German Jobs – An honest companion and an indispensable guide

Sometimes small encounters give rise to big changes.

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In 2014 I met with a business associate in a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai to discuss business matters. My team and I were running a thriving relocation service and language school in Berlin, helping people from all over the world make their first steps in this growing city. After dinner we discussed an issue that was bothering me at the time: We were getting a huge number of requests from academics and qualified professionals who were looking for jobs in Germany. Those people were (and still are) desperately searched for by HR Managers across the country. There were so many requests that we were having trouble answering each of them with the attention they deserved. My business associate asked me a question that lay the foundation for a new company: “Why don’t you develop an app that does the answering for you?”

Since that evening in Dubai, we worked intensively on the idea and developed it further and further. We wanted to create a space to match talented professionals with Germany’s growing demand – combined with the best support we can offer. Many of our local and international partners were excited from the start. With two of them, we founded a new company and developed the brand ‘German Jobs’. We brought together a wealth of expertise, turned it digital and published it as a website. Behind this brand we are not your average start-up, but a team built from established structures, by experienced advisors.

 

Give people a realistic view

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We are now looking forward to supporting many people abroad who have questions about immigration and the German labour market. It is important for us not to build up false hopes. No matter if their questions are about work or residence permits, the recognition of university degrees or which jobs are really wanted by the German economy, the people who use our website should be able to evaluate chances and risks realistically. We will give the users of this site help and support, specific to their circumstances, through our assessments and individual services.

Moving to a different country is a challenge. It is crucial to be well prepared and to be familiar with the language and culture of your new home. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to stay for a long time or if you are only here for a short period – the culture shock can still be the same. We want to help with your plans wherever we can, and this is also the purpose of this blog. It will provide guidance about living and working in Germany and, most importantly, it will portray a true picture of living and working in this country.

Miriam MuellerMy international and dedicated team and I wish for all our users that German Jobs will be a trustful companion to them and that they benefit as much as possible from our services – wherever you live today and wherever you choose to go tomorrow!

 



Miriam Mueller, CEO of Start IT Solutions GmbH

 

PS: Take two minutes to see our promotional video:

 

What to do if you don’t get the Blue Card

The words ‘Blue Card’ seem to have magical connotations these days. If you can say you have one, appointments seem to get fixed faster, documents examined within days and visas issued unexpectedly fast.

The EU Blue Card is a residency permit for highly-educated and skilled workers from non-EU countries. It is certainly a prestigious acquirement and if possible, you should try to qualify for it when you come to Germany to work.

But there are a number of requirements attached to getting it, some of which are difficult to meet. In the end, the Blue Card is ‘just’ a residence permit which allows you to work in Germany and there is a good alternative available. If you are worried you won’t qualify for the Blue Card, let me reassure you: life is also good with a normal residence permit!

 

The privileges of this small, blue card

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The Blue Card was introduced in 2012 as a way to attract highly qualified professionals by offering certain benefits compared to the normal work permit. As with other permits, you need to have a valid work contract in the country in which you apply, and it is limited to the duration of your contract. There are, however, two main ways in which the Blue Card is designed to make your life easier:

First: It is usually faster to get. Attracting many Blue Card holders to work in Germany is in the national interest. You can see that when looking at the time the office for foreign education takes to evaluate university degrees: Two weeks for Blue Card applicants, up to three months for all others. That’s not fair, you might say, and it’s true. Applying for a Blue Card as your national visa usually goes faster in the German consulates across the world, and it sometimes seems to open doors just by introducing yourself as a ‘Blue Card holder’.

Second: You can switch it faster for a permanent residence permit. If you plan to stay in Germany for good (or at least, for quite some time), the Blue Card offers another important advantage: With it, you can apply for a permanent residence permit after 21 or 33 months of working here, depending on your level of German. The permanent residence permit is of unlimited duration, and although it might be revoked under certain circumstances, it allows you to stay in Germany for life. With a ‘normal’ work permit, you can apply for it after five years at the earliest, and you will have to prove you have a particular level of German.

 

A good alternative: The residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment

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If the Blue Card is not an option for you, you may still go for a residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment (formerly ‘work permit’). Depending on the reason you were denied a Blue Card, this will require more effort. It is also far easier to get this residence permit with a recognized university degree than without. But it is a valid and widely used residence permit for Germany, and although the final integration process will be slower, it gives you the same rights as the Blue Card.

And don’t despair: We are here to help you. Contact us if you would like to have assistance with your visa, and we will advise you, help you with all problems and guide you through this (at times) confusing process. Let us know!


Deborah Schmitz, German Jobs Advisor
Doctors discussing intestines xray at medical office

Becoming a doctor in Germany: Four things you need to do

As a German Jobs Advisor, I work a lot with international doctors who want to work in Germany. I first met Ana, a Russian physician, when we went together to the Foreign Office in Germany to apply for her Blue Card. We had already been in close contact for a couple of months and had shared the excitement and anxious waiting that accompanies the huge step of building a new life in another country. I guided her through making all the necessary applications and arrangements. Here is a summary of the most important things everyone who wants to work in Germany as a doctor should do:

 

1. Choose the right visa

She first contacted me when she still lived in Russia and was seeking a job as a medical practitioner in Germany. As doctors are desperately needed in many parts of the country, finding a job didn’t pose a great difficulty. When we spoke, her first question was a natural one: “I have been to Potsdam, near Berlin, recently and already have a valid Schengen visa – could I simply use this to start working in my new job?”. I am always very grateful when this question comes up, because I can prevent a lot of confusion and – at worst – a return trip to Moscow. Unfortunately, Schengen visas cannot be used to start a new job in Germany, and it is absolutely necessary to apply for the correct visa in the German consulate of the home country before leaving.

As Ana has already had a job offer in a hospital in Potsdam, I guided her through the application for the Blue Card – a prestigious work permit for highly qualified professionals. In her case, this entailed communicating with the Federal Employment Agency, translating necessary documents and preparing for her appointment at the consulate.

 

2. Apply for a medical license

Doctors however, need something more than ‘just’ a valid work permit. The ‘Approbation’ is needed as well. This is the license issued by the German state that permits doctors to work in their profession. It is valid across Germany and lasts a lifetime. There are some requirements attached to getting it, so Ana decided to take a course in medical German to reach the necessary C1 level (for normal, everyday German, B2 is sufficient). With a Russian diploma in medicine however, obtaining an Approbation takes longer. This goes for all medical diplomas that were issued in non-European countries and is due to the lengthy evaluation of the academic qualification.

As Ana had already signed her work contract, she wanted to start work quickly. But she was probably going to have to wait a long time for her Approbation to be approved, and she couldn’t start work without a license. She therefore decided to also apply for the ‘Berufserlaubnis’ (temporary medical licence). This is only an option for candidates with a definite job offer. The temporary medical license is valid for one to two years and is linked to the federal state in which it was issued. Because Germany is a federal republic each state has its own office and its own rules. Applying to the federal state in which you will work is therefore absolutely necessary!

 

3. Spezialize in Germany as a ‘Facharzt’

.With my help, Ana prepared the required documents and received the temporary permit in no time. She moved to Potsdam and had her first weeks as an assistant doctor in the midst of the city – intensive and challenging, but utterly rewarding. Some time after, she contacted me again with a wish that had been on her mind for a while. Ana wanted to progress professionally and wanted to be a ‘Facharzt’ (specialist) in the medical field she had majored. This usually entails a higher salary and greater responsibility. She asked me: “But could I start this process when I still don’t have my Approbation but only my Berufserlaubnis?”. This is of course possible, no need to worry about that!

Receiving the title of Facharzt will take several years (depending on the medical field you choose) but can be started while you have your temporary medical license – actually it is better to be proactive and start as soon as possible! Ana could start to do her ‘Assistenzarzt in Weiterbildung’ in the same hospital. She started with the common trunk in the ‘Innere Medizin’ and was very happy here as she learned a lot in a short time and would move closer to her goal: being a ‘Chirurg’ (surgeon) in Germany.

 

Blick ueber Dresden

 

4. Start a new life

.When Ana and I met several weeks after her arrival, for her final appointment at the Foreign Office, she was already deeply immersed in her new life and told me about all the changes since we last spoke. With her Berufserlaubnis and Blue Card in hand, and her Approbation and specialization on the way, she was all set for a new adventure that may very well last a lifetime.


Are you ready to start your own adventure in Germany? Check if you have all the needed requirements and let us help you start your life abroad!


Deborah Schmitz, German Jobs Advisor