EU Blue Card; Application

The EU Blue Card can be applied for by non-EU nationals with an academic or equivalent level of qualification who intend to take up employment in Germany.


The EU Blue Card was introduced on August 1, 2012 specifically for the immigration of highly qualified persons for the purpose of employment.

The EU Blue Card is a residence title that largely corresponds to a residence permit and for which, for this reason, the regulations applicable to the residence permit are also regularly applicable.

The EU Blue Card can be issued to foreigners who have completed a university degree. If the degree is not a German university degree, it must either have been recognized or be comparable to a German university degree. The recognition or determination of comparability can also take place before entering Germany.

As a second requirement, an employment contract or a binding job offer with a certain minimum salary must be presented. The minimum salary threshold is set annually and can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (see "Further links"). In 2023, it amounts to EUR 58,400. The EU Blue Card can be issued without the approval of the Federal Employment Agency if the salary threshold is reached.

For shortage professions (esp. natural scientists, engineers, doctors, academic IT specialists), a lower income limit has been set. This amounts to EUR 45,552 in 2023. In these cases, however, the Federal Employment Agency checks whether the working conditions correspond to those of comparable German employees.

The EU Blue Card is a temporary residence title that is initially limited to a maximum of four years for permanent employment relationships. If the duration of the employment relationship is less than four years, the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment contract plus three months. In the first two years, written permission from the foreigners authority is required for a change of job.

The EU Blue Card must be applied for at the competent immigration authority.


A foreigner is granted an EU Blue Card if

  • he or she holds a German university degree, a recognized foreign university degree or a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree
  • the employment in question corresponds to the qualification
  • the Federal Employment Agency has agreed or it has been determined that the EU Blue Card can be issued without the approval of the Federal Employment Agency, and
  • he/she receives a certain minimum salary, which is determined by legal ordinance.

Special notes

A foreigner will not be issued an EU Blue Card,

  • if - he/she is staying in a Member State of the EU on the basis of an application for refugee status or for subsidiary protection,
  • he/she enjoys international protection in a Member State of the EU,
  • he/she is staying in a Member State of the EU under a temporary protection regime,
  • he/she has lodged an application for temporary protection in a Member State of the EU, - he/she has been granted temporary protection in a Member State of the EU.
  • he is tolerated in a member state of the EU,
  • he/she is in possession of a permit for permanent residence in the EU,
  • he enjoys the right to free movement of persons,
  • he/she is in possession of a humanitarian residence title or he/she has applied for such a title or legal status and a decision on the application has not yet been taken,
  • whose entry into a Member State of the European Union is subject to obligations deriving from international agreements facilitating the entry and temporary stay of certain categories of natural persons engaged in trade and investment-related activities,
  • he/she has been admitted as a seasonal worker in a Member State of the EU, or
  • he/she is staying in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany as a posted worker in the context of the provision of services.

Spouses of EU Blue Card holders are entitled to a residence permit. This entitles them to gainful employment.

After 33 months of highly qualified employment, or after 21 months if sufficient German language skills are proven, EU Blue Card holders have the option of obtaining a settlement permit.

After 18 months of holding an EU Blue Card, foreigners have the right to settle together with their family members in another EU member state (except Denmark, Ireland and Great Britain) and apply for an EU Blue Card for corresponding employment in the second member state.



Required documents

  • If necessary, you may be required to produce additional documents

    The documents to be presented may vary greatly. Please find out more details from your competent Aliens Department (Ausländerbehörde). As a general rule, the documents listed above will be required (among others).

  • Valid passport

  • Current biometric photo (front shot)

  • Supporting documents evidencing compliance with the passport or visa requirement

  • Supporting documents evidencing medical insurance coverage

  • Supporting documents evidencing a university degree

  • Supporting documents evidencing actual employment or a job offer


    • Period of validity up to one year: 100 EUR
    • Period of validity over one year: 100 EUR
    • Extension up to three months: 96 EUR
    • Extension for more than three months: 93 EUR

Legal bases


Administrative court proceedings; information

Administrative court action

Links to more information


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