The EU Blue Card is a special residence permit for highly qualified people. The essential requirement is that you have a recognised university degree and you want to take up employment that corresponds to your qualification. Your gross salary must be at least EUR 43,056. If you earn less than EUR 55,200, the EU Blue Card is restricted to certain professions like scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as physicians and IT professionals.
The residence permit is limited to a maximum of four years. In the first two years of employment, a job change is only possible with the consent of the immigration office. You can leave Germany with your family members for up to twelve months without your residence permit expiring. After you have been holding an EU Blue Card for 18 months minimum, you can move to another European Union Member State (except Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark) and apply for the EU Blue Card within a month.
When holding the EU Blue Card, you can apply for a settlement permit after having worked in Germany for 33 months. With sufficient German language skills (level B1), this period is shortened to 21 months.
Citizens of the Member States of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) enjoy unlimited freedom of movement in Germany and do not need to apply for a residence permit.
- Entry with a German visa for employment
Exception: Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America can enter without a visa and apply for the residence permit in Germany.
- Recognised university degree
If the degree has been acquired abroad, the degree must be recognised or comparable to a German university degree.
Tip: In the information portal on foreign educational qualifications "anabin" (only in German) you can check whether the comparability of your university degree has already been determined.
- Employment contract or a binding job offer
- Annual minimum gross salary of EUR 55,200or EUR 43,056 for natural scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as doctors and IT specialists
- Sufficient health insurance (Annex 6)
You can apply for the EU Blue Card residence permit at the Hamburg Welcome Center or alternatively at your relevant immigration authority. Detailed information on the required documents for an application can be found in the Forms section.