BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - The EU Blue Card

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The EU Blue Card

The Directive on Highly-qualified Persons aims to introduce a common residence title for highly-qualified persons at EU level which is to be organised in a manner that attracts candidates and hence makes easier and promotes the migration of highly-qualified persons. When it was transposed, a new residence title for foreigners with an academic or equivalent level of qualifications and a specific minimum salary was included in the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) in the shape of the EU Blue Card. The EU Blue Card enables third-country nationals who are university graduates or who have a comparable qualification to receive a residence title for the purpose of employment suiting their qualification.

The EU Blue Card is a residence permit which, when issued for the first time, is valid for a maximum of four years. It is issued subject to the following conditions:

  • a German or recognised foreign or comparable foreign higher educational qualification,
  • submission of an employment contract or a binding job offer,
  • as a matter of principle proof of a minimum annual gross salary of 52,000 Euro.

    Exception: A lower salary threshold of 40,560 Euro is applied for EU Blue Cards issued to scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as to doctors and IT specialists.

  • restricted to a maximum of four years when first issued.

    Exception: If the employment contract is shorter than four years, the residence title is issued for a period that is limited to the term of the employment contract, plus three months.

Holders of an EU Blue Card are to be issued with an unlimited settlement permit if

  • they have held their employment as a highly-qualified person for more than 33 months,
  • they can demonstrate that they have made obligatory contributions in this period or show other proof of expenditure to obtain an entitlement to insurance benefits which are comparable to those from statutory pensions insurance, and
  • the other prerequisites generally necessary for issuing a settlement permit are met.
  • If the holder of the EU Blue Card has an adequate knowledge of German (level B1), the settlement permit is issued earlier, namely after 21 months.

Information available from the immigration offices

The competent immigration office will provide you with more information. You will find it via the Federal Office’s Web-GIS Geo information system.

Further information: see brochure entitled "Studying and Working in Germany" pages 16 et seqq. and page 35

Date 28 December 2017

Additional Information

What is the legal basis for the EU Blue Card?

The Transposition Act for the European Union’s Directive on Highly-Qualified Employment (Directive 2009/50/EC) came into force on 1 August 2012. Among other things, this Act has resulted in the introduction of the EU Blue Card as a new residence title as stipulated in section 19a of the German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz – AufenthG).

Screenshot aus dem Film

Film: 5 years of the EU Blue Card

The video shows impressions of the press breakfast of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and of the Bavarian Regional Directorate of the Federal Employment Agency on 5 July 2018. The occasion was the stocktake of five years of the EU Blue Card.

More: Film: 5 years of the EU Blue Card …


Do you have any questions? Please contact us!

National contact point (Blue Card EU)

Frankenstraße 210
90461 Nürnberg
Telephone: +49 30-1815-1111
E-mail: Write a message

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