EU Blue Card

EU Blue Card: This is a residence permit issued by a Member State of the European Community for the purpose of taking up employment in the respective Member State for third-country nationals.

The Blue Card is primarily intended for highly qualified third-country nationals to enable them to stay in the EU. Since 1 August 2012, the Blue Card has been the central residence permit for academic professionals from abroad. It is issued in a simplified procedure without the involvement of the Federal Employment Agency .

Requirements for obtaining the Blue Card: The applicant must provide proof of a university degree and the minimum salary agreed and stipulated in the employment contractmust be respected. For bottleneck occupations and young professionals,  a minimum salary of 39,682.80 euros will apply in the future. For all other professions, a minimum salary of 43,800.00 euros applies. (New regulations coming into force from 18 November 2023regarding the minimum salary threshold for Blue Card EU). A specific employment contract offered only has to last at least 6 months and not 12 months.

Extended group of people: For example, foreign academics who have obtained a university degree within the last 3 years can receive an EU Blue Card if they achieve a minimum salary of 39,682.80 euros with the job in Germany. This applies to both bottleneck and regular occupations. A specific employment contract offered only has to last at least 6 months and not 12 months.

IT specialists: Another new feature is that IT specialists will be able to obtain an EU Blue Card if they do not have a university degree but can prove at least 3 years of comparable professional experience as an information and communication technology specialist in the last seven years. In this case, the lower salary threshold also applies to bottleneck occupations as well as to regular occupations (39,682.80 euros). Knowledge of German is not required. This regulation allows programmers without an IT degree to find a job.

Who issues the Blue Card: In Germany, it is issued exclusively by the immigration authorities. In cases where there is an entitlement to the issuance of the Blue Card, third-country nationals requiring a visa will be issued a national visa for entry into the country by the competent German diplomatic mission abroad. After entering Germany, the visa will be replaced by a Blue Card by the responsible Foreigners’ Registration Office. For this purpose, the Blue Cardmust be applied for at the local immigration office before the visa expires. You can find the responsible Foreigners’ Registration Officefor your place of residence in Germany on (Bundesamt for Migration and Refugees).

The EU Blue Card is issued for 4 years, up to a maximum of 3 months for the duration of the employment contract plus 3 months. For a change of job within the first 2 years of employment, a permit from the responsible Foreigners’ Registration Office with a new examination of the conditions for granting a job is required.

Advantages of the Blue Card: Numerous privileges for the holder of the Blue Card and their family. For example, an early right of permanent residence enables potential applicants to plan their future in Germany in the long term. For example, a permanent residence permit in Germany  can be issued after 27 months. If German language skills can be proven at level B1, the settlement permit will be issued after only 21 months. (See new regulations on this from 18 November 2023 on obtaining the permanent settlement permit). The permanent residence permit is unlimited and includes the right to gainful employment. The requirements for this are regulated and laid down in the Residence Act. In the future, EU Blue Card holders will also be able to change jobs more easily and join their families.