permits and visas, there is no German language requirement for the applicant. However, there is an incentive to learn German because EU Blue Card holders with a B1 standard of German can seek permanent residency after 21 months instead of the standard 33 months.

Equal Treatment under the Law

EU Blue Cardholders cannot be treated less than their German and EU counterparts. EU Blue Cardholders should be treated the same per their labour and employment law rights, salary conditions, social conditions, and children’s right to attend schools in Germany. When an EU Blue Cardholder suspects they are facing discrimination, they should contact a legal representative to analyse their case.

If you lose your job, the EU Blue Card also permits the cardholder an extra three months in Germany. The EU Blue Cardholder can use this time to secure another form of employment in Germany. However, it should be considered that the salary conditions are in place for the new job as well. That three months can also be used as extra time to organise moving back to the UK if preferred.

Applying for the EU Blue Card – The Requirements Post-Brexit

The EU Blue Card is legislated for in German law under § 18b German Residence Act. Successfully applying for the EU Blue Card involves ensuring that your application fulfils all the requirements. Our lawyers assist clients from all over the world with their applications. These applications can be made in Germany or elsewhere, including the UK. However, to apply for the EU Blue Card, there must be a solid job offer that meets the salary requirements.

Salary Requirements for the EU Blue Card in 2021

As of January 2022, the minimum amount a person can earn and still be eligible for an EU Blue Card is 43,800 (gross salary). However, the salary requirements for positions in work shortages are €39,682.80. In Germany, employment areas with work shortages refer to information and communications specialists, engineers, medical doctors, teachers, and mathematicians.

University Degree

When applying for an EU Blue Card, the applicant must hold a university degree from either a German or a foreign university. The university degree must be comparable to one from a German university. Should you have questions about the recognition of university degrees, our legal team is happy to support you. Additionally, those interested in the EU Blue Card can use the following website to determine whether your university and degree are comparable to a German degree: https://anabin.kmk.org/anabin.html.

There are other options outside of the EU Blue Card for those seeking to work in Germany but who do not hold a university degree, such as the provisions within The Skilled Immigration Act 2020. This Act is concerned with enticing employees with a vocational education background to live and work in Germany, particularly those in the Information and Communication Technology sector. It should be noted that, in most cases, for the Skilled Immigration Act, there is a requirement that the applicant has a B1 standard of German.

Employment Contract / Offer

An employment contract offer is a requirement when applying for the EU Blue Card. The residence permit can be applied for in Germany or the UK, but having a concrete job offer is necessary. Should you wish to look for a suitable job in Germany for the EU Blue Card, the Job Seekers’ Visa option is available. This visa allows its holder to spend six months in Germany to seek suitable employment.

Representation in Immigration and Residence Law

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers are available for all German immigration law questions and those concerning the EU Blue Card and Brexit. We have helped private clients worldwide in their applications for the EU Blue Card and other German residence permits. Additionally, our business immigration team advises and supports businesses concerning their options in Germany in hiring professionals from outside of the European Union.

Contact us today using the details provided below this article. Our team offers our assistance in English and German. We operate out of our offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf and have conference rooms around Germany, in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Our team of lawyers is ready when you are ready for all legal questions concerning the EU Blue Card and Brexit and other Brexit and German law-related matters.