France and Germany are both highly sought after destinations for higher studies by international students. France has 31 entrants in the QS World University rankings for 2020, 10 of which rank amongst the world’s top 300 while Germany has the honor of having one university ranked among the world’s best in every major city. 13 German universities are ranked among the world’s top 250 and 30 are ranked among the top 500. The numbers are evidence enough that both these countries are established members of the elite higher education club in the world.
France and Germany are both members of the EU as well, an organization that comprises 27 member countries, and was founded to ease the passage of people, goods and information between these nations. This also means that students looking to settle down in these countries after their studies have options available to them that they won’t find anywhere else in the world. This article seeks to provide information regarding the EU Blue Card and other permanent residency options for students looking to stay back in France and Germany after completing their studies.
An EU Blue Card functions as a residence permit for qualified candidates from non-EU countries to enter and remain in the EU country of their choice to seek employment. The permit will allow you to enter, re-enter and stay in the country that issued your card for as long as it is valid. EU Blue Card holders are treated the same way as citizens of the country where they have settled but they can only look for employment in their chosen fields. The EU Blue Card is one of the primary avenues towards gaining permanent residence in the EU for foreign graduates. The following countries issue EU Blue Cards:
The EU Blue Card is highly sought after due to the benefits it provides like long-term validity, freedom of movement within the EU, opportunity to bring your family over and a gateway to eventual permanent residence in the issuing country. This is why many international students aim to qualify for the EU Blue Card after they graduate. However, students should be wary as employers often ask for proof of work experience along with relevant university qualifications. Read Study in Germany after 12
International students cannot apply for an EU Blue Card if they are still under the duration of their student visa. But, if you find a job during your studies that fulfils the eligibility criteria for the EU Blue Card, you can submit your application as soon as you finish your degree. If you don’t find a job during your studies, you can still apply for a residence permit that will allow you to stay back in the country for 12-18 months (depending on your host country’s rules and regulations) that will let you find a job. The eligibility criteria for EU Blue Card for students are:
You have to submit the application for the card from within the EU state you want to work in. Depending on your location, you will have to go to the relevant authority to start the process. For example, if you are applying for a card from Germany, you will have to submit your application at the Foreigners Registration Office or Ausländerbehörde. Read Study in France in English
The following are some of the benefits of the EU Blue Card:
The EU long-term residence permit allows permanent residence to foreign nationals who have lived in an EU country for more than 5 years. An EU residence permit is valid until further notice. In other words, its period of validity is not limited. To apply for an EU residence permit as a foreign national, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
You need to apply for a long-term EU residence permit at the immigration offices of the country you are residing in and the application process should be done while your current temporary residence permit/visa is still valid. Since there is no interview during the application process for this permit, your chances of success in securing it depend upon the documents you submit during the process. The mandatory documents required during the application process are:
Please note that these are only common requirements for the EU in general. Some member countries may have a few additional requirements that change based on the category of the applicant. Ensure that you have all the correct information and documents ready before you begin the application process.
The long term permit’s validity changes according to the rules of your host country but in the majority of cases, the permit is renewed automatically at the end of each year without you having to fulfil any conditions or requirements.
Note: There is also a variation in the cost of an EU long-term residence permit between the different countries. For example, applicants in the Netherlands need to EUR 171, while Germany only charges a fee of EUR 109.
A permanent settlement permit grants you the primary benefit of being able to legally reside within Germany for an extended period of time. The main conditions that you have to fulfill in order to be eligible for this permit are as follows:
These requirements are not strict and there are a number of cases where an exemption can be made. Some of the requirements for exemption are:
You will need to make an appointment with the German Foreigners Registration Office to start the application process. Please note that they do not entertain walk-ins and you must schedule an appointment. The required documents for the application are given below:
1. Germany Settlement Permit application form which includes questions on your identity, time spent in Germany and your occupation etc.
2. Valid passport which you will have to submit to the German authorities while your application is being processed.
3. A photo taken within the last 3 months and adhering to the official guidelines set forth in your application form.
4. Proof of sufficient income which depends on your employment status:
If you are a full time employee
If you are self-employed or a freelancer
5. Proof of health insurance from either a public or private provider
6. Proof that you are paying into the pension system
7. Proof of a registered address
8. Rental agreement with your landlord or purchase proof of property
9. German language certificate with an exam grade showing B1 level of proficiency or higher
When you submit your application for a permanent residence permit you will also have to sit with an interview with the officials at the registration office. The interview usually lasts 15-20 minutes with the interviewer asking you questions regarding your application and background.
Note: The cost of a permanent residence permit is EUR 135 but there are different prices for self-employed people who need to pay a fee of EUR 200 and highly-qualified people who need to pay a fee of EUR 250.
The options for securing a permanent residence permit for France depends upon whether you are applying for the first time for a resident permit in France or you have renewed a residence permit prior. Based on the above, you have the following options available to you:
Carte de Sejour– Carte de Sejour is a residence permit for people who are entering France under a French long-stay visa and who will have to:
Carte de Resident – Carte de Resident is a permit for spouses of French citizens, parents of a French-born child, expats retiring in France or those who have renewed their carte de sejour for more than 3 years in a row.
EU Blue Card – The EU Blue card is a permit that allows foreign nationals from outside the EU to enter and remain in France to work and explore career opportunities in their chosen fields for a period of up to 3 years with an option to extend the stay further.
You will have to apply for a residence permit while you are still living in France. If your French long stay visa has the words “carte de séjour à solliciter” stamped on it, you will have to apply for a residence permit within 2 months of your arrival in France. If your French visa has the following text stamped on it: “CESEDA R.311-3”, you will need to get in touch with the Office Francais de I‘Immigration et de I‘Integration (OFFI) as soon as you are on French soil.
To apply for a French residence permit, you will need to have the following documents ready for submission along with the application form that your local French authorities will provide:
As a holder of the EU Blue card, you will find the following benefits available to you: Yes, you can. You must work for a period of 33 months in your host country or for 21 months in case you achieve a B1 level of language proficiency. Also, if you work in a variety of EU member states and gain 5 years of work experience, you will find your chances of securing a permanent residency increase exponentially.
Q. What are the benefits of an EU Blue Card?
1. Equal work and salary conditions to EU citizens
2. Freedom of movement throughout the EU
3. Social rights like access to education, health services etc.
4. Ability to bring your family with you
5. Permanent-residency rights
Q. Can I get permanent residency through the EU Blue Card?
As a holder of the EU Blue card, you will find the following benefits available to you:
Yes, you can. You must work for a period of 33 months in your host country or for 21 months in case you achieve a B1 level of language proficiency. Also, if you work in a variety of EU member states and gain 5 years of work experience, you will find your chances of securing a permanent residency increase exponentially.