Have you already completed 3-4 years in Germany on a blue card and you are applying for a blue card renewal?
You will find a lot of resources online about how to apply for a Blue card in Germany.
But, what you should do when it comes to renewing your blue card? No one is really talking about it.
I tried a lot of websites and resources to understand the procedure myself when I was applying for a blue card renewal but with no success.
So, here I am going to explain to you the steps and the documents required to renew your as well as your dependent’s blue card in Germany.
Get a blue card renewal appointment
This is the first step which is kind of the biggest blocker especially in cities like Berlin.
Getting an appointment for the renewal of your Blue card in a city like Berlin is one of the toughest things to do as an ex-pat.
The good news is – Even though it is tough to get an appointment for the blue card renewal, trust me it is not impossible.
Steps to book an appointment
Booking an appointment for your blue card renewal is different in Berlin and other cities of Germany.
Blue card renewal appointment in Berlin
- Visit the official website to book an appointment for your blue card renewal.
- Read through all the important informations and the list of documents required.
- Proceed to the appointment booking page and fill out the details.
- Proceed to the next page and you will most probably see an error message saying that “There are no appointment available at this moment. Please try again later.” or something similar.
- If no appointments are available, make sure to bookmark this page and retry as often as you can.
- If an appointment date is available, try to quickly select a date and time and confirm the selection and fill the other details as well.
- You will get an email confirming your appointment. Keep this email safe and print it as well.
* Make sure to turn off the auto-translation feature of your browser as it interferes with the appointment selection page elements and you might not see the option to select a time for your appointment.
* Always keep your Blue card details handy while booking an appointment.
Blue card renewal appointment anywhere else in Germany
If you are living in another city, you might not have an online appointment booking system, unlike Berlin.
In this case, you can get an appointment by directly reaching out to the officials at the Foreign Office (Ausländerbehörde).
Here is how you can ask for an appointment to apply for blue card renewal:
- Find the email id of the foreign office in your respective city (Google it).
- Write them an email with your passport number, blue card number and your name asking for an appointment to renew your blue card.
- Request them for an appointment in the upcoming days or weeks. Ideally you should write them atleast 5-6 months before your blue card expiry date.
- In 90% of the cases, you will either get an appointment or they will ask you for additional documents or information which you can send them via email.
- If you are among the unlucky 10% where the officials do not reply to the email, do not worry. Just give them a call or visit the office personally and ask for an appointment.
Prepare for the blue card renewal appointment
Congratulations! You’ve already passed the biggest hurdle in your blue card renewal journey.
Now, the next step is to prepare all the relevant and required documents for you and your dependents before you appear for your appointment.
Please visit the official website here and make sure that you have all the documents listed for the Blue card application.
There are a few documents that are needed only for the first-time application and are not required for the renewal. e.g: Your degree certificate.
You can have a look at this page to get the details about the optional and required documents for your blue card renewal.
* Keep your originals with you on the day of your appointment along with the copies of the same.
* Make sure that you have all your documents in English or German. In case any of your documents are in any other language, then get it apostilled.
On the day of your visa appointment
So, your blue card renewal appointment day is here.
The first thing I would do is to inform my employer about the appointment and ask for home office permission.
I will plan my travel a day before the actual appointment date. This will include preparing my office bag with all the documents, enough drinking water for 2-3 hours, enough cash, an ATM card, and so on.
Now, I will share my experience in the Berlin office on the day of my Blue card renewal appointment. It is going to be the same or almost similar in any other foreign office in Germany.
Blue card renewal experience in Berlin
I reached the office at least 15-20 minutes before my scheduled appointment time which was 8:00 am.
The security person at the entrance of the building asked me to visit the 2nd floor and sit in the waiting room there.
The waiting room had around 10-12 chairs with two screens that were displaying the token numbers and the respective room.
My token number was displayed on the screen at around 8:10 am.
Make sure you don’t miss your number. Keep watching the screen all the time.
I along with my family went to the room which was on the same floor as the waiting room.
The official was a lady (in her 50s) who asked my wife and daughter to wait outside as only one person was allowed inside the room at a time due to the ongoing corona restrictions.
The lady was nice and the good thing was that she spoke with us in English.
I handed over the following documents to her:
- Passport (Original)
- Current blue card (Original)
- The green slip that came along with the blue card. It is very important if you changed jobs. (Original)
- City registration document or Anmeldung document (Original)
- House contract (Original or copy)
- Health insurance card with your photo on it (Original)
- Confirmation letter from the Health insurance (Copy)
- Biometric photo (Recent photo – One copy). We got this one day before from a nearby DM for 8 euros.
She didn’t ask for the Marriage certificate, Degree certificate, or the Birth certificate of my daughter. Probably because it was a blue card renewal application.
After checking these documents, she asked me a few questions:
- When did you come to Germany?
- Did you switch your job in between?
- When did you come to Berlin?
- Where are you staying in Berlin?
Finally, she printed two forms and asked me to fill and sign these forms. One was for me and the other one was for my wife. You can download a sample of this form below:
She also asked to wait outside in the waiting room after filling the form until she calls me back using the same number.
I translated this form and figured that the form basically was a declaration that we (me and my wife) stay together in the mentioned address.
We both filled the form, signed it, and waited for our number to be displayed on the screen.
Even after 30 minutes, we didn’t see our number on the screen. So, I decided to go back to the same room with a question 😛
I went there and asked her if she can check the form and let me know if something is missing?
She checked the form quickly and said everything looks fine and asked me to sit there.
After another 10 minutes, she printed a paper with my basic details on it. I was asked to double-check the details.
She also asked me to confirm the eye color and height of my Daughter. This gets printed on the blue card.
This was repeated for all three of us.
Payment for blue card renewal application
After another 5-10 minutes, she gave me a credit card-sized card and asked me to make the payment.
She asked me to pay 232.50 Euros in total. This was the fee for the blue card renewal for me, my wife, and my daughter (4.5).
I had to visit a payment machine, which was on the same floor. This machine looked more like an ATM.
I had to put that card into the machine and topped it up using my bank debit card. It was a simple process that took just 1 minute.
Instead of using your debit card, you can also top up using cash.
Once the card was charged with the specified amount, I got a confirmation slip from this machine. I took that slip and gave it back to the lady.
Confirmation letters for the blue card renewal
She asked me to call my wife and daughter as well to review and sign the final set of documents.
She printed out three confirmation letters. One for each of us.
We were asked to review these letters to confirm the details and address.
The letter was basically proof that we have applied for the extension or renewal of our blue card and the same is under process.
It also stated that we can use this letter as proof for the next three months and the new blue card will arrive within the next 4-6 weeks.
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There was also a mention that the new blue card will have a 4-year validity which is more than the 3+ year validity of my current blue card.
Finally, I was asked to sign a form that took our consent for delivering the new blue card to our home address in Berlin.
Once this was signed, she gave us all the original and photocopies of the documents that we had submitted initially.
We checked if everything was in order and if we received back all the originals (Passport, current blue card, Anmeldung certificate, etc)
That was it. The whole process took approximately 1.5 hours and we were free by 9.30 am.
Thanks for reading the post and feel free to add your feedback or general queries in the comments section below.