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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blue Card - Progress in Germany

Last time we looked Germany was one of six countries the EU was ever so gently pushing to implement the Blue Card Program.

It appears that some progress has been made just in time for Christmas.  This press release from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology released earlier this month said:
The Federal Government adopted important measures in Cabinet today to improve the rules on residence, making it much easier for highly qualified and skilled workers from other countries to access the German labour market. The Government is thus taking pro-active steps to counter the impending skills shortage.
Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, stated: "These decisions are a quantum leap in immigration policy. The new rules introduce a managed immigration policy for the first time which will also take account of the acute skills shortage in the German economy. Here, the drop in the salary thresholds is an important step. Germany needs to be an attractive location in the global competition to recruit the best brains and talents."
Everything I have seen seems to indicate that Germany really needs these highly-skilled workers - it's a combination of a decent economy, troubling demographics and predictions of severe labor shortages in certain sectors. 

What is very interesting is that the press release reports that they have reduced the salary requirements:  44,000 Euros (58,000 USD) a year unless the worker is desperately needed in a sector that is really hurting for skilled labor (IT or engineering, for example) in which case the threshold drops to 33,000 Euros (43,300 USD) a year. This site is also reporting that Merkel's cabinet decided to drop the requirement that German companies first look for candidates within other EU countries before choosing third-country nationals.  Blue Card workers will receive a permanent right to residence in Germany after two years.

Next step:  approval from the Parliament.  Could those of you watching Germany let us know when it passes?

18 comments:

Kiran said...

Thats great News

Victoria FERAUGE said...

I agree, Kiran. Very encouraging. I think we'll be seeing even more good news at the start of the new year.

Bhonpu said...

Fascinating. It has taken a while to come through but hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Any opinions on the odds of it making it through the Parliament unscathed? :)

Like you pointed out in a previous post, the info is quite scattered and hard to come by.
Also realised a language specific search (thank god for google translate) helps cos some of the press releases are in the native language and the translated versions are buried deeper in the google results. Just FYI.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Bhonpu,

You are absolutely right - best to search on the original language. I'm going to see if I can come up with a list of terms in some of the EU languages and see if that doesn't help us all when we do our Web searches for Blue Card info. Thanks for the tip.

What is really remarkable about this situation is that the Germans seem to be loosening up while the French are doing just the opposite. Makes you wonder where Europe is in all this? :-)

If there is anyone in Germany who can explain the political context behind all this, I think it would be greatly appreciated.

Victoria

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria,

Thank you very much for very detailed report regarding EU Blue Card.

I reside and work in Malta, the legislation of the EU Blue Card has been drafted up recently, however the application procedure hasn't implemented yet.
It is reported that from 2012 the EU Blue card in Malta will be available.

Hope it helps you. Merci beaucoup!

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Thank you very much for stopping by and giving us the latest information about Malta. Some good news for the New Year!

All the best,

Victoria

Anonymous said...

en.pons.eu will it help?

kiran

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Nice site, Kiran. Thank you. Yes, I think this would be very helpful.

Victoria

arvind said...

Hi,

Looks like Germany getting the direction slow but sure. But moving there is itself would be challenge for professionals if they do not have good German language. Blue Card would come in future, other language people they do not accept. I think the move by france is bit conservative and slow for skilled worker. All the Best those who are looking for future in EU.

Regards
Arvind

Kumar said...

Victoria, thank you for providing these useful information.

Unfortunately, for me the hurdle seems unmoved. This is because it appears that every European country implementing this scheme wants the candidate to have a job offer. And in my particular work sector of engineering, the employers mostly want someone who is already eligible to work.. so its a vicious cycle. The situation is worsened when mediator recruitment agencies are involved.. because they disregard my job application without bothering to ask the prospective employer whether they are willing to sponsor. From time to time I come across lucrative jobs in Germany but the above mentioned things happen.

Don't know what I should do

Anonymous said...

France Looks good. http://www.europeanunionbluecard.com
Kiran

Nishant said...

France has also seen moving forward with blue card scheme, with introducing it in immigration legislation. Please check : http://www.europeanunionbluecard.com/?p=208

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Kumar, I know it seems really difficult and it is. I think the best thing to do would be to set up interviews if you can with a few companies and then try to come to France to interview. You might also want to see if your home country can help - are there any subsidiaries in Europe that might need people like you? That might be a way in.

Thanks you, Kiran and Nishant for the links. I'm going to check them out and others - I think we are about ready for another update. I'll post as soon as I get more info.

Thank you all so much for following this blog, for reading and most especially for sharing your info with others.

All the best,

Victoria

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late for this post, but just to add some perspective, this reform has the backing of the German government coalition and the opposition's main concern is that the reforms don't go far enough. So, it will almost certainly pass, probably in about half a year.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

That is very good news indeed. Thank you for sharing that. I've been a bit remiss lately and haven't looked at how the Blue Card implementation is going. I'll try to rectify that in the next few days.

Victoria

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

http://www.india.diplo.de/Vertretung/indien/en/__pr/Business__News/Blue__Card.html

http://www.expatica.com/de/news/german-news/germany-to-tackle-skills-shortage-with-blue-card-_212102.html

cheers,
Kiran

Joseph said...

What is exact meaning of blue card?
Clear Business Cards
Scratch Cards
Printed Gift Cards

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for stopping by and for your question.

The EU Blue card is a EU-wide work permit for highly-qualified migrants from non=EU countries. You can find out more here:

http://thefranco-americanflophouse.blogspot.fr/2011/03/european-blue-card.html

And check out the relatively new EU Immigration Portal for specific country information

http://ec.europa.eu/immigration/tabHome.do;jsessionid=51GhTgPGGnZfSZGdwD2ncYRl6tW4WRzgKLqkxph2zcbLVNKVr2pt!-1494795685!1323323300349

All the best,

Victoria