EU Blue Card Germany - Live & Work in Germany (2023)

The EU Blue Card is a German residence permit for skilled workers. You can apply for a German Blue Card if you are from a non-EU country, have a university degree, and you are offered a qualified position with a salary of at least 1.5 times the German average.

Germany EU Blue Card Salary

To get an EU Blue Card for Germany, you must be offered a salary of at least €56,400/year (€4,700/month). If you work in a profession that is considered “in shortage”, the minimum salary may be lowered to €43,992/year (€3,666/month).

If your salary is lower than €56,400/year, then you must ask for approval from the German Federal Employment Agency to be granted a Blue Card.

Remember: This is the salary requirement for 2021. The minimum salary is calculated to be at least 1.5 times the German national average, so it changes yearly.

EU Blue Card Field Requirements Germany

If you have a university degree, professional training, and a qualifying salary (at least €56,400/year), you are eligible for an EU Blue Card. It is easier to obtain a Blue Card if you are skilled in a profession that is in shortage. In Germany, the fields that are experiencing a shortage of workers are:

  • Natural sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Architecture and interior design
  • Urban and traffic planning
  • Engineering
  • Scientific engineering
  • Medicine
  • Information and communication technologies

Requirements for Germany’s EU Blue Card

To be eligible for the EU Blue Card, you need the following:

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University degreeYou must have a degree from a German university, a foreign university that is recognized in Germany.

A different degree that is comparable to a degree in Germany may also be accepted.

Recognition of your qualificationsIf you will work in a regulated profession, such as health services, law, teaching, and engineering, you must have your degrees recognized by the competent authorities in Germany.

The competent authority will differ based on your profession. You can learn where to apply via the “Recognition in Germany” website of the German government.

Employment offerYou must have an official work contract, which clearly states your position and salary.

You must be employed with a German company or institution; you cannot be self-employed or freelancing.

Health insuranceBefore getting your EU Blue Card, you must register for German health insurance. Usually, you will have to sign up for public (statutory) health insurance, but you might be eligible for private insurance as well, depending on your salary.
Registered address in GermanyAs soon as you arrive in Germany, you must register with the local Resident’s Registration Office. You must submit the registration certificate to the Immigration Authorities when you apply for your Blue Card.

How to Apply for an EU Blue Card for Germany?

To apply for a German EU Blue Card, you have to:

Find a Job And Get a Work Contract

Before you can apply for the EU Blue Card, you must find a job in Germany and your employer has to provide you with a work contract. You can look for open positions at online job portals, such as:

  • Arbeitsagentur – Job Portal of the German Employment Agency
  • de – Job Portal of the German Federal Government
  • EURES – European Job Mobility Portal of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Euraxess.de – Jobs in Germany
  • Academics.com
  • Alumniportal-deutschland.org

Get a Visa From the Embassy to Enter Germany

If you secure a qualifying job offer, your next step is to get a German visa for employment purposes from the German embassy or consulate. This visa allows you to enter Germany, where you have to submit the application for an EU Blue Card at the Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Authority).

If you are from the following countries, you do not need to apply for a visa to enter Germany. You can enter visa-free and apply for an EU Blue Card residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde directly in Germany:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Register Your Residence and Get Health Insurance

Once you enter Germany, you have to register at the resident’s registration office within two weeks and enrol with a health insurance provider in Germany. You need the registration certificate when you submit your application for the EU Blue Card as well as a certificate of insurance.

Obtain Your EU Blue Card From the German Immigration Authorities

Once you have all the necessary documents, you can then submit your application for an EU Blue Card at the Ausländerbehörde. Remember that you cannot work until your application is processed and you receive your residence card.

Can I Hire a Lawyer to Help With My Application for a German Blue Card?

Yes, you can get legal help for your EU Blue Card application. In fact, many applicants who find the process difficult and confusing often choose to hire experts to help them.

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There are immigration law agencies, such as that have years of experience dealing with German bureaucracy and can guide you along the process.

The can let you know whether you meet the qualifications to apply for an EU Blue Card and help you apply for the visa and residence permit. They’re also well-informed regarding the required documents and procedures involved in applying for a Germany EU Blue Card.

Document Checklist for Germany EU Blue Card Application

When submitting your application for a German EU Blue Card, you will need the following documents:

  • Your passport. Your passport must contain the relevant entry visa or stamp, proving you have entered Germany legally.
  • Recent biometric picture.
  • Application form for a residence permit. You have to complete this form entirely and sign it at the end. You can download the form from the website of your local Immigration Authority or pick it up in person.
  • Your work contract or offer. You have to submit the original work contract/offer, stating your position in the company and exact salary.
  • Your academic qualifications. You have to submit your original certificate or degree along with your application.
  • Proof of health insurance. You must have German health insurance; health insurance from abroad is not accepted.
  • Proof your primary residence is in Germany. You must register your address at the local residents’ registration office and submit the certificate of residence registration.
  • Approval of the German Federal Employment Agency. Only required if your salary is under 56,400/year.
  • Marriage or birth certificate/s, as relevant. If your family is coming with you.

Depending on your specific case and the Ausländerbehörde in which you submit your application, you may be required to submit additional documents. Confirm with the relevant authorities or your immigration lawyers before finalizing your application.

Benefits of the German EU Blue Card

With an EU Blue Card, you can live and work in Germany, and enjoy the social, educational, and healthcare benefits of the German state. Other benefits of the German Blue Card include:

  • You can apply for permanent residence after 33 months. Becoming a settled (permanent) resident means you can live in Germany indefinitely, change employment as you wish, work in any profession, and even open a business.
  • If you lose your job or your contract ends, you have three months to look for employment elsewhere.
  • After two years, you can change your employer without needing to ask for approval. You do have to notify the Immigration Authorities of any changes, however.
  • Your spouse and dependent children can come with you.
  • Your spouse is allowed to work in Germany in any profession.

How Long Does It Take to Get an EU Blue Card for Germany?

According to German law, all EU Blue Card applications should be resolved within three months. Most applicants hear a decision within 5-6 weeks.

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If you are already living in Germany, and wish to convert to a Blue Card, then you should make an appointment with the German Immigration Authorities four to six weeks before your current residence permit expires.

Validity of the German EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is valid for the duration of your work contract plus 3 months. It is not issued for longer than four years, but you can apply for a German settlement permit after 33 months of residence. Once you are a settled resident, you can stay in Germany indefinitely.

If you can prove your knowledge of the German language is on at least a B1 level, you can get a settlement permit after only 21 months of residing and working in Germany.

Should I Notify the Immigration Authorities in Germany If I Change My Job?

As the holder of an EU Blue Card, you have to notify the local German Immigration Authority of any job changes during the first two years of employment. These include changing employers or losing your job.

After two years, you can change employment (as long as it still meets the conditions of the German EU Blue Card) even without the approval of the German authorities.

What If I Lose My Job?

If you lose your job while in Germany with a Blue Card, then you have three months to find another job. Once you have found employment, you should go to the local Immigration Authority with your work contract and all other relevant documents to update your information and settle your residence permit.

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Germany EU Blue Card for Accompanying Family

With a Blue Card, you can bring your partner and children to live with you in Germany. They do not need to know German to receive a visa and residence permit. However, to bring your family members to Germany with you, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • You must have enough income to maintain your family members.
  • You must have housing that is large enough to accommodate yourself and your family.
  • You must obtain health insurance for all your family members.

While living in Germany, your children will have access to German education. Your spouse is also allowed to pursue studies or to start working. There are no restrictions on which type of employment your spouse can have.

They can also take advantage of German social and healthcare benefits.

Related Information:

  • German Permanent Residence Permit
  • Becoming a German Citizen by Naturalization

FAQs

Can I work in Germany with a Blue Card? ›

The EU Blue Card enables third-country nationals with an academic degree and a labour contract (or a binding job offer) guaranteeing a certain minimum annual income to live and work in Germany. It promotes the immigration of skilled workers, particu- larly in shortage occcupations.

Can you work anywhere with EU Blue Card? ›

The EU Blue Card holder and their family members are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU. The EU Blue card holder enjoys equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State where they have settled. Yet, they can only work in the sector they are concerned about.

Can I work in any EU countries with German Blue Card? ›

The EU Blue Card is a work and residence permit and visa that applies to all EU-member countries, and which allows skilled non-EU citizens to live and work in an EU-member country.

Can EU citizens live and work in Germany? ›

As an EU citizen you may work in Germany without restriction.

What is the salary limit for Blue Card in Germany? ›

Information on the equivalence and recognition of foreign degrees is available at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de. You have an employment contract or a binding job offer. You have a minimum annual gross salary of 56,400 Euros.

What is the minimum salary to get work permit in Germany? ›

If you apply for a Blue Card, your salary must be at least 56,400€ per year (before taxes). If there is a shortage of skilled workers in your field, your salary must be at least 43,992€ per year. This list shows which fields have a shortage of skilled workers. If you can, find a job before you come to Germany.

How long can I stay outside Germany with Blue Card? ›

an EU Blue Card becomes invalid 12 months after leaving Germany. this period also applies to family members of a Blue Card EU holder if they have a residence permit for family reasons. you can apply for a longer period, if the stay abroad serves the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Where can I work with Blue Card? ›

An EU Blue Card gives highly-qualified workers from outside the EU the right to live and work in an EU country, provided they have higher professional qualifications, such as a university degree, and an employment contract or a binding job offer with a high salary compared to the average in the EU country where the job ...

What is the difference between Blue Card and work permit Germany? ›

Work/residence permit (Arbeitserlaubnis/Aufenthaltserlaubnis): A residence/work permit allows you to stay and work in Germany for more than 90 days. Blue Card: A Blue Card is a type of work/residence permit that is only issued to people who meet a specific set of criteria (eg.

How long can EU citizen stay in Germany? ›

Entry and residence

Thanks to the freedom of movement, you can travel to Germany without a visa or a residence permit and stay here for a period of three months. The only documents you will need for entering the country are either a valid passport or an ID card.

How long can EU residents stay in Germany? ›

A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.

How can I get German citizenship in 3 years? ›

Spouses or registered same-sex partners of German citizens are eligible for naturalization after three years of legal residence in Germany. They must have been married or in a registered partnership for at least two years at the time of application. The general requirements for naturalization also apply.

What is the difference between Blue Card and work permit Germany? ›

Work/residence permit (Arbeitserlaubnis/Aufenthaltserlaubnis): A residence/work permit allows you to stay and work in Germany for more than 90 days. Blue Card: A Blue Card is a type of work/residence permit that is only issued to people who meet a specific set of criteria (eg.

What does Blue Card in Germany mean? ›

The EU Blue Card is the main residence permit for university graduates from abroad. It is a simple and unbureaucratic procedure geared to third-country nationals keen to put their talents to use in Germany.

How long can I stay outside Germany with Blue Card? ›

an EU Blue Card becomes invalid 12 months after leaving Germany. this period also applies to family members of a Blue Card EU holder if they have a residence permit for family reasons. you can apply for a longer period, if the stay abroad serves the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Is it hard to get a Blue Card in Germany? ›

To get an EU Blue Card for Germany, you must be offered a salary of at least €56,400/year (€4,700/month). If you work in a profession that is considered “in shortage”, the minimum salary may be lowered to €43,992/year (€3,666/month).

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