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Blue Card EU – Work Permit for Germany

12.01.2016  |  European Visas, Relocation Information

Blue Card EU – the Work Permit for Germany came into effect in 2012.

Blue Card EU

Blue Card EU

Since Germany followed the Brussels directive and reformed their immigraiton law, the new stay title is officially called the Blue Card EU. People who are entitled to the EU Blue Card are the following:

University graduates

A pre-condition for receiving the EU blue card is a university degree as well as a working contract with a gross salary of at least € 46.400. The proof of precedence and the proof of similar working conditions will be let out so the entry to the labor market is without restriction.

Highly qualified

An even lower salary border does exist for highly qualified people in shortage occupations. There the gross salary border is € 37.752. These jobs are mainly engineers, academics and similar skilled workers in the information and communication fields, as well as doctors. Here, a pre-condition proof is not necessary unless the working conditions are similar. In jobs where there is a so-called „special interest of non- EU- citizens“ the salary border is lower. For receiving the Blue Card EU as a mathematician, scientist, engineer, doctor or IT-skilled worker there is a gross salary border of € 37.752 per year.

Who can apply for the Blue Card EU?

Highly qualified skilled workers and academics from non-EU-states can apply for the Blue Card EU as a simple and limited work permit. The application needs to be sent to the responsible foreign department. The foreign department is normally settled at the same place as the administrative district (middle administrative level). The foreign department needs to tell the labour department and the employment agency about their decisions concerning theBlue Card EU.

Conditions for application

A German university degree, a foreign unviersity degree which is accepted are a foreign unviersity degree that is similar to a German one. The central department for the foreign education service (ZAB) offers an online- database where one can check which foreign university degrees are accepted in Germany. If the database does not offer helpful information, EU blue card applicants need to apply for an individual check of their degrees. This check is not for free and needs to be presented at the foreign department.

Qualified working contract

A qualified working contract needs to be presented and it needs to be clear that the annual gross salary is at least € 46.4000, i.e. € 3.867 (gross) per month. An annual gross salary of € 37.752, or € 3.146 per month (gross), is also enough in some shortage sectors. At the moment such jobs are: scientists, mathematicians, architects, planning officers, town planners, traffic managers, designers, engineers, engineer scientists, doctors (not including dentists), as well as academic skilled workers in information and communication technology.

Approval of the federal agency for work

If a German Master’s certificate is given and if the annual gross salary is at least 46.400 euros or at least 37.752 euros in an understaffed profession is achieved, no approval of the German Federal is necessary.

Labour Market Authority is necessary

There needs to be the acceptance of the labour department if the foreign university degree is proofed and a working contract in the shortage sector is wanted.

Permission for professionalism

If there are other regulations for the permission of professionalism (for example in the medical sector, or engineers sector) the permission needs to be presented before the Blue Card EU is awarded.

Place of living in the sector of the regional foreign department

The regional foreign department can only allow foreigners to receive the Blue Card EU when the applicants are living in their area of responsibility. Therefore, of course, the permission for staying is necessary.

This fact does, of course, mean that the applicant already has the right to stay because of another reason. In most other cases, a visa for entering Germany needs to be applied for beforehand. This can be done at the German embassy. After that there is the need to apply for the Blue Card EU in Germany. This can be done at the foreign department.

Documents applicants need:

– Valid passport
– One biometric photo: it needs to be 35mm x 45mm and show the person facing forwards, looking directly at the camera. The applicant needs to have a neutral facial expression and a closed mouth. The background must be bright.
– University report: If necessary the valuation of the ZAB.
– Job contract or a concrete job offer.
– Form: Application for granting a stay title (Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels). A residence permit may be given only on explicit application.
– Form: Application for permission of an employment (Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung). This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labour is needed.
– Form: Work Place description (Stellenbeschreibung). This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labor is needed.

Permission for staying for 4 years

The Blue Card EU is valid for the duration of the working contract but at the beginning there is a maximum of 4 years. When receiving the Blue Card EU for the first time it is valid for a maximum of 4 years or for the time of the working contract plus 3 months. Owners of the Blue Card EU get permission to stay after 3 years if their contract is still valid. If it is the case that the owner of the Blue Card EU can prove a language knowledge at level B1 the permission to stay can be given after just 2 years.

University graduates

University graduates have further advantages because of this new system. Academics can receive a visa for half a year if they can make sure that they earn enough to live on. During this time they can try to find a permanent job in Germany.

Foreign graduates of a German university have even more advantages in getting a job after finishing university. They can work 120 or 240 part time days while studying. Before the introduction of the EU blue card the limit was 90 whole or 180 part time days. Graduates of a German university are now free to have 18 months, instead of 12 months, to find a suitable job. Graduates of a trainee programme have a whole year to find a suitable job and during this time both groups are free to work without a limit.


As there are plenty of options and conditions a person can represent within the labor market, it is recommended to check out thorroughly which one of these numerous options you meet. If you need help, please feel free to contact us under +49 (0)541 670 65 96 or write uns an email to office@moves-consulting.com. We will be happy to support you.

Need more help?
Jobseekers who register for our Jobseeker Program will receive all information with regard to Jobseeker Permits and Jobsearchwww.jobseekerprogram.com
In case you prefer a more individual support for your jobsearch or career development find this service here: http://www.moves-consulting.com/design-my-career/ our one-on-one career coaching for international professionals.

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