Changing jobs while having EU Blue Card in Germany is a bit confusing. In 2020, I switched jobs in Berlin while holding a EU Blue Card. I will write about my experience, and an alternative way on what you need to do to change jobs.
EU Blue Cards are issued for a maximum of four years (in cases of a permanent contract), or until your temporary contract expires. You receive the residence permit and a Zusatzblatt (Supplementary sheet in Green color) which has your employer's name and your job title.
There are two categories under which an EU Blue Card holder usually falls under:
- Have worked in Germany with EU Blue Card for at least 2 years
You don't need to inform the German authorities about switching your job.
- Changing jobs in less than 2 years of holding an EU Blue Card
Changing Jobs with EU Blue Card under 2 years
If your employment in Germany with EU Blue card is under 2 years, you have to keep several things in mind:
- You have to get permission for your local German authorities
- You must have an employment contract from your new employer
- Your new job must be of similar profession as mentioned on your Blue Card / Zusatzblatt
- You must meet the requirements for the EU Blue Card again (see below)
- You must submit an application at your local Foreigners Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung / Ausländerbehörde)
Overall, the Authorities want to ensure you are in a suitable role related to your previous profession, or studies, and that you are paid fairly.
Requirements for an EU Blue Card
From BAMF, these are the requirements for an EU Blue Card
- You are a graduate: If you did not acquire your degree in Germany, it must either be recognised or comparable to a German degree. Information on the equivalence and recognition of foreign degrees is available at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de.
- You have an employment contract or a binding job offer.
- You have a minimum annual gross salary of 56,400 Euros. A reduced minimum annual gross salary of 43,992 Euros applies to employment in the occupational fields of mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences, engineering and human medicine (not including dentistry) (as of 2022 - the salary thresholds are readjusted for each calendar year).
- The employment must match the qualification.
Documents required for changing jobs
- Form "Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis Stellenbeschreibung" filled out - You can find this on your local authorities office website
- Copy of the work / employment contract (a draft is enough)
- Passport - If you apply in writing, submit copies of your passport as well.
- Certificate of registration at the main residence (Anmeldung) or
- lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord
Several people mentioned that they were not asked about Anmeldung or confirmation from their landlord, this could be optional.
There are no costs involved for amending your EU Blue Card for a change of employers.
Appointments for changing an employer
Here is a list of some places where you can find appointments and more information on changing your employer.
For Berlin, read here on finding appointments at Ausländerbehörde in Berlin.
Changing Jobs with EU Blue Card without approval
From Berlin's page about changing employers:
- You have already worked for at least two years with a residence permit for the purpose of employment or
- you have resided continuously in Germany for at least three years with a residence permit (except for study)
- in addition, no time limit is fixed by law for your type of employment (such as, for example, in the case of speciality chefs or within the framework of an exchange of personnel of an internationally operating company).
You can then move to another skilled employment without prior approval. The Foreigners Registration Office will provide you with written confirmation of this on request.
Changing employer's name on EU Blue Card
If your employer has remained the same, but the name has changed, you don't have to change your EU Blue Card or Zusatzblatt.
Quicker processing time for changing jobs on EU Blue Card
The overall processing time for changing jobs on EU Blue Card can take from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. This is quite long, however you can make use of services to improve the processing time.
In Berlin, your employer can reach out to Business Immigration Service directly. In other cities, the best way would be to submit all the documents you have at once, to ensure there are no delays.
If you receive no response via email, the best way would be to send a registered mail (Einschreiben) which requires an acknowledgement of receival of the letter.
Can I apply for Blue Card Visa outside of Germany?
If it's your first job in Germany, you can get your a temporary residence permit or visa in your country. Once you are in Germany, book an appointment at your Ausländerbehörde, apply for a Blue Card or a longer work permit.
Certain citizenships allow you to enter Germany and then find a job. In this case, you can apply for your work permit directly in Germany.