EU Blue Card in effect from 1 August 2012
Germany's 'Blue Card initiative' to attract more highly qualified workers to Germany enters into effect on 1 August 2012. In addition to the Recognition Act, which facilitates the recognition of foreign professional credentials, several changes have been made to the German Residence Act in order to implement the European Union's Directive on Highly Qualified Workers.
"Today's ideas are what make tomorrow's technologies, products and services possible," explains Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan. "This is why we are providing targeted funding for young academics and outstanding achievements, including measures that make it easier for specialists and scientists from abroad to come to Germany. Initiatives like our strategy for highly skilled workers, the Recognition Act, and the Blue Card have been important points in setting our political course."
The changes to Germany's Residence Act include regulations regarding the issuance of the new EU Blue Card - a residence permit intended for highly skilled third state nationals seeking employment in Germany. The new Residence Act also offers new benefits for foreign students and recent graduates of German universities: employment restrictions during the course of studies will be increased from the previous limit of 90 full or 180 half days to 120 full or 240 half days during the year.
University graduates are now permitted 18 months (instead of the previous 12) to seek employment after the completion of their degrees in Germany, and graduates of vocational training have one year to seek appropriate employment. Previously, employment during this period was limited to 90 days annually, but the new regulations lift this restriction.
More information on the Blue Card initiative is available online at:
Bundesregierung.de An article that outlines Germany's implementation of the EU's Directive on Highly Qualified Workers
Europa.eu European Union legislation on entry and residence of highly qualified workers