Blue Card with foreign degree - Is approval from Bundesagentur für Arbeit required?

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Hi Everyone,

 

I have a job offer from a German company and intend to apply for a Blue Card. My profession is one of the "shortage" professions (IT) and my salary will be > 50,800 €. My degree is from a foreign (but recognised) university.

 

My question is: Will I need approval from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit? The prerequisites listed on the this page are unclear:

 

https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324659/en/

 

It's the clause starting with "However" in the "Approval of the German Federal Employment Agency" section that confuses the issue. Is this an exception to the previous clause? I.e., is this stating that approval from Bundesagentur für Arbeit is always required if one holds a foreign degree?

 

Has anyone personally experienced this situation? I'd appreciate your feedback.

 

Cheers

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9 hours ago, MrMiles said:

It's the clause starting with "However" in the "Approval of the German Federal Employment Agency" section that confuses the issue. Is this an exception to the previous clause? I.e., is this stating that approval from Bundesagentur für Arbeit is always required if one holds a foreign degree?

 

 

By German logic, these requirements are laid out quite clearly. In the first case, one holds a German degree; in the second case, a non-German one. The law distinguishes between these two circumstances.

 

According to the wording in the German version:

 

Eine Zustimmung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit ist hingegen erforderlich bei

  • Beschäftigung in einem Mangelberuf
  • und Besitz eines ausländischen Hochschulabschlusses.

 

approval is required (always is implied as there's nothing to contradict this) with a foreign degree.

 

Keep in mind that the German versions of rules and regulations are the binding ones.

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Thank you @techgirl, that was my reading as well... But, I now have received this response directly from the Ausländerbehörde which contradicts this:

 

Quote

wenn Sie einen anerkannten ausländischen Hochschulabschluss haben mit einem Arbeitsvertrag mit Bruttojahresgehalt in Höhe von 51999,96 (die Gehaltsgrenze für Zustimmungsfreie Blaue Karte EU für 2018), können Sie die Blaue Karte ohne Zustimmung der Arbeitsagentur beantragen.
 
Die Mindestgehaltsgrenze für Blaue Karte für 2018 ist 40560 Euro/Jahr. Bei dieser Gehaltsgrenze müssen Sie aber die Zustimmung der Arbeitsagentur beantragen.

 

In English (bold emphasis added):

 

Quote

if you have a recognised foreign university degree with an employment contract with a gross annual salary of 51999.96 (the salary limit for the EU free blue card for 2018), you can apply for the blue card without the consent of the Employment Agency.
 
The minimum salary limit for the 2018 Blue Card is 40560 Euro/year. With this salary limit, however, you must apply for the approval of the employment agency.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

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Sounds like the ABH has interpreted the law in a way favorable to your case. I can see how this would work. If the job pays over 52,000, then it doesn't matter that it's in a shortage occupation, and the first rule applies. The "German degree" requirement only applies in shortage occupations at the lower salary level.

 

Good luck in your new job!

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31 minutes ago, MrMiles said:

if you have a recognised foreign university degree with an employment contract with a gross annual salary of 51999.96 (the salary limit for the EU free blue card for 2018), you can apply for the blue card without the consent of the Employment Agency.

 

I can confirm this - I have a foreign (but recognized in Germany) degree and had an offer that exceeded the upper limit, and I didn't need the additional approval. This was in Berlin in 2014.

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Hopefully this information doesn't come too late to be useful.

 

I applied for a Blue Card in 2016 having a foreign degree from a recognized institution. The ABH wanted to see proof that the degree was recognized in Germany. Luckily I had anticipated this in advance and had my degree recognized by the KMK. It cost 300€ and took 3 months (after I gently reminded them).

 

So at my ABH appointment, I handed over the Zeugnisbewertung from the KMK and they had no problem to issue me a Blue Card. I did not have a check from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit to have my Blue Card approved.

 

It's up to you if you want to spend the money to have your degree recognized by the KMK, 300€ isn't cheap, but it does satisfy the people at the ABH. :D

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In fact, I just received my blue card a few weeks ago. I had no problems at all. My salary is above the limit, so no approval was required from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit. And for my foreign degree, I just went to the online ZAB database where you can search for foreign institutions which are already recognized. Mine was, so I just printed out the search results and submitted that, and they were happy with it.

 

The database is here, for anyone who needs it:

 

http://anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/institutionen.html

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I am in a very tricky situation. I just got a offer from a company with salary above the required limit, which I took to the KVR office along with my Masters and Bachelors degree. The officer asked me to get the job description as well as requirements that I had to fulfill to get this job, which I duly got and returned to the office. The officer then said that the job requirements mentions business management experience needed for which I should have an MBA (which I luckily do). However, in the anabin database, my MBA institute is mentioned as H+/H- (and imagine I did my MBA from Europe!) Now they have sent me to another office (called foreign qualifications advisory) to get advice on how can I get my MBA recognized in Germany. Unbelievable! Has any one been in that situation and can share their experiences on the process going forward?

 

thanks in advance. 

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22 hours ago, breakfree said:

I am in a very tricky situation. I just got a offer from a company with salary above the required limit, which I took to the KVR office along with my Masters and Bachelors degree. The officer asked me to get the job description as well as requirements that I had to fulfill to get this job, which I duly got and returned to the office. The officer then said that the job requirements mentions business management experience needed for which I should have an MBA (which I luckily do). However, in the anabin database, my MBA institute is mentioned as H+/H- (and imagine I did my MBA from Europe!) Now they have sent me to another office (called foreign qualifications advisory) to get advice on how can I get my MBA recognized in Germany. Unbelievable! Has any one been in that situation and can share their experiences on the process going forward?

 

thanks in advance. 

 

From:

http://www.bluecard-eu.de/eu-blue-card-germany/

Who can apply for the EU blue card?

a) he or she has a German or an accredited foreign or a university degree that is comparable to a German one.
 

From:

https://anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/institutionen.html

H+/- kennzeichnet Institutionen, für die keine eindeutige Aussage getroffen werden kann. Dies ist z.B. der Fall, wenn an einer Institution bestimmte Studiengänge angeboten werden, die dem Hochschulbereich angehören, während andere nach Dauer und Niveau darunter liegen oder nicht akkreditiert sind. In solchen Fällen ist die Prüfung des einzelnen Abschlusses erforderlich. Ein Blick in den Kommentar zum Institutionstypus kann in diesem Zusammenhang wichtige Zusatzinformationen liefern.

 

When I got my Blue Card, they never even checked the job description. To me, it appears the question is if your university degree is comparable to a German one. You indicate that your MBA Institute is H+/H-. This means that some degrees(?) are recognized, but not all. You should read the comments on Anabin about your university & degree - perhaps it provides some further clarification. Anabin can also review qualifications - I think this takes time and money. It sounds like that is where you have been forwarded.

 

What about your Bachelors? Was it at the same institute?

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Thanks so much @Storamin for taking time out to respond to this. Yes, I have a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, which is recognized in Anabin database. However my Masters has H+/H- mentioned in there. I will call up the Anabin guys to check how/if they can help.

 

But the concern here is that the job requirements shared by my employer does NOT mention that I need to have a Masters or Business Management or MBA degree. They mentioned "business acumen" and I have 7 years of experience in business (out of total of 11). So my engineering degree should suffice point a) in the article you quoted. Well, when I took this to my HR, they said the case is pretty clear and that the visa officer is just giving me a hard time and it's unfortunate that I got a picky one. My question - can they do that? Is there a way to challenge them somehow?

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On ‎01‎.‎06‎.‎2018‎ ‎14‎:‎51‎:‎09, breakfree said:

Now they have sent me to another office (called foreign qualifications advisory) to get advice on how can I get my MBA recognized in Germany. Unbelievable!

 

33 minutes ago, breakfree said:

the visa officer is just giving me a hard time and it's unfortunate that I got a picky one. My question - can they do that? Is there a way to challenge them somehow?

 

You're an indian lady.

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3 hours ago, franklan said:

 

 

You're an indian lady.

 

And I am very well aware of that. 

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yeah I'm not sure what the point of that comment was either

 

It does seem individual beamters can do whatever the hell they want?  I have had strange situations like this at the abh in Munich (as an american lady) and all I had to do was go back and talk with a different person.  Usually sorted immediately, sometimes accompanied by an eyeroll and unspoken "oh yeah - you dealt with THAT person last time"

 

it helps immensely if you have a paragraph of law up your sleeve (a printed copy), just in case you keep getting the runaround.

 

also, can your employer intervene here to assure the abh that nothing in the job requirement depends on your Master's degree?  I'm talking about having them call the abh and speak with them, answer any questions, etc.  

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On 6/7/2018, 3:27:34, breakfree said:

Thanks so much @Storamin for taking time out to respond to this. Yes, I have a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, which is recognized in Anabin database. However my Masters has H+/H- mentioned in there. I will call up the Anabin guys to check how/if they can help.

 

But the concern here is that the job requirements shared by my employer does NOT mention that I need to have a Masters or Business Management or MBA degree. They mentioned "business acumen" and I have 7 years of experience in business (out of total of 11). So my engineering degree should suffice point a) in the article you quoted. Well, when I took this to my HR, they said the case is pretty clear and that the visa officer is just giving me a hard time and it's unfortunate that I got a picky one. My question - can they do that? Is there a way to challenge them somehow?

Yeah that's kind of what I was thinking was happening. You have a bachelors degree from a University which appears to meet the requirements. As I understand it, the ABH can require further information as they wish... Some are easier than others I have heard. I'd try going again, explaining that you've talked with your company and read the requirements and that your University degree shows up in Anabin as recognized - with a printout of Anabin as well as the laws.

 

I guess some people think the ABH is more stringent on certain countries over others...

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Guys, thanks a lot for your detailed response and spending time on this. I have been there twice already and there has been only this visa officer every time. I discussed this in detail with my HR and she has agreed to go with me during my next appointment (for extending the existing visa) and talk it out with visa officer. But I think its going to take few weeks/months to hear from them for an appointment. 

Meanwhile applying for statement of comparability in Germany for my Masters from ZAB. 

 

Fingers crossed! 

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