Residence card for highly qualified people

Issuance of an EU Blue Card for highly qualified foreigners to take up employment that is appropriate to their qualifications.

The EU Blue Card is issued for four years if the employment contract is open-ended or has been concluded for a period of at least four years. For shorter employment contracts, the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment relationship plus three months.

In the first two years of employment, the permission of the Aliens Department must be obtained before changing jobs.

Citizens of a non-EU country can apply for the EU Blue Card (residence permit for highly qualified employment) in order to pursue highly qualified employment in Germany.

  • Valid passport
  • 1 current biometric passport photo 35mm x 45mm, light background
  • University certificate - possibly together with an assessment of the ZAB
  • Employment contract or specific job offer
  • Health insurance
  • Job description form - Only if approval from the Federal Employment Agency is required
  • Professional license - only if required


A citizen of a non-EU country can apply for an EU Blue Card if they:
  • has a German, a recognized foreign or a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree and
  • have an employment contract with a gross annual salary of at least EUR 55,200 (EUR 4,600 per month) in so-called shortage occupations (natural scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and IT specialists) of EUR 43056 (EUR 3,588 per month).

If the minimum annual income of currently EUR 55,200 is exceeded, neither a priority check (check whether German or privileged foreign employees are available for this job) nor a comparability check of the working conditions takes place.

If only the lower minimum income limit of currently EUR 43056 / year is reached in the shortage occupations, (only) a comparability test of the working conditions is required.

A query can be made in the online database of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) as to whether the foreign university degree is recognized in Germany, see .
If the database does not contain any meaningful information, applicants are obliged to apply to the ZAB (Central Office for Foreign Education) for an individual, fee-based assessment of their degree and to present it.


The EU Blue Card can be issued for jobs in shortage occupations (natural scientists, mathematicians, architects, spatial, urban and transport planners, designers, engineers, engineers, general practitioners, specialists and academic specialists in information and communication technology University degree is available - generally only after approval by the Federal Employment Agency.
Section 18b of the Residence Act

Related Links

  • Federal Employment Agency (Hamburg Employment Agency)
  • Foreigner matters
  • Leaflet overview on immigration matters (visa) of the Central Immigration Office, HTML
  • Law on the residence, employment and integration of foreigners in the federal territory
  • Online service: Hamburg residence permit

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