Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Extremely Complicated Visa Situation (Blue Card) Been out of work for a year now.

19 posts in this topic

Hello all,

 

First off I want to thank everyone for reading this fairly long post. I will try to be brief as I've read many threads before here and people arent always super patient.

 

Last year I moved to Berlin with a blue card visa. I worked at a company for two months and I was terminated. After that I notified the auslanderbehorde who told me to simply get another appointment as I had 6 months to find another job. In April I found a new job and I sent all my documents to the auslanderbehorde for approval. After two months or so the offer was terminated from this 2nd job. The auslanderbehorde took to long and asked me for additional paperwork to validate my american degree. The first time they didnt ask for anything.

 

So I kept asking the auslanderbehorde what my visa status was and they said that as long as I have an appointment I can be in the country legally. I took another appointment for september 30. I wasnt able to find another job by then so I change it again and I got an appointment for March. My aufenhaltstitle expires in February.

 

The biggest problem has been finding jobs in berlin for IT System Administrator. I have literally applied everywhere and constantly send out hundreds of applications a week. There are few Sys admin jobs for low level German speakers. Im at about A2 early B1 right now.

 

The other thing is I need money. Desperately, I have been getting help from my parents for the last two months but they are out of money and rightfully so. I suppose I can legally stay until march but without money and the mounting costs of the health insurance and rent I dont know what to do.

 

I have legitimately started to think about suicide as a way of not getting deported. I will never go back to the US. I have been on the hunt for psychotherapists for many months now as well with no luck.

 

Finally, It seems in theory I could still apply to work as a freelancer from the finanzamt as technically the visa allows that possibility. However, I just found out about that the last week and apparently there are two different kinds of freelancers and I'm not sure which one I am.

 

Please be gentle with me. This forum has a lot of smart people but also a reputation for being rather savage. 

 

TL;DR Blue card has made life difficult. Need money desperately. Terrible Mental health state.

 

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

have you been able to glean the reason(s) behind so many rejections?  Is it really just lack of German skills or is there more to it, like perhaps how much experience you have (or don't have) in the field?  

 

beyond that my best advice would be to look for a job outside of Berlin - meaning anywhere but Berlin.  I had many interviews there (admittedly it must have changed in 8 years - I hope) but there was always some drama that prevented an actual hire.  So I ended up in Munich, which is much better in terms of opportunities.  I don't recommend Munich particularly as the housing situation is so out of control at this point, but there are a lot of cities in Germany - looking farther afield should not hurt.

 

oh, and sending out "hundreds" of applications per week?  If that's actually accurate how are you formulating your cover letters?  I can't imagine that's much more than spam, and having been on both sides of the hiring dance I think it's a mistake. IME you're likely to get better results by finding companies you really want to work for, and roles you really want to work in, then tailoring each cover letter to show your sincere interest in the position you're applying for.

 

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, LostinTime said:

 

The biggest problem has been finding jobs in berlin for IT System Administrator.

 

Are you applying outside of Berlin? Do you take language courses? 

 

53 minutes ago, LostinTime said:

 

Finally, It seems in theory I could still apply to work as a freelancer from the finanzamt as technically the visa allows that possibility.

 

A full-time self-employment is not permitted with the blue card, only a part-time one (15 hours per week maximum), in addition to the exercised full-time occupation. For full-time self-employment you'd need a residence permit according to §21 AufenthG: 

 

https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_aufenthg/englisch_aufenthg.html#p0518

 

And: You actually can't 'apply from the tax office', you'd have to register there for tax purposes. There are two forms of self-employment*: Commercial or freelance/ gewerblich oder freiberuflich. Whether an activity is gewerblich or freiberuflich depends on the concrete activity (and on the  training). 

 

*Actually, there are others, such as farmers or foresters. But that does not play a role here. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey thanks for the reply. Yes i did mean on part time self employment. Well I'm an IT system adminstrator I have a US bachelors degree in Linguistics. What exactly is the process then to apply for either the gewerblich or freiberufflich. How do I know which one 
I am?

 

I have applied to some roles outside Berlin. Im out of money I cant even pay the versicherung. I managed to get a payment plan for the missing 6 months but this month I have no clue what I will do. So I dont have money for language classes that being said I am engaged in talking Germany every change I get and going to the sprachcafe and space for refugees. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, LostinTime said:

hey thanks for the reply. Yes i did mean on part time self employment.

 

But for that you need a main job, as an employee. 

 

Quote

 

Well I'm an IT system adminstrator I have a US bachelors degree in Linguistics. What exactly is the process then to apply for either the gewerblich or freiberufflich. How do I know which one I am?

 

As I wrote, it depends on the concrete activity and the training. System administrators can be recognized as freelancers/Freiberufler - but as a rule a relevant course of study is required. A degree in linguistics is not particularly helpful. You would therefore have to prove that you have sufficient relevant professional experience. And in case of doubt, only an interview with the tax office will help you to get clarity. 

 

How the respective processes are, for freelancers and for tradesmen (=gewerblich), has been written here so often, I don't want to chew through it again, sorry. Please use the forum search. There is also an article in the Wiki: https://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Freelancing_in_Germany 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, LostinTime said:

hey thanks for the reply. Yes i did mean on part time self employment. Well I'm an IT system adminstrator I have a US bachelors degree in Linguistics

 

Linguistics? That could be a problem in Germany, they expect you to have a related degree.

I also recommend for you to refactor your CV to match an European CV. I´ve seen several CVs from America and the format is completely different from ours. What you write in America as a CV looks more like a cover letter for us.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Linguistics? That could be a problem in Germany, they expect you to have a related degree.

I also recommend for you to refactor your CV to match an European CV. I´ve seen several CVs from America and the format is completely different from ours. What you write in America as a CV looks more like a cover letter for us.

well before I came here I looked at some websites and made my CV into a 2 column format but other then that I didnt make many changes. 

 

I do have over 5 years of experience so thats how i got the Blue card to begin with 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

What you write in America as a CV looks more like a cover letter for us.

 

sorry - quote system sucks.  What do you mean?  I hardly had to adapt my american resume at all to match German standards - really just had to add a bunch of personal data that would be illegal to ask for in the US

 

I think the main blocker could be the lack of a pertinent degree.  OP if you have any evidence of further training in your field you should include it in your application.  eg certificates for completed sys admin courses or whatever.  Anything is better than nothing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, LostinTime said:

 

I do have over 5 years of experience so thats how i got the Blue card to begin with 

 

interesting.  Still, the problem with German employers is they are rather obsessed with degrees, unlike their american counterparts.  I had one employer who tried to grill me about why I didn't have a masters or phd (with almost 20 years experience at the time of the interview) and they simply would not accept that a) getting a masters or phd in the US is not free, which means taking on 10s or 100s of thousands in debt, and b ) that in the US experience matters much more than a degree so it made more sense to start getting experience asap in lieu of advanced study.

 

they thought that was ridiculous.  

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, lisa13 said:
14 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:
 

sorry - quote system sucks.  What do you mean?  I hardly had to adapt my american resume at all to match German standards - really just had to add a bunch of personal data that would be illegal to ask for in the US

 

I think the main blocker could be the lack of a pertinent degree.  OP if you have any evidence of further training in your field you should include it in your application.  eg certificates for completed sys admin courses or whatever.  Anything is better than nothing.

As far as I´ve seen, American CVs are written more in prose, like telling a story, instead of a time-structured CV. Also the American CV focus a lot on non-professional experience, while that is mostly irrelevant in Germany.

EU cvs usually follow a standardized form.

 

Still, the lack of degree is the biggest issue.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen any american cv's as you describe.  Not saying they don't exist but I've never seen one.

 

can devs even do prose?   most of the ones I've personally reviewed were just a litany of languages, technologies and concepts - full on laundry lists, very autistic ;)

 

eta:  I actually landed my very first profi job based on "non professional" experience.  It's pretty customary as a fresher to list any kinds of jobs you did have, regardless of whether they had anything to do with your chosen study or career, and I spent my uni years working on the side as a house cleaner, independently.  My future boss thought that was especially attractive as he thought it indicated I had some customer service experience (which of course I did) and that was key for getting the interview.

 

ah...memories

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP- sorry to hear of life's problems. You really need to see your family doctor and find some help referral re your self harm / suicide thoughts. 

Much good advice from others , but you need to start thinking about the viability of no money, insurance cover , relocation  and looking outside Berlin.

Have you tried Caritas for help with things like food etc?

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
1
3 hours ago, lisa13 said:

a) getting a masters or phd in the US is not free, which means taking on 10s or 100s of thousands in debt

 

 

If you study STEM, then masters and phd would be free via grant funding.

 

German employers are weird...  my boss expects people to submit their report cards for positions that require PhD!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the CS graduate students I knew were not living off of grants - at best they were employed as TAs, which is not a grant exactly, it's cheap slave labor for the uni (and they were just paid, however badly - it wasn't a tuition waiving quid pro quo or anything of the sort) 

 

so I'm not sure where you find those grants, can you give some resources?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LostinTime said:

I have legitimately started to think about suicide as a way of not getting deported.

 

 

That really is NOT the solution!!!

 

As others have mentioned, look for freelance work, and apply for jobs in other cities - Berlin is well-known for it`s high level of unemployment, particularly among "foreigners", since companies can pick and choose.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, robinson100 said:

 

That really is NOT the solution!!!

 

As others have mentioned, look for freelance work, and apply for jobs in other cities - Berlin is well-known for it`s high level of unemployment, particularly among "foreigners", since companies can pick and choose.

 

thanks for the reply. Yea I need to figure out the freelance thing but IDk the limits of my visa. I would consider getting the freelancer visa but they say it is super hard to get 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with RedMidge and see someone to speak with about your feelings and situation. The blue card actually has a negative to actually get a job that matches the visa the salary requirement is quite high for many jobs, especially in Berlin as salaries here are much lower than other areas(dont know in your field). Second a lot of smaller companies really do not know the process about he blue cardThen you have the certification of your degree if not already done. That can take time and is not a guarantee it will be approved. Have you searched the database to see if your school has any approved degrees listed or if any linguistics degrees are in the database...sorry I dont recall link for it but it is searchable. As far as your cv and job search how are you covering the issue of having a job for only 2 months than nothing afterwards? This can be a very big red flag. Are you filling the gap by showing you are in German classes or something in your CV? I know from working with my local managers when even hiring contractors a hole in working or very short job periods usually is frowned upon heavily. We are in the process of closing my operation and the German employees are so concerned about this they all want to find a new job now even though many have several months of garden leave coming They dont want to risk going on garden leave and not have a job to start immediately after the last day. I think you need to have a local review your cv and cover letters to ensure you are projecting the right view and have not made a simple error that gets your cv bounced without even being reviewed. A cover letter will be a very important part of that to explain away the no work period.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0