Blue Card to Permanent Residence in Germany

I moved to Germany in October 2018 from India after finding a backend developer role in a startup in Berlin which provided visa sponsorship. Companies in Germany can choose the fast-tracked procedure for skilled workers. A skilled worker is defined as the following by the Federal Foreign Office.

There are two categories of skilled workers, those with professional training and those with academic training. Degrees earned abroad must be officially recognised in Germany. Skilled workers with professional training must have completed an officially recognised professional training programme, which according to German law must be at least two years in length. Skilled workers with academic training must have earned a degree from an institute of higher education. Skilled workers may take up a position only if it is considered qualified employment.

As a result, a lot of companies in Germany offer visa sponsorship. This is also common in Netherlands which has a favorable 30% ruling for the employer.

Permanent Residence - Niederlassungserlaubnis

I met the requirements to obtain Blue Card in 2018 and since then, it has changed a bit. The conditions I met were

  • A skilled worker
  • Graduate with a degree certificate from a recognized university
  • Have an employment contract in the same field as my degree
  • Make at least 44,304 Euros (this was lower in 2018)

To apply for Niederlassungserlaubnis in Berlin as a blue card holder, this is where I qualified

  • Possess the EU Blue Card
  • 33 months of employment (must contribute to the pension fund Rentenverischerung)
    • Could have been reduced to 21 months if I had B1 German Certificate
  • Main residence in Berlin
  • Health Insurance

Timeline of my application

I had completed my German courses (without the exams) in July 2020, so as soon as it was legally possible, I sent in an application to Ausländerbehörde.

  • 02.07.2020: Send application via the form in berlin.de for the department B2 after 21 months in Germany
  • 03.07.2020: Automatic Response next day of acknowledgement
  • 05.01.2021: Months of no response for follow up emails, someone said that I should contact department B1.
  • 06.03.2021: After following up, a case officer asked for updated documents.
  • 10.04.2021: So I submitted my latest Arbeitsbescheinigung (Proof of employment), Rentenverischerung (Pension contributions, which take at least 2-4 weeks to arrive), salary slips, etc.
  • 19.04.2021 to 17.05.2021: All subsequent emails or requests for appointments bounced because the case officer's inbox was full.
Das Postfach des Empfängers ist voll und kann zurzeit keine Nachrichten annehmen. Versuchen Sie, die Nachricht später erneut zu senden, oder wenden Sie sich direkt an den Empfänger.
  • 27.05.2021:  After submitting the form again in the last week, another case officer emailed me asking for updated documents. They said I should wait until 33 months since I don't have a B1 certificate, to give me an appointment.
  • 04.08.2021: Received an appointment for September 2021.

The day of appointment at Ausländerbehörde

Showed up with the latest Payslips, Proof of employment, Passport and a biometric photo. I switched my employer in August 2021, and I read that being in probation could be an obstacle to "Secured means of subsistance including health insurance". The case officer asked for my contract, proof of employment and my resignation from the previous employers.

They didn't ask for the language certificate, the entire conversation / interview was in German which they said would be enough to show that my German is at a sufficient level. This took around 20ish minutes and was pleasant. Was asked to pay the fee of 113 Euros and that I should receive the electronic card in 6 to 8 weeks.

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