Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card (Section 18b (2) AufenthG (German Residence Act)) is a special residence permit 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 issue 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 German higher education degree.  Information on equivalence and recognition of foreign higher education degrees can be found under Recognition.
  • You already have a conrete 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 EUR 56,800 (in 2021). A gross annual salary of at least EUR 44,304 (in 2021) is required for employees in the fields of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering and human medicine. In such cases, the German Federal Employment Agency must approve your request for employment.   

Do you fulfil these requirements? To find out, see the procedure for the entry visa process.

Tip: Do you not meet the requirements for the EU Blue Card? Don’t worry! You can apply for a work visa for qualified professionals according to Section 18b (1) AufenthG (German Residence Act).

What opportunities does the EU Blue Card offer?

The EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of your work contract, including 3 additional months, and is limited to a 4-year period. It is possible to be granted an extension 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 be issued after 21 months. For this, you need to be able to provide proof of the required language skills of at least a B1 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Looking to live in Germany with your family? This is possible for holders of the EU Blue Card. Everything you need to keep in mind, in additional to the applicable requirements, can be found under Family life in Germany .

At a glance: Work visa for qualified professionals (PDF)

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