Blue Card EU

The EU Blue Card is a new residence permit for specific purposes, which has been valid in Germany since 2012. Thanks to the introduction of the EU Blue Card in Germany, the permanent immigration of highly qualified professionals and their family members has never been easier.

Benefits of Blue Card – Section 18g of the German Residence Act

  • German language is not required
  • Relocation Opportunity for the Whole Family: The Blue Card EU facilitates the immigration process for highly qualified professionals and their families, enabling them to establish a new life in Germany.
  • Swift Acquisition of Permanent Residency: Blue Card holders can obtain a residence permit within a relatively short timeframe. After 27 months of employment with German language proficiency at level A1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR), or after 21 months with proficiency at level B1, individuals can transition to permanent residency.
  • Job Mobility: Blue Card holders enjoy flexibility in their employment, allowing them to switch jobs without prior approval from immigration authorities. The work permit must only be obtained from the relevant foreign nationals’ office within the first year of employment.
  • EU-wide Mobility: With a valid Blue Card EU from another EU member state (issued at least 12 months prior), individuals can enter Germany for long-term employment without a visa. However, a German Blue Card EU must be applied for at the responsible foreign nationals’ office. Short-term entry to Germany with a Blue Card EU from another EU member state is possible for a maximum of 90 days, provided the business activity is directly related to the employment.

The Blue Card EU streamlines the immigration process, promotes job mobility, enables family reunification, and facilitates a smooth transition to life in Germany for highly qualified professionals and their families.

Legal basis and preconditions

To receive the EU Blue Card, applicants must have the following prerequisites:

  • A. A German university degree or a foreign university degree recognized as equivalent to a German degree.
  • B. A recognized foreign university diploma with a minimum study duration of three years and the award of a specialist or master’s degree, if no university degree as specified above is available – must at least correspond to level 6 of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011) or level 6 of the European Qualifications Framework.
  • C. Availability of a specific employment contract or a specific job offer from a German employer corresponding to the qualifications with a minimum employment period of 6 months. The annual minimum gross salary for occupations in shortage professions in the year 2024 must be at least €41,041.80 with the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. If applicants can demonstrate a higher income level, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (§ 18 para. 2 no. 2 in conjunction with § 39 para. 1 of the Residence Act) is no longer required to obtain the EU Blue Card. The minimum salary threshold of at least 50 percent (in 2024: €45,300) of the annual contribution assessment limit in the general pension insurance scheme must be reached. In the latter case, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) is not legally required. The wage limit is adjusted annually based on the development of national wages.

Here are some examples of professions in Germany facing skill shortages according to § 18g (1) sentence 2 no. 1 of the Residence Act:

  • MINT (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) specialists
  • General practitioners and specialists
  • Veterinarians
  • Other academic and related healthcare professions: pharmacists, physiotherapists, audiologists and speech therapists, etc.
  • Architects, spatial, urban and transport planners, surveyors and designers
  • Academic and comparable nursing and midwifery professionals
  • Production managers in manufacturing, mining, construction, procurement, and logistics
  • Managers in the provision of information and communication technology services
  • Managers in the provision of specialized services
  • Natural scientists, mathematicians and engineers, actuaries and statisticians
  • Engineering professionals (excluding electrical engineering, electronics and telecommunications)
  • Bioscientists
  • Engineers in electrical engineering, electronics and telecommunications
  • Teachers: university and college lecturers, vocational trainers, etc.
  • Software and application developers and analysts
  • Academic and comparable database and network specialists

At the first issue, the term of the EU Blue Card is limited to a maximum of four years (§18 subsection 4 residence act). If the employment contract is shorter than four years, a residence permit is issued for a period limited by the duration of the employment contract, plus three months.

New regulations according to § 18g AufenthG:

  1. Experienced IT specialists – who have three years of professional experience in the IT field within the last seven years, do not have a formal qualification, and have a concrete job offer as an IT specialist/a specific employment contract with a minimum employment period of 6 months and an annual gross salary of at least €41,041.80 – in the year 2024 (45.3% of the annual assessment ceiling) – can also obtain an EU Blue Card. However, the consent of the Federal Employment Agency is required in this case.
  2. Employment in temporary work is possible. Due to the freedom of consent, the refusal ground of § 40 (1) No. 2 AufenthG is not applicable.
  3. Entry with a small EU Blue Card for career starters – Section 18g (1), sentence 2, no. 2 AufenthG. Entry via the “small EU Blue Card” is already possible at an income limit of 45.3% in any BK job if the university degree was acquired no later than three years before applying for the EU Blue Card. The consent of the Federal Employment Agency is required.

How do I apply for an EU Blue Card?

Depending on your current situation, there are different ways to go about applying for the EU Blue Card. Candidates who are already residing in Germany and are in possession of a different residence title, can contact the immigration office responsible for their place of residence, for further information.

Candidates from non-EU states are obliged to first apply for a residence/work permit, which can be obtained at the German Embassy in their home country. Upon arrival in Germany, an application for the EU Blue Card must be made at the designated immigration office.

Our law firm Jaberi Lawyers, based in Hamburg, specializes in this area and offers comprehensive advice and support in applying for the EU Blue Card, in the priority check and in all other immigration and labor law matters. With our expertise, we represent both employers and employees and accompany you through the entire process. For further information or to make an appointment, contact us on +49 40 41349987 or visit the website

We are a multilingual, international and interdisciplinary team. For questions or to set up an initial call, call us or send an email via our Contact form.