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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for EU Blue Card for highly qualified employment


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

You can obtain an EU Blue Card if you have a completed university degree. If you do not have a German university degree, your degree must either be recognized or comparable to a German high school degree. The recognition or determination of comparability can be made before you enter Germany.

In addition, you must present an employment contract or a binding job offer with a certain minimum salary. The minimum salary is set annually and amounts to EUR 55,200 in 2020. For so-called shortage occupations, in particular:

  • Natural scientists,
  • mathematicians,
  • engineers,
  • human medicine specialists and
  • IT specialists

a lower income limit 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 employees.

The EU Blue Card is a temporary residence title. It is issued for four years in the case of unlimited employment relationships. If the duration of your employment is less than four years, the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of your employment contract plus three months. During the first two years, you will need written permission from the Foreigners' Registration Office to change jobs.

As a holder of an EU Blue Card, you can obtain a settlement permit if you:

  • 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,
  • your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,
  • have a basic knowledge of German languages and a basic knowledge of the German legal and social system,
  • are permitted to engage in gainful employment and possess all permits required for this purpose,
  • be able to support yourself and your family from your income without recourse to public benefits, and
  • have sufficient living space for yourself and your family.

If you have sufficient knowledge of the German language (level B1), you can receive the settlement permit after only 21 months.

Exception: As a citizen of an EU country, you have access to the labor market due to your right of free movement. You can pursue self-employment or employment in Germany within the framework of the right of settlement or the freedom of movement of employees. This also applies to nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

  • there is no interest in deportation against you
  • Intended employment must be commensurate with qualifications
  • You have:
    • a German,
    • a recognized foreign or
    • a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree
  • You will receive a certain minimum salary:
    • Non-skilled occupations: EUR 55,200 (2020, no priority or comparability test, no approval from the Federal Employment Agency (BA) required)
    • Shortage occupations: EUR 43,056 (2020, working conditions and salary must be comparable to those of corresponding German employees, BA approval required):
      • Natural scientists,
      • Mathematicians,
      • engineers,
      • human medicine specialists, and
      • IT specialists
  • You have a job that matches your qualifications or a specific job offer that matches your qualifications.
  • when entering the country with an appropriate visa:
    • valid passport with visa
  • if there is a previous stay with a residence title for another purpose:
    • valid passport
    • Residence title


  • Current biometric photo
  • Original of employment contract or binding offer of employment
  • Original of the certificate of successfully completed university education
  • if available: Certificate of recognition, comparability of the university degree or a certificate evaluation from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
  • Employment contract or binding job offer
  • for regulated professions: Your professional license (for example, license to practice or license to practice)
  • current certificate of registration
  • Proof of your health insurance
  • rental contract

Issue of EU Blue Card: EUR 100

  • Validity of the EU Blue Card: maximum 4 years
    • If you have a temporary employment contract, the EU Blue Card can also be valid for a shorter period. Normally, it is then valid for 3 months longer than your employment contract.
  • Application for the EU Blue Card: at the latest 8 weeks before the expiry of your still valid visa or residence permit.

about 6 to 8 weeks

Note: The EU Blue Card is issued as an electronic residence permit.

Local foreigners authority in your city or municipality.

You can also obtain free advice on the topics of entry, residence and employment from the "Hotline Arbeiten und Leben in Deutschland" (Working and Living in Germany Hotline) from the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.
Phone: 030 18151111
Service hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 16:00.

  • Forms: can be obtained from your local immigration office
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes

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

  • Arrange an appointment with the local immigration office in your city or municipality.
  • During the appointment, your documents will be checked and your fingerprints will be taken for the EU Blue Card.
  • If your application is approved, the Aliens' Registration Office will commission the Bundesdruckerei to produce the EU Blue Card.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the EU Blue Card at the Aliens' Registration Office.
  • Since the Blue Card EU is linked to an online ID function, you must pick it up in person.

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, for Building and the Home Affairs and are also updated on the relevant websites. As a rule, these minimum salary limits increase each year.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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