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Similar to the Green Card in the USA, the EU Blue Card offers highly educated skilled workers of non- EU- States the opportunity and the right to work and stay in the European Union.

EU Blue Card

The EU blue card for Germany is a residence title for specific purposes; it provides an evidence for the legal stay of a citizen from a non-EU-country in an EU- member state for the purpose of working. So the blue card is a card for citizens from non-EU-states. For members of EU- states generosity is valid concerning their stay. The EU- regulations concerning the blue card will be valid in Germany as a part of the German law from the 1st August 2012, through the law for reaction of the high- qualification –outline of the European Union. In particular, the stay law was modified. The core regulation of the stay law is addressed by the EU blue card. The most important paragraph is section 19a of the German Residence Act – EU Blue Card.

Conversion of the highly qualified directive of the European Union

Conversion of the highly qualified directive of the European Union is the basis of the EU Blue Card; namely, the directive can be found in 2009 / 50 /EG. The blue card grants a stay in the EU to highly qualified non-EU-state members. This should help to combat the shortage of skilled workers. The rules for the administration of the single EU states are outside of the rules of action of the EU. These rules do not control the immigration of citizens from non EU- states, who are staying in the EU to research projects, who enter the EU because of family unification for migrants living in Germany or who cannot be deported. Owners of the EU blue card will get the same salary as citizens of the EU who do in the same job. The equalisation concerning the rights for education or welfare is not yet a law but shall be practiced that way. The EU blue card is limited. The duration of this limit is one to four years. The format in the EU is the same in all member states and belongs to the legal order (EG) 1030/2002.

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 procedure will be much quicker. There is no possibility to get the EU blue card in Germany without a university degree.

Who can apply for the EU blue card?

Highly qualified skilled workers and academics from non-EU-states can apply for the EU blue card 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 the EU blue card.

Conditions for application

A German university degree, a foreign university degree which is accepted or a foreign university 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 € 36.192, or € 3.016 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 36.192 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 EU blue card is awarded.

Place of living in the sector of the regional foreign department

The regional foreign department can only allow foreigners to receive the EU blue card 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 EU blue card in Germany. This can be done at the foreign department.

Documents applicants need:

  • Valid passport
  • One new 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.

Use our free service to find out whether you could qualify for this visa. Fill out the assessment form. Make sure that all information provided is authentic in order to make a proper assessment.