I’m currently on a Working Holiday Visa in Germany, which has raised more questions about my work and tax situation here in Berlin. Today, I stumbled across the site Make it in Germany. The name is pretty cheesy, but the information is bloody fantastic, and the website is actually easy to navigate. From the site, I came across the Quick-Check, and decided to take the 10-second survey. Turns out, I’m eligible for the so-called EU Blue Card starting today (1 August, 2012). Yes, TODAY. If that’s not a sign, then I don’t know what is.
The website doesn’t say much about what the EU Blue Card is, except this:
From 1 August onwards, you will be entitled to a residence and work permit – known as the “Blue Card” – once you have received a job offer from a German company, provided that your annual gross salary is at least €44,800. If the salary is below this threshold, you can work as a doctor or in one of the “MINT” (mathematics, IT, natural sciences, technology/engineering) professions in Germany if you earn a similar salary to that of German employees – that is, at least €34,944 a year.
Very ambiguous and sounds like there’s a giant loophole waiting to be exploited. After doing some careful research (meaning Googling), I came across this site and also this one — I’m not sure how accurate either one of these sites are, but the EU Blue Card sounds like a very sweet deal. Some of the highlights are:
- All I need to do is earn a certain amount of money, being ‘highly qualified’ in something, and have a degree. Tick, tick, and tick.
- I’m possibly able to work and stay in the EU for up to four years.
- I can apply for a German permanent resident permit after 33 months, or fast track to 21 months if I’m sufficient in the German language at the B1 level.
- I can stay outside of the EU for up to 12 months without losing the right of residence in Germany.
- I must stay in Germany for 18 months and then I can live and work in another EU country.
I’m wondering if the Blue Card is a better option than the ‘artist’ visa (aka the ‘freelance’ visa). With the artist visa I can freelance with multiple companies, but the Blue Card’s biggest appeal is being able to gain permanent resident status in under two years.
Well, back to the drawing board with the whole visa and work situation.
*** UPDATE: 8 Aug, 2013 ***
In the end, I applied for the freelance visa and recently got it approved. To read about my experience and tips, read here.