The EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card for Germany is similar to the temporary residence permit, but it is only available to a limited number of people, such as highly skilled foreign citizens from non-EU countries. A higher education degree, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, qualifies you as highly skilled in the EU Blue Card context. To qualify for this card, applicants must earn a minimum of 56,800 € per year, or 44,304 € if they would be working in a shortage occupation, such as mathematics, natural sciences, informatics, technology, or medical.

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The EU Blue Card is a four-year temporary residency card that is provided as a matter of principle. The EU Blue Card is given for the duration of the employment contract plus three months if the employment contract is less than four years. If the prerequisites are met, it can be extended. Any job change within the first two years of employment requires an authorization from the competent immigration office. The Blue Card’s eligibility requirements will then be re-examined.


To receive an EU Blue Card, you must complete the following requirements:

  • You’ve completed your studies: If you earned your degree outside of Germany, it must be recognized or comparable to a German degree. Check here for the information on equivalency and recognition of foreign degrees.
  • You have a binding job offer or an employment contract.
  • Your annual gross salary is at least 56,800 €. Employment in the occupational fields of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, engineering, and human medicine (not including dentistry) is subject to a lower minimum annual gross income of 44,304 € (as of 2021 – the salary thresholds are readjusted for each calendar year).
  • The employment must match the qualification.

Professions Eligible for a German EU Blue Card

  • Architects and interior designers
  • Engineers
  • Information and communication technologies specialists
  • Mathematicians
  • Health professionals
  • Scientists
  • Scientific engineers
  • Urban and traffic planning specialists

The occupations that qualify you for a German Blue Card are those that need a university diploma. A German Blue Card is available to you if you are highly qualified in your field.

Competent authorities

If you live outside of the EU, you will almost certainly need a work visa, which will be given by the German diplomatic office in your home country. This visa allows you to enter Germany. You must then apply for the EU Blue Card with the local immigration authorities before the visa expires.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America are not required to obtain a visa to enter Germany; however, they must apply for the EU Blue Card within three months at the immigration authority responsible for their residence. They will be able to work once they have received their EU Blue Card.
  • Individuals who have held an EU Blue Card for at least 18 months in another EU Member State are not required to obtain a visa to enter Germany. They must apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany within one month after entering the country at the immigration authority competent for the area where they live. Once the EU Blue Card has been issued, they are eligible to work.
  • Individuals who are already residing in Germany and hold another type of residence permit may apply for an EU Blue Card with the immigration authority responsible for their location.

Benefits of the EU Blue Card

  • Relaxation of family reunification conditions: Your family members are subject to less restrictions when it comes to family reunion. Spouses are eligible for a residency title without having to meet certain criteria, such as knowing German, and are given instant and unrestricted authorization to work.
  • Holders of an EU Blue Card will acquire a permanent residence permit after 33 months in Germany if they have worked in highly qualified jobs and paid into a pension fund during that time and are able to communicate in German on a basic level. For those who have a good command of the German language, the qualification term is reduced to 21 months (level B1).

Documents Required for a Blue Card

  • Your valid passport.
  • Recent 35mm x 45mm biometric picture.
  • Your employment contract.
  • Application form for a residence permit.
  • Declaration on the employment relationship. This is required if you need further approval by the Federal Employment Agency.
  • Your residence registration in Germany. When you enter Germany, you have to register your address within the first two weeks. Submit the certificate of registration as proof that you primarily live in Germany.
  • Your university or college degree.
    • If needed: Recognition of your degree by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
  • Proof of health insurance.
    • If you have public health insurance, submit your electronic health card along with a confirmation of health insurance.
    • If you have private insurance, submit the certificate from the insurance company along with proof you have paid your contributions.
  • Occupation practice permit. For occupations which require an occupational license, such as medicine or law.

Information from

BAMF – Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

EU Blue Card Germany – Germany Visa

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