Personal experience in obtaining a Blue Card in Germany 2015-2016. Part 1: Job Search

Published on October 18, 2016

Personal experience in obtaining a Blue Card in Germany 2015-2016. Part 1: Job Search

Hello. In this article I want to share my experience in obtaining a blue EU card. I always had ideas about emigration, I constantly looked at information about existing programs and options to leave the vastness of our country. The reasons for my outbursts are purely personal and I don’t want to impose them on anyone.

It so happened that I studied German at school, and always thought that it would be absolutely useless for me in life. Therefore, I taught him without enthusiasm.

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In 2012, I got married, and my wife and I decided to closely study English. At that time I was in graduate school and worked as a programmer. My professional field seemed to us very attractive for emigration because "programmers are valued everywhere." We did not set any specific goals at that time, the task was simple - we are improving English, and then we will see. We successfully improved English, and in the meantime I was gaining considerable professional experience and preparing a dissertation for defense. I roughly believed that for successful emigration you need five years of professional experience + good conversational English. The first country we noticed was Canada. According to the reviews of people (we took English lessons on Skype with Canadians), everything suited us. Followed by: New Zealand, Australia and the United States. An interesting fact is that we never even looked at Germany. Although they visited her, and we really liked her. Just at that moment I completely missed the information about the Blue Card. It always seemed to us that it was unrealistic to leave for Germany.

But it so happened that Canada did not work out. This is a completely different story, but I will say that in 2015 it turned out that federal programs did not guarantee absolutely nothing and the process of considering an application was extended for a year (s). Such a picture did not suit us at all. It was June 2015 in the yard, I already defended my dissertation, had the desired 5 years of work experience and good conversational English. We were ready to "tear the claws." A little upset by the information that it is not so easy to leave for English-speaking countries, we began to actively google. Found information on Norway and other countries. Stumbled upon the Blue Card.

The conditions looked fine:

- Higher education
- A contract for amounts above a certain level (varies by country)

There was only one snag - all countries participating in the agreement speak their own languages. After reading the stories of other people, we realized that you can find work with English. Well, our choice fell on Germany, because in our understanding it is the best country in Europe (our opinion is subjective, we do not impose it on anyone).

For a couple of weeks I have prepared a good resume in English. I approached this issue very carefully and even turned to an English-speaking recruiter for help. For a couple of paid Skype interviews, we polished my resume. It is time to look for vacancies. I used monster.de and linkedin.com to search. Responded to all suitable vacancies Senior .Net Developer, even if they were in German. Within two weeks I received only negative answers, but I was not upset. I understood that this process is not fast, and the lack of the German language reduces my chances (oh school, school, how stupid I was).

I will give the exact chorology of events at the end of the article, because I logged everything.

June 25th I received the first phone call from Europe. It was a recruiter who said that for me there is a suitable vacancy in a town 100 km from Hamburg. I knew what Germany was, so a small city didn’t scare me at all (and even attracted me). We talked for about 15-20 minutes, mostly the answers I had already been prepared, because I spent a lot of time preparing for the interview. He said that he would send my resume to the company, and if they like it, there will be a Skype interview. The next day, he said that he liked the resume, and the head of the company wants to talk with me on Skype. The interview was scheduled for June 29th. I think you can not tell how exciting it all was. Despite the experience and confident in technical knowledge, I was still nervous.

On June 29, I was sitting at a computer with a sheet of paper and a pen, and was ready to solve logical and other problems. The interview took place, but, to my surprise, it contained neither logical nor technical tasks. We talked for about an hour with a company manager named Rainer. They discussed my experience in which projects I took part. We talked about the technologies that I own. We discussed real examples of where, what and how I applied. Rainer was interested in my education and the topic of my dissertation. I held myself confidently, which was probably why it was not necessary to go into subtleties. He talked about his projects (by the way he codes very well) and the structure of the company. Then he asked where we have the nearest airport and how soon I can fly for an interview in Hamburg. Then I was just a little surprised (everything went too sweet). I said, that for visa preparation I need an invitation and 3 weeks time. We set the date for a face-to-face interview on July 23 and he said that further an HR manager will contact me, with whom I will solve all organizational issues. The first stage is completed.

The next day, the manager wrote to me and asked me to indicate the format of the invitation I need. Having rummaged through the Internet, I realized that a scanned copy of the invitation + a copy of the passports of the people who signed it are enough. It is advisable not to indicate in the invitation that the purpose of the trip is an interview. They told me that I was invited to the conference. Scans of invitations and passports were in my hands and I ran to the nearest agency to apply for a visa, because I myself did not want to go to Moscow. While waiting for a visa, HR bought me tickets and Voronezh to Hamburg. We decided that one day is enough. I arrived at 11 in the morning, and set off back at about 7 in the evening. So after ten days, my visa was ready, the tickets were booked, and life was wonderful.

On July 23, I, overwhelmed with emotions, woke up at 4 in the morning and drove to the airport. Arrived in Hamburg, passed passport control and went into the airport lounge. Rainer met me there. We got into his car and drove to their office in Hamburg, or rather, the first item on our program was a lunch with an HR manager in a cafe. Even in the car, they began to discuss professional aspects, again touched on my experience. I described in detail what and how I did, what technologies I own, where and why I used them. In the cafe we ​​were greeted by a friendly HR manager, we ordered lunch and then the standard interview with HR began. Typical questions about which many subject articles have been written. She was mainly interested in my personality, motivation, and indeed tried to understand if I was suitable for them as a person. After lunch, we went to the office where we discussed in more detail my projects and knowledge. They also discussed in detail their projects, which were demonstrated to me both externally and internally. In general, I liked everything, both people and projects. The interview took place in a pleasant environment, with smiles and jokes. I even told Rainer that I was preparing to meet a bunch of technical issues, repeating data structures and algorithms. To which he laughed and said: "According to your answers, it is clear that the materiel is in order, and even if something is missing, you will learn it."

Everyone was happy, and Rainer and I retired to discuss the details of my contract. I, for obvious reasons, cannot disclose them, but I can only say that I was satisfied. Naturally, before sending out the resume, I studied the information regarding salaries and expenses in Germany and clearly knew how much I needed. Meanwhile, our time was drawing to a close, and the departure time was drawing near. Rainer informed the HR manager of the details of the contract and said that they would contact me shortly. We decided that, taking into account the preparation and forwarding of the original contract, the time of receipt of the Blue Card and other points, the expected date of the start of work will be October 1. At that time I was 99% sure that everything is fine. Rainer drove me back to the airport, where I, contented and happy, began preflight preparation. I arrived home already after midnight and absolutely without strength,

A week later they sent me an electronic version of the contract for review. Everything was fine, and the original was sent to me via DHL. By that time, I had already begun preparing documents for the Blue Card. A week later, I got a contract and started applying for a visa. But this will be a separate article.

So the promised chronology of events:
Beginning of June - we make a resume
Mid-June - we respond to vacancies
on June 25 - we call Skype for a recruiter on June 29 June
29 - Skype and call for an interview
July 23 -
August 14 interview - the contract came
on August 25 - the first unsuccessful visit to the embassy, ​​you need to make confirmation diploma
on August 27 - sent documents to kmk
on September 1 - sent a receipt for payment, paid on the same day
on September 2 - money arrived and they immediately made paper, sent by mail and sent a scan
on September 17 - a successful visit to the embassy with a scan
on September 21 - took visa
September 23 - the original diploma confirmation came

Picking things up
October 1 - arrival in Germany
October 2 - registration + bank account
October 5 - medical insurance
October 12 - went to the Blue Card (will be ready in 2-3 weeks, call and sign up, happy as elephants)
October 23 - registered for the rented apartment
October 26 - my health insurance card came
October 30 - Sveta medical insurance card
November 2 - I called and asked about my card. They said if you don’t receive the term in the week by mail, then call the next. I thought that the term for obtaining a card.
November 7 - they sent an envelope from the town hall, I thought the term that my card was ready. It turned out a bunch of papers and questionnaires.
November 9 - I called these docks to clarify what they were for, it turned out (for family reunion, marriage for Svetina’s visa! And for confirmation of housing for my card, it turned out no one took my docks in my hands before my call on November 2)
November 11 - sent a scan of housing confirmation by e-mail.
November 12 - Sveta returned to Russia so that the visa does not expire
on November 19 - brought all the remaining docks. They said more for Sveta's visa, and my Blue Card is already in print and in 2-3-4 weeks I will receive a letter of its readiness. Again)) Visa Sveta said they will release as soon as possible.
December 2 - a letter arrived that my card is ready.
December 3rd- called and scored the term on the 4th day to pick up a card. They said that Sveta’s visa should also be ready, at least they completed their part. After lunch, Light appeared on the lists of the embassy.
December 4 - Day X. Picked up the Blue Card. He wrote to Sveta on December 17 for applying for a residence permit.
December 17 - Sveta applied for a residence permit. They said after 6 weeks (ahead of Christmas) will be ready.
January 7 - a letter arrived - the residence permit is ready
on January 14 - took the residence permit for a period of 1.5 years.

Continued here