Blue card for EU and Germany
Working and living in the European Union



You would like to live and work in Germany, a member state of the European Union?

Similar to the Green Card in the USA, the EU Blue Card paves the way to the European Union as a work and residence permit for highly qualified specialists from non-EU countries. Register in our network, find a job and apply for the EU Blue Card for Germany.

Blue Card EU and Germany

The Blue Card EU Germany, also called EU Blue Card Germany, is a residence permit, i.e. a proof (document) of legal residence of a third-country national in an EU member state for the purpose of gainful employment. The Blue Card is therefore intended for citizens of non-EU countries. For members of EU states, freedom of movement applies with regard to their residence.

The EU Directive on the Blue Card will become part of German law in Germany on August 1, 2012 through the Act Implementing the Highly Qualified Persons Directive of the European Union. In particular, the Residence Act has been modified. The core provision is § 19a Residence Act - Blue Card EU.
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Who can apply for a Blue Card?

A foreigner who is a citizen of a non-EU country can apply for an EU Blue Card for Germany, if

a) either a German or a recognised foreign degree or a foreign degree comparable to a German university degree and

b) has an employment contract with a gross annual salary of at least 58.400 € (4.866,66 Euro per month), in so-called shortage professions (natural scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and IT specialists) amounting to 45.552 € (3.796 Euro per month)

FAQ - Below are answers to the most important questions about the EU Blue Card.

Does the foreigner have to apply for the Blue Card EU before entering the country?
Yes, entry into Germany is subject to the general entry regulations. According to these regulations, nationals of most third countries must apply for the Blue Card EU before entering Germany. The respective German diplomatic mission abroad is responsible.

How long is a Blue Card valid?
The Blue Card EU is initially valid for a maximum of four years. If the employment relationship is to last for less than four years, i.e. it is limited in time, the Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment contract plus three months. It can then be extended or a settlement permit is issued.

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When can the holder of a Blue Card obtain a right of permanent residence in Germany?
Foreigners who possess an EU Blue Card can apply for a permanent residence permit after only 33 months. If they have German language skills at level B1, they can apply for a permanent residence permit after only 21 months (see § 19a para. 6 Residence Act).

Can the Blue Card be lost during a longer stay outside the EU?
Holders of the EU Blue Card may stay outside the EU for up to twelve months without losing their right of residence in Germany or the EU.

Can Blue Card holders move on to another EU country?
Holders of an EU Blue Card have the right to move on to another EU country after 18 months of residence in Germany.

Do Blue Card holders with a Blue Card in other EU countries count towards a permanent right of residence?
If the foreigner with a Blue Card EU has already resided in other EU member states, these periods of residence count towards the acquisition of a permanent right of residence in Germany.

Does a visa procedure have to be carried out for further migration within the EU?
If the foreigner wishes to move on within the EU, a visa is not required in almost all EU countries. The application can be made in Germany. In Germany, the application must be submitted within one month after entering Germany.

Is there a priority check? Are members of the German labour market given preferential treatment?
Priority check means that it is checked whether German employees are eligible to fill the job. Such a priority check is not carried out if the salary limits are reached. However, an examination of the working conditions is carried out.
If a salary of at least 45.552 € is reached, a priority check for non-deficit jobs will take place so that a Blue Card can be issued.

Can family members of Blue Card holders work in Germany without restriction?
Family members of holders may work in Germany without restriction and without a waiting period.

Do spouses have to have German language skills before entering Germany?
The subsequent immigration of spouses is not dependent on proof of German language skills or other integration measures. Even basic German language skills are not required for the spouse.

Jobs for Blue Cards



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