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.