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 49.600 Euro.
Exception: A lower salary threshold of 38.688 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