(1) A foreigner shall be granted an EU Blue Card pursuant to Council Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment (OJ L 155,18.6.2009, p. 17) for the purpose of employment commensurate with his qualification, if
a)? holds a German or a foreign higher education qualification which is recognised or otherwise comparable to a German higher education qualification or
b)? to the extent that this is stipulated by a statutory instrument pursuant to subsection 2 below, if he has a comparable qualification demonstrated by at least five years of professional experience,
2.? the Federal Employment Agency has granted approval in accordance with Section 39 or it has been determined by statutory instrument pursuant to Section 42 or by intergovernmental agreement that the EU Blue Card may be issued without the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, and
3.? if he receives a salary equal to or exceeding that stipulated by the statutory instrument under subsection 2.
(2) The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs may determine the following by means of statutory instruments:
1.? the level of pay pursuant to subsection 1 no. 3,
2.? professions in which five years of professional experience demonstrate a qualification comparable to a higher education degree, and
3.? professions in which nationals of specific states shall be denied an EU Blue Card, because there is a lack of qualified workers in these professions in the country of origin.
Statutory instruments pursuant to nos. 1 and 2 shall require the approval of the Bundesrat.
(3)The EU Blue Card shall be issued for a maximum period of four years from the date of initial issue. Where the duration of the employment contract is less than four years, the EU Blue Card shall be issued or extended for the period covering the employment contract plus three months.
(4) Holders of the EU Blue Card wishing to change jobs within the first two years of employment shall require permission by the foreigners authority; such permission shall be granted if the conditions in subsection 1 are met.
1.? who meet the conditions in Section 9a (3) nos. 1 or 2,
2.? who have applied for the determination of whether the conditions in Section 60 (5) or (7), sentence 1, or in Section 60a (2), sentence 1 are met,
3.? whose entry into a member state of the European Union is subject to obligations arising from international treaties to facilitate the entry and temporary residence of specific categories of natural persons engaged in trade- or investment-related activities,
4.? who have been admitted as seasonal workers in a member state of the European Union,
5.? whose deportation has been temporarily suspended pursuant to Section 60a,
6.? who come under Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services (OJ L 18, 21.1. 1997, p.1), for the duration of posting to Germany, or
7.? who, owing to treaties between the European Union and its member states on the one hand and third countries on the other, enjoy rights of free movement equivalent to those of Union citizens
shall not be issued an EU Blue Card.
(6) Holders of an EU Blue Card must be issued a permanent settlement permit, if they have held a position of employment in line with subsection 1 for at least 33 months and have made mandatory or voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance scheme for that period, or if they furnish evidence of an entitlement to comparable benefits from an insurance or pension scheme or from an insurance company and if the requirements of Section 9 (2), sentence 1, nos. 2, 4 to 6, 8 and 9 are met and if they have basic German language skills. Section 9 (2) sentences 2 to 6 shall apply accordingly. The period referred to in sentence 1 shall be reduced to 21 months if the foreigner has a sufficient command of the German language.