Woman standing at the airport to enter Germany

EU Blue Card

You are a university graduate and have found a job in Germany? Find out here which requirements you have to meet for the EU Blue Card.

The EU Blue Card (Section 18b (2) on the Residence Act - AufenthG) is a special residence title for foreign academics seeking qualified employment in Germany.

To find out whether you require a visa to enter Germany, see Who Needs a Visa?

What are the requirements to receive an EU Blue Card?

  • You have a German degree, a recognised foreign higher education degree or you have a foreign higher education degree that is comparable to a German one. Information on equivalence and recognition of foreign higher education degrees can be found in the Recognition section.
  • You already have a concrete job offer from a company in Germany.
  • The position must be appropriate for someone with your qualifications (higher education degree).
  • The position in Germany must be remunerated with a gross annual income of at least €58,400 (as of 2023). A gross annual salary of at least €45,552 (as of 2023) is required for employees in the fields of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering and human medicine. In such cases, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) must approve your request for employment.   

Do you meet these requirements? Then you can move on by taking a look at the procedure for the entry and visa process.

Do you not meet the requirements for the EU Blue Card? No need to fret; you can apply for a work visa for qualified professionals according to Section 18b (1) on the Residence Act - AufenthG.


In some countries, it is possible to apply for the Blue Card online. You can find more information on the digital application process on the consular services portal of the Federal Foreign Office.

What opportunities does the EU Blue Card offer?

The EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of your work contract, including three additional months, and is limited to a four-year period. Extending the validity of the EU Blue Card is an option, if certain requirements are fulfilled. Your local German Foreigners' Authority must approve of any job changes taking place within the first two years of employment.

After 33 months, holders of the EU Blue Card may obtain a settlement permit. In some cases, a settlement permit can already be issued after 21 months. For this, you need to be able to provide proof of the required language skills at a minimum level of B1 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Would you like to live in Germany with your family? Holders of the EU Blue Card are free to do that. Everything you need to keep in mind, in addition to the corresponding requirements, can be found in the Family Life in Germany section.

At a glance: EU Blue Card

From the preparations to the application forms: This guide shows you step by step how to obtain the EU Blue Card.

Information on the web

  1. German Federal Employment Agency (BA) Welcome brochure: employment law information
  2. Federal Foreign Office (FFO) You can find out which visa you need in order to come to Germany with the Visa-Navigator.
  3. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) An overview of migration and residence

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

Smiling young woman working on her laptop at work
Skyline of Hamburg