Changes in Germany Blue Card Rules
Germany has implemented new regulations for the EU Blue Card, which took effect on November 18, 2023. These changes aim to create a more flexible framework for EU Blue Card holders. The modifications involve an expanded list of shortage occupations, a reduced salary threshold, and relaxed rules regarding family reunification and employment changes.
As part of its commitment to the 2021 EU Blue Card Directive, Germany is aligning its policies with a national transposition deadline of November 18, 2023. Notably, individuals employed in newly designated shortage occupations, such as information and communications technology service managers, professional services managers, school educators, manufacturing managers, veterinarians, dentists, pharmacists, and nursing professionals, will benefit from a lower salary threshold.
Moreover, those who have obtained their degree within the three years preceding their EU Blue Card application will also enjoy the advantages of the lowered salary threshold. Additional workers in shortage occupations will benefit from a lower minimum salary (EUR 39,682.80 for 2023 and EUR 41,041.80 for 2024), coupled with the perks of the EU Blue Card, including an accelerated path to permanent residency.
Family reunification processes for EU Blue Card holders are also improved. When family members seek a German residence permit after residing in another EU Member State, EU Blue Card holders are exempt from demonstrating sufficient living space and the need to secure their livelihood. This exemption is designed to facilitate family unity and enhance the overall mobility experience.
Furthermore, the process for changing employers under the new rules has been streamlined. During the first 12 months of employment, EU Blue Card holders must notify immigration authorities about any changes in employer or position, with a 30-day window for authorities to reject the application. After completing 12 months under the EU Blue Card, holders can change employers and positions without notifying immigration authorities, promoting greater flexibility in their professional trajectory.