How to Change Jobs With a Blue Card in Hamburg (Step-By-Step Guide)

David Germain
3 min readOct 18, 2020

If you are curious about the bureaucracy with changing jobs, then you might be interested to know my experience, as I have done it multiple times. But I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

If you have been working in Germany for more than two years, then you can request a blue card not tied to a specific employer. Receiving unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld) does not count toward this time. Otherwise you need approval from the government each time you change jobs.

This article aims to help people who have been working in Germany for less than two years. If you have been working longer, consider getting the other card, as it has fewer restrictions. You can read about it in my other article.

They will easily approve your request if the job title and salary are similar to your last job.

Bureaucracy can be overwhelming — especially in a foreign country — so if you feel uncertain or too busy to handle it, contact me with the form below. Don’t live in Hamburg? We can still find a solution. 🙂

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Once you have a new job offer, the process goes like this:

Step 1: Prepare

You need a signed work contract and a filled-in employment relationship document. A representative of the new company should complete this form. The Welcome Center occasionally publishes new versions of this document, so I won’t link to it directly. But go on this page and look for it. At the time of writing this, in February 2022, it is called “Workplace and job description.” In the worst case scenario you can email them and ask.

Step 2: Submit

The Welcome Center helps professionals with blue cards. You can write an email to them in English. Below is a Haiku that highlights the main things you should say.

I have blue card, and
got new job offer. Please see
attached files. Thank you.

Their email address is listed in the “how to contact us” section of this page.

Step 3: Wait

Normally, they reply within a few business days. But with COVID-19, the wait time has increased to a few weeks. They may reply in German, but just plop that text into your preferred translator. Below is another Haiku that highlights the main things they probably said.

Good morning, thank you.
I contacted the employment
agency. We’ll let you know.

Step 4: Wait (Again)

Depending on how busy they are, it can take around two weeks to be approved. Just keep waiting. Just keep waiting. Just keep waiting.

Step 5: Collect

When they email you next, they will offer you an appointment to visit the Welcome Center and update your visa. They speak English there, so if you don’t speak German, you’ll be fine. Whoo-who!

That’s it. You’re done!

Years ago, when I first arrived to Hamburg, there was no clear, well-maintained guide on updating blue cards. There was a lot of uncertainty around this topic, and I felt stuck at my job because of a lack of information. So if this article helped you, please consider making a one-time donation. You’re probably an IT-professional makin’ bank, so what’s one or two Euros to a cool person like you?