Monday, March 18, 2013

Germany's Blue Card law is working

Bonn - German flag
Photo by R/DV/RS
For would-be expats, there's some good news! In January I reported on the German news site heise.de's claims that not many skilled workers were being attracted by Germany's Blue Card law. At the time I wrote:
I can actually think of a few different issues causing the problem. First and foremost, it was reported after the law had been in effect only two months! I'm surprised that a brand new program taking time to get started is actually newsworthy, particularly when you consider that it can take months to find a new employee locally, much less internationally.
Note: Apparently that was published in November, about 3 months after the program started.

I thought it was idiocy to complain about a jobs program struggling when the program had been in place less time than it often takes to find a skilled worker. Couple that with reports I was getting about German government offices being confused over the implementation of the law and it was guaranteed that heise.de's reporting was a precipitous.

Well, here it just two months later and it looks like I was right.¹ The Economic Times, an Indian Web site, reports that the scheme is working very well:
Germany's blue card scheme, launched in August 2012 to offer highly educated and skilled non-EU candidates the opportunity to live and work in Germany and the rest of EU, has been very well received with over 4,000 such work permits issued already.
Of those 4,000 work permits, 983 were issued to Indians. According to an infographic on that page, the US attracts the second highest group of skilled immigrants.

As a recap of the German Blue Card Law:
  • Have a job offer of at least €44K (€35K for some areas)
  • Have a degree or equivalent experience.
Note that this is not for a particular type of job (i.e., "skilled workers"). Get that job offer and move! Germany is aggressively courting workers who add value to their economy and it's an incredible experiment. If you've wanted to move to Europe, take a look at Germany. I strongly suspect that Germany could be the economy to watch for the next decade or so.


1.Who would have thought that I might know a thing or two about immigration?