Can I obtain an EU Blue Card?
The EU Blue Card is similar to the American Green Card. It is a special form of residence permit for academics who want to work as qualified professionals in Germany. If you are a professional living outside Germany and the EU, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. The requirements are set out in Section 18b (2) of the Residence Act.
What do I need to know?
You can obtain an EU Blue Card if you:
- have a German university degree or an equivalent qualification and
- a job offer or a current job in your specific field with a minimum annual gross salary of €56,800 (as of 2021) in Germany. Please note: The minimum gross annual salary for scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, and IT specialists currently amounts to €44,304. If this is your range of wages, you also need the approval of the Federal Employment Agency.
If you need an entry visa to come to Germany, the first step is to apply for a visa at the German embassy/consulate in your home country or a neighbouring country and present the required documents.
Please note that your visa application can take several months to process.
If you do not need a visa to enter Germany, report to the Immigration Office at your new place of residence after your entry and present your documents there.
Whether you need a visa depends on your country of origin. On auswaertiges-amt.de, you will find a list of countries whose citizens need an entry visa for Germany.
In our chapter "National Visa", you will find a list of documents that all third-country nationals need for a national visa.
For an EU Blue Card, you also need the following documents:
- Proof of your university degree
- An employment contract or a job offer in Germany
After entering the country, you must report to the Immigration Office at your new place of residence within three months and apply for a residence permit. To do so, you must submit the documents mentioned above (again), as well as, in principle, a police registration certificate and a rental agreement. The authorities will check your papers and then decide whether you can obtain a residence permit.
The EU Blue Card is usually issued for four years. If your employment contract has a shorter duration, your residence permit will be adjusted accordingly.
You can switch your job within the first two years; however, the change must be approved by the Immigration Office responsible for you.
Holders of the EU Blue Card can receive a permanent residence permit (or settlement permit) after just 33 months. You can learn more about such a residence permit in our chapter "Permanent Residence Permit".