EU Blue Card application rejected (meet all of the requirements)

Hello everyone,

My name is Fredo. I am an Indonesian. Currently living ( since  1 month ago) in Hamburg, Germany for work. I have applied for the Blue Card visa 2 weeks ago, but I just received a rejection letter from Bezirksamt Hamburg. This is the short version of my residency condition.

1. I did my bachelor in Civil Engineering in Indonesia
2. I worked fulltime approximately 1.5 years with that degree in Indonesia.
3. I moved and lived in the Netherlands for my Master Degree in Offshore Engineering (Approximately 2 years).
4. I applied for a visa in the Netherlands for looking for a job (valid for 1 year, working without restriction in the Netherlands, free movement in Schengen Area [90 days])
5. I managed to enter to Germany from the Netherlands using that visa.

My annual salary sated in the job contract is 3500 gross monthly, which is 42000 annually, as an offshore und schiffbauingenieure (offshore and shipbuilding engineer). It is for a permanent position (without specific time range) but with 6 months probation period first. And this complies with the requirement of Blue Card (job salary with shortage occupation for 2018 is 40560 annually and 52000 for the normal one). I did all the paper works. I rent my own flat in Hamburg, I registered my residency (anmeldung), I switch my insurance from the Netherlands based to German-based insurance, my master degree diploma has been legalized/apostile (I did it in the Netherlands). Basically, I have started coming to the office (since 2 weeks ago), start doing the work and this is even also my second week attending intensive Deutsch course in certain school which paid by my employer (I come every day 3 hours in the working day for this lesson). But I still have no idea why my Blue Card application is rejected. I agree that my salary threshold is quite in the lower limit though. The letter I received stated like this:

Die arbeits und Lohnbedingungen entsprechen nicht den tariflichen / ortsüblichen Bedingungen für vergleichbare deutshce Arbeitnehmer. Laut berufenet verdienen Schiffbauingeniure ab 4414 Euro bis 5579 Euro im Monat.

which means, I need to earn 52968 - 66948 Euro annually. That is even higher than the minimum salary for the normal profession (not the job with shortage occupation ones). Engineer is also considered as a job with shortage occupation (even specifically Civil and Shipbuilding Engineer jobs are clearly on the list).

I asked some of my colleague in the office (she is German), and she earns comparable with me. She earns slightly more because she did student work there for 4 years before joining as a full-time engineer. But, even after 3 years working there, she still earns less than 50000 annually. She also mentioned for that kind of salary, is more likely for a project manager, etc, not for an early stage (I agree, in bigger companies, ones can earn 52000 annually for the starters).

I have asked my employer about my starting date before coming to the office whether it is really OK to start before I have my working permit, and they said yes. I can definitely start working. Even when I applied in the immigration office in Hamburg, I also inform them this. And they say, "Basically, you meet all of the requirements. You have 90 days right to stay here before your Blue Card issued" and did not say "don't start working"

Is this letter of rejection is rejection based on Federal Employment Agency or something else?
I already in the process of settling down in Germany, pay quite a lot for a flat, even reject another job offer in different countries. If this Blue Card application in the end cant be accepted, that will be a huge loss for me. Because I am quite pessimistic that my employer can raise my salary as stated in the letter I received from Bezirksamt Hamburg (considering the fact from colleagues I mentioned earlier).

Anyone has any tips what should I do?
that would be highly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Fredo Ferdian

Apparently, you don't just need to earn above the threshold, but also get an appropriate pay according to the local job market levels. They are saying yours does not fit the latter condition.
You can appeal - and I would recommend engaging an experienced immigration lawyer for this.
Alternatively, you could also apply for a normal (non-blue-card) work permit.

> I have asked my employer about my starting date before coming to the office
> whether it is really OK to start before I have my working permit, and they said
> yes. I can definitely start working.
This is untrue. You are currently working illegally (without any visa or permit allowing you to. Don't let anyone know this or catch you!

Hello Beppi!

Many thanks for your response. Seems like you are really well-understood regarding this kind of issue. Is there any, by some chance, you have some suggestion where I can find an experienced immigration lawyer for this?

About the alternative, I just know that there is another normal working permit which can be applied for citizen outside the EU (and didn't study in Germany) beside Blue Card. What is the name of it? Since in most of the websites (e.g. make it Germany, Hamburg portal etc.), always refer to EU Blue Card. If you can give one keyword about it, that will be great. I will search further.

And thanks for your reminder! I have doubted about that, but no one says "no" to me. I will take a good care of it.

Kind Regards,

Fredo Ferdian

Sorry, I don't know any immigration lawyer in Hamburg. You may be able to find one using lawyer search portals like (no recommendation - I have never used this site) or similar.
The normal work permit is just called work permit ("Arbeitserlaubnis" in German). Ask your Auslaenderamt about it.

Hi Fredo. From the looks of it, seems like you were finally able to sort out your work permit issue. Can you maybe explain how you did it? Did you instead applied for a normal work permit in Germany and not a Blue card?