Blue Card

As per the law for the implementation of the EU Highly Qualified Directive, since 1 August 2012, workers with a university degree from outside the EU are permitted to remain in the country for three years, provided their annual earnings exceed 44,800 euros.

The core of the regulation is the Blue Card for academics and comparably qualified persons from third countries. University graduates from non-EU countries can receive the Blue Card if they present an employment contract with an employer in Germany and have a salary of more than 44,800 euros per year. In professions where there is already a shortage of skilled workers, such as doctors and engineers, the salary threshold is just under 35,000 euros.

With sufficient knowledge of German, Blue Card holders can receive a permanent settlement permit in Germany after only 21 months of employment.

The law also facilitates the employment of foreign students and foreign graduates of German universities. The search phase during which they can apply for adequate employment in Germany is extended to 18 months.

The newly created six-month residence permit for job search purposes offers well-educated academics from abroad a stronger incentive to seek career opportunities in Germany.


  • Current employment contract or concrete job offer.
  • There must be a qualified employment, an employment relationship resulting in an annual gross income of at least 44,800 euros. That is 3733 Euro gross per month.
  • An annual gross income of 34,944 euros, i.e. 2912 euros gross per month, is sufficient in certain occupations where there is a shortage. Such professions are currently: natural scientists, mathematicians, architects, spatial, urban and transport planners, designers, engineers, engineering scientists, medical doctors (not: dentists) and academic specialists in information and communication technology.
  • Valid passport
  • Current biometric photo: it must measure 35mm x 45mm, be a frontal shot with a neutral facial expression and a closed mouth You must look straight into the camera. The background must be light.
  • University certificate (in some cases the ZAB evaluation is required).
  • The form Application for a residence permit: A residence permit may only be granted upon explicit application.
  • The form Application for permission of employment, if the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is required.
  • The form Job description, if the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is required.
  • Occupational permit, if legal provisions provide for such a permit.

For more detailed information, please contact the relevant office.

Welche Fristen muss ich beachten?
Which deadlines must be observed?
Was sollte ich noch wissen?


More information can be found in the Internet under EU Blue Card - Blue Card Germany.