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Apply for an EU Blue Card for highly qualified employment

Highly qualified foreign nationals who wish to pursue employment in Germany commensurate with their qualifications can obtain an EU Blue Card.

  • Exception: Nationals of EU states have access to the labour market due to their right of free movement. They can pursue self-employment or employment in Germany within the framework of the right of settlement or the freedom of movement of workers.
    This also applies to other nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and to nationals of Switzerland.

You can obtain the EU Blue Card for a maximum of four years when it is first issued.
If your employment contract has a duration of less than four years, you will receive the EU Blue Card for the duration of the employment contract plus three months.

Attention: If you want to change your job in the first two years after the EU Blue Card has been issued, you must obtain permission from the Aliens' Registration Office to do so.

Holders of an EU Blue Card can obtain a settlement permit if they have

  • have been employed for at least 33 months,
  • have paid contributions to the statutory pension insurance scheme or to another pension scheme with comparable benefits for this period and meet the following further requirements:
    • Their livelihood is secure.
    • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
    • You are allowed to pursue gainful employment and have all the necessary permits for this.
    • You have a basic knowledge of German and of the German legal and social system.
    • They have sufficient living space for themselves and their family.

Those who prove language skills of level B1 and meet the other requirements can receive the settlement permit after only 21 months of employment and payment of contributions.

Prerequisite

The requirements for the EU Blue Card are:

  • You fulfil the passport and visa requirements.
    For the passport requirement, it is sufficient if you have a substitute identity card.
  • You receive an annual salary of at least 58,400 euros. For certain professions (natural scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors (except dentistry) and IT specialists ) a minimum salary of 45,552 euros applies.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You have
    • a German,
    • a recognised foreign university degree or
    • a foreign higher education qualification comparable to a German higher education qualification.
      The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs may, by ordinance, determine professions in which a qualification evidenced by at least five years of professional experience is equivalent to a university degree.
  • You have a job corresponding to your qualifications or a concrete job offer corresponding to your qualifications.
  • The Federal Employment Agency consents to the granting of the residence title (only in cases where consent is required).

Responsible department

  • for the issuance of a national visa before entering Germany: the German mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • after entry: the foreigners authority in whose district you usually reside;
    foreigners authority is, depending on your place of residence, the municipal administration or the district administration office.

Tip: The Federal Foreign Office provides a list of the representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad on its website.

Standard port

To display the responsible office, select a location.

Procedure

Before entering Germany, you must apply for a national visa in your home country. The representation of the Federal Republic of Germany involves the competent foreigners authority. In the visa procedure, you must provide information about your employment in the Federal Republic. This enables the authority to check whether the Federal Employment Agency has to approve your employment.

After entering Germany, you must apply for a residence title in writing to the Foreigners' Registration Office before your visa or previous residence permit expires. Depending on where you live, the foreigners authority is the city administration or the district administration office.

Notice: The Foreigners' Registration Office obtains the consent of the Federal Employment Agency if this is required.

You will receive the residence title in the form of a cheque card with additional electronic functions.

You can find more information on this under"Apply for an electronic residence title (eAT)".

Deadlines

none

Required documents

  • Proof of compliance with passport and visa requirements
  • Proof of minimum salary
  • Proof of your university degree
  • Proof of a job or job offer
  • Proof that there is no interest in deportation against you
  • Proof that you do not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany

Costs

  • Period of validity up to one year: EUR 100.00
  • Period of validity over one year: EUR 100.00
  • Extension for up to three months: EUR 96.00
  • Extension by more than three months: EUR 93.00

Processing time

Processing usually takes four to eight weeks

Miscellaneous

none

Appeal

  • Objection
  • Action before the administrative court

Release note

08.01.2024; Justizministerium Baden-Württemberg