Eu blue card granted for the exercise of a highly qualified employment

If you are a highly qualified foreign national and would like to work in Germany according to a job that is appropriate to your qualifications, you can obtain the EU Blue Card under certain conditions.

The EU Blue Card is the central residence permit for highly qualified professionals with a university degree in Germany. It can only be requested in person from your local immigration authority. Spouses of EU Blue Card holders are also entitled to a residence permit.

You can get an EU Blue Card if you have completed your studies. If you do not have a German university degree, your degree must either be recognised or comparable to a German higher education degree. You can already make the recognition or determination of comparability before you enter Germany.

You must also submit an employment contract or a binding job offer with a certain minimum salary. The minimum salary is fixed annually and will be EUR 55,200 in 2020. For so-called shortage occupations, in particular:

  • Scientists,
  • Mathematicians,
  • Engineers,
  • human physicians as well as
  • IT professionals

lower income threshold applies. This amounts to EUR 43,056 in 2020. In these cases, the Federal Employment Agency checks whether the working conditions correspond to those of comparable German workers.

The EU Blue Card is a temporary residence permit. It is granted for a period of four years in the case of permanent employment. If the duration of your employment relationship is less than four years, the EU Blue Card will be issued for the duration of your employment contract plus three months. In the first two years, you will need written permission from the immigration authority to change jobs.

As the holder of an EU Blue Card, you may obtain a residence permit if you:

  • have been employed for at least 33 months,
  • have paid contributions for that period to the statutory pension scheme or to another pension scheme with comparable benefits,
  • Your stay does not endanger or affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,
  • have a simple knowledge of German languages and basic knowledge of the German legal and social order,
  • may engage in an activity and have all the necessary permits to do so,
  • can secure the livelihood of yourself and your family from your income without taking advantage of public services, and
  • have enough large living space for yourself and your family.

If you have sufficient knowledge of the German language (level B1), you can obtain your residence permit after 21 months.

Exception: As a national of an EU country, you have access to the labour market because of your right of free movement. They may pursue a self-employed activity or employment in Germany within the framework of the right of establishment or the free movement of workers. This also applies to nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

  • on entry with appropriate visa:
    • valid passport with visa
  • in so far as there is a prior stay with a residence permit for another purpose:
    • valid passport
    • Residence permit


  • current biometric photo
  • Original employment contract or binding job offer
  • Original of the certificate of successfully completed higher education
  • where available: decision on recognition, comparability of higher education or a certificate assessment by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
  • Employment contract or binding job offer
  • in the case of regulated professions: your professional licence (e.g. approval or professional exercise permit)
  • current registration certificate
  • Proof of your health insurance
  • Lease
  • Forms: you will receive from your local immigration authority
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: yes


  • there is no interest in expulsion against you
  • intended employment must be appropriate to the qualification
  • You have:
    • a German,
    • a recognised foreign or
    • a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree
  • You will receive a certain minimum salary:
    • Non-deficiency occupations: EUR 55,200 (2020, no priority and comparability test, no approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) required)
    • Shortage occupations: EUR 43,056 (2020, working conditions and salary must be comparable to the corresponding German employee, BA approval required):
      • Scientists,
      • Mathematicians,
      • Engineers,
      • human physicians and human medics as well as
      • IT professionals
  • You have a job that is complacenly appropriate to your qualifications or a job offer that is comlineable to your qualifications.


The minimum salary limits are announced annually at the end of the year for the following year in the Federal Gazette by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Homeland and are also updated on the corresponding websites. As a rule, these minimum salary limits increase every year.

Related Links

  • Section 18b paragraph 2 Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Section 18c paragraph 2 Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Section 19f paragraph 1 and 2 Residence Act

Related Links

  • Information on the EU Blue Card on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (german)
  • Information on the EU Blue Card on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
  • Information from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications
  • Information on the certificate assessment for foreign university qualifications on the website of the Conference of Ministers of Culture

As a rule, you must apply for your EU Blue Card in person:

  • Arrange a preliminary meeting with the local immigration authority of your city or municipality
  • During the appointment, your evidence will be checked and your fingerprints for the EU Blue Card will be taken.
  • If your application is granted, the immigration authority instructs the Federal Printing Office to produce the EU Blue Card.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the EU Blue Card from the immigration authority.
  • Since the EU Blue Card is connected to an online identification function, you must collect it in person.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Homeland

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