I am a non-EU national (Ecuador). I've been working in the EU (not in Germany) for the past 3 years as a risk analyst. I hold a BA from the UK and a MSc from Italy.

I received a job offer from a Fintech in Cologne as a Risk Analyst. The salary is €44,000 gross annually.

Unfortunately, after applying for the employment visa, the outcome is a rejection, and I truly don't understand the reason, although it is stated in the letter.

Leider konnte diese Genehmigung durch die zuständige Arbeitsagentur nicht auf der Grundlage des 39 (2) 1 Nr. 1 Residence Act erteilt werden, da die Zahlung der Beschäftigung als Risikoanalyst nicht den Standardtarifen / örtlichen Bedingungen entspricht. Aufgrund fehlender Einwilligung kann kein Visum ausgestellt werden, daher muss Ihr Antrag abgelehnt werden.

As far as I understand, it is regarding the salary, but I can't find information on what is required.

Could any of you share an input of what went wrong? and perhaps what conditions have not been met and what to do to amend it?

  • 2
    Sounds like your occupation doesn't qualify as shortage occupation which means the minimum salary requirement for you would be 55,200 EUR. fragomen.com/insights/alerts/minimum-salary-level-increase-3. It would be best if your employer call job center. They are usually helpful and would explain you the problem.
    – user4827
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 15:47
  • @DavidSupportsMonica it means "not in Germany." I will edit.
    – phoog
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 16:26
  • 2
    Is it the first time your employer is recruiting in this position from abroad? It seems they should have an idea of what counts as an acceptable salary in the area. They can amend this by giving you a higher offer of course!
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 17:07
  • @VarunAgw That's good advice. Technically, those are the minimum salary requirements for an EU Blue Card under § 18b (2). If they are not met, it's still possible to get a residence permit under § 18b (1) but only with a permission from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 17:09
  • @Relaxed From my understanding, ZAV only gives approval for specialized shortage occupation.
    – user4827
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


It means that the salary offered by your prospective employer is deemed too low compared to the local standard for similar occupations by the relevant Arbeitsagentur. The law cited, “§ 39 (2) 1 Nr. 1 Residence Act” is meant to protect local workers (citizens and current residents) against competition from newcomers accepting less attractive work conditions.

As mentioned in a comment, another route to a German residence permit is the EU Blue Card under § 18b (2). If you meet its salary requirements (currently €55,200 gross per year), no permission from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit is required and the authorities would have no discretion in evaluating the conditions of your employment.

Either way, the most obvious solution is to get an offer with a higher salary. Alternatively, if the employer is not willing to move and has strong evidence this salary really is fair, maybe the evaluation can be disputed in court? However, it's difficult to see how that could work in practice. I know next to nothing about this industry but note that a quick search on Google reveals (through gehalt.de and stepstone.de) that typical salaries are indeed significantly higher (by at least €10k).

  • 2
    Any employer who don't want to pay you fairly is not likely to fight for you in the court.
    – user4827
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 17:24
  • @VarunAgw I wouldn't expect the employer to fight much either. The employee is the one with standing here anyway, what the employer could do is provide some information. All that assumes that the employer does not, in fact, pay unfairly, otherwise going to court is a non-starter. At the end of the day, I really mention this for completeness's sake, as indicated I don't think it's a realistic option.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 17:27
  • 2
    This is the correct answer. The relevant portion of the rejection is (translated) : because the payment of employment as a risk analyst does not meet standard tariffs / local conditions Commented May 24, 2020 at 19:28
  • 1
    I would just add that the OP requested to know what the minimum salary is, but such information is not published and determined by civil servants at a local level based on local conditions. As such, then it could be that a salary of xx might be sufficient for the job in location yy but not in location zz.
    – user19540
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 4:33
  • 1
    @AndreySapegin I understand that, I still don't agree it “protects” you from anything and just claiming it does doesn't change anything. A law that would bump your salary or fine the company might be construed as a protection, not a law that leaves you with no work and no residence title. At the end of the day, you're still being “discriminated”, after all locals have a right to reside which you don't.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 14:43

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