A lowdown on German Blue Cards
* The blue cards, which became effective from August 1, 2012, provide fast track application processing for highly skilled, non-EU nationals seeking to live and work in Germany.
* To be eligible, a non-EU national must have a confirmed job offer or valid work contract with sponsoring employer, hold a university degree, and earn a minimum annual salary, subject to change each year. The minimum salary for the first year is 44,800, or 34,944 if the applicant will work in a shortage occupation.
* Employers sponsoring applicants who will work in a shortage occupation and earn less than 44,800 will need the consent of local labour authorities,unless the applicant holds a degree from a German university.
* Blue Card holders will enjoy a streamlined path to German permanent residence. Spouses of Blue Card holders qualify for a dependent permit without having to meet German language requirements and are entitled to work incident to their dependent status, without need to apply for employment authorisation.
* After residing in Germany for 18 months, cardholders may enter other EU countries visa-free and apply for blue cards in those countries, subject to local rules.
* After completing their studies, foreign students can remain in Germany for 18 months, instead of the earlier 12 months, to look for jobs.
Warm Regards / Ganesh Srinivasan
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