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  1. Greetings all.  I'm planning on retiring from the US Military in the near future and we are exploring employment options post-military in Germany.  I have been told that if one applies for a German Visa and obtains permanent residency status they would be ineligible to apply for NAF and Government Civilian positions (GS) because of permanent resident and SOFA status.  Can anyone verify if this true?   I understand that someone could apply for a GS or NAF job, following the mandatory waiting period post-retirement, but we are looking into full immigration into German residency because the German Finanzamt's tendency to back tack SOFA protected DoD personnel, especially in the Rheinland-Pfalz area.  To avoid the unnecessary tax trouble, we wanted to pursue residency.  However, my job options would be limited to either German only positions or contractor jobs.   Just looking to see if anyone can verify or provide more information on this.
  2. Hi all,   I was wondering if anyone has experience applying for the blue card from abroad (national visa from a German consulate in the US). I have a peculiar situation and I'm trying to see if there might be problems at the German consulate.   1) I have a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from a third world dump that's university H+ and entspricht on Anabin, which is also what the requirement is. The program of study mentioned on the website is "alle Studienrichtungen" so I am assuming that covers mine also. However, I also have a Master's of Science (MS) degree in Electrical Engineering from a much, much better school in the US, institute H+ but weirdly my major (which is a very common engineering major) isn't listed, even though there are many other "uncommon" Studienrichtungen listed on anabin for MS degrees. Can I just use my bachelor's degree instead since it satisfies the requirements of university qualification needed for a blue card?   Additional info : the job is in Finance/IT but needs a quantitative background/experience and fluent German, the salary is 85K so I don't think there needs to be a Vorrangprufung or a BA Vorabzustimmung or whatever.   2) Housing : the requirements for my local consulate say this : Proof of housing in Germany incl. full address (e.g. rental agreement, hotel reservation or invitation letter in case of private accommodation with name, full address and passport copy of the inviting person)   I think it's impossible to get a rental contract with a German landlord before I even have a visa to enter Germany. Can I just book some hotel for 1-2 weeks on booking.com (even if I don't have flight tickets or an exact departure date for Germany) and then cancel for free after I get the visa? In the meantime, my future employer has said he will arrange housing for me, but obviously he needs more time for that and I want to get the visa appointment done with as soon as possible since there might be a long processing time.   I appreciate any and all responses. Thanks!