EU Blue Card for Germany in 2024 - salary, requirements

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card (Blaue Karte EU) is a special residence permit for university graduates, which greatly facilitates the immigration to Germany of highly qualified specialists from countries outside the European Union.

What are the benefits of a Blue Card?

The blue card has several significant advantages over other German residence permit options:
  • You don't need to know German to get a Blue Card
  • The holder of the EU Blue Card can obtain a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) in Germany in as little as 33 months, as opposed to 4 years as with other relocation options. To do this, you need to prove elementary knowledge of the German language. If you can prove your knowledge of German at level B1, then you can get a permanent residence permit in just 21 months instead of 33 months.
  • Simplified procedure for moving family members: husband/wife and children can move to Germany with you. To do this, your husband or wife does not need to know German, unlike other residence permit options in Germany
  • The spouse of a Blue Card holder can work in Germany without restrictions
  • Simplified procedure for obtaining a visa to move to Germany

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What are the requirements for applying for a Blue Card?

To receive a Blue Card, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Have a higher education. If you graduated from an institute or university outside of Germany, then your diploma must be recognized in Germany. Read about recognition of a diploma of higher education in Germany. If you are going to work as tech specialist (IT industry), then you do not need a higher education diploma, but just prove your work experience (minimum 3 years).
  • Sign an employment contract with a German company or have a formal job offer from a German employer.
  • Сertain salary level. See the next answer for more details on what kind of salary you need.
  • Field of work must match the qualifications in your diploma.

What salary is needed for a Blue Card for Germany in 2024?

There are two salary limits for a Blue Card: the regular salary limit and the reduced salary limit. The reduced salary limit applies to occupations with a shortage or to applicants who have acquired a university degree within three years before submitting the documents for a Blue Card. The following professions are considered to be in shortage:

  • specialists in information technology
  • mathematicians
  • specialists in natural sciences
  • engineers
  • medical workers (excluding dentistry)
  • veterinarians
  • pharmacists
  • nurses and midwives
  • educational workers and childcare workers
  • communication specialists
  • leadership positions in technology, manufacturing, mining, construction, and logistics.

From 1 January 2024, the normal salary threshold for a Blue Card will be 45,300 €, and the reduced threshold will be 41,042 €.

How to get an EU Blue Card for Germany?

Usually, the procedure for obtaining a Blue Card looks like this:
  1. Find a job in Germany and sign an employment contract with a German employer.
  2. Check your diploma at ANABIN. If your diploma has already been entered there, then proceed to the next point. If your diploma is not there, then you need to order an assessment of your education document from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB - Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen).
  3. Collect a package of documents and apply for a national visa at the embassy or consulate of your place of residence.
  4. Upon arrival in Germany, contact the Foreigners' Authority (Ausländerbehörde) and apply for an EU Blue Card.

If at the moment your official place of residence is outside the European Union, then usually you need to contact the German embassy or consulate in your place of residence and apply for a national visa. Further, after entering Germany, you must apply for a Blue Card at the Ausländerbehörde (Ausländerbehörde - Foreigners' Authority) in Germany.

You do not need to obtain a national visa to enter Germany in the following cases:
  • If you are a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, UK and USA, you can enter without a visa and must apply for an EU Blue Card within three months at the Foreigners' Authority at the place of residence. After issuing the EU blue card, you can start employment.
  • If you have held the EU Blue Card of another EU member state for at least 18 months, you can enter Germany without a visa. An application for an EU Blue Card in Germany must be submitted within one month after entering Germany at the Foreigners' Authority of your place of residence. After issuing the EU Blue Card, you can start employment.
  • If you already live in Germany with a different residence permit, you can apply for an EU Blue Card at the Foreigners' Authority in your place of residence.

What documents are needed to obtain an EU Blue Card?

National visa application

Two completed national visa applications in German. The application must be completed on the website videx-national.diplo.de



Photos

3 current biometric passport-size photographs taken no earlier than 6 months ago at the time of application, on a white background, size 45x35 mm.

Passport
  • Passport valid for at least another year and with at least two empty pages
  • 2 copies of a page of the international passport containing personal data and a photograph
Employment contract
  • Original employment contract signed by a German employer or a guaranteed job offer (e.g. Letter of Intent).
  • 2 copies of employment contract or guaranteed job offer
Declaration regarding a contract of employment (Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis)

This form must be completed and signed by the prospective employer and sent to you in the original. Download an employment relationship statement.

University diploma

First of all, you need to check whether your diploma is recognized in Germany. If your specialty or university is not listed in the ANABIN database, or if it is not equated to the category “corresponding/comparable (entsprechend/vergleichbar), you should first have your education document assessed by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB - Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen). Such an assessment should also be carried out for those specialties that are equated to the category of “conditionally comparable” (“bedingt vergleichbar”).

  • University diploma including subject insert
  • A notarized translation of a university diploma, including an insert with a list of subjects
  • 2 plain copies of a notarized translation of a university diploma, including an insert with a list of subjects
CV

It is necessary to provide a CV in tabular form, indicating all activities without time gaps. That is, if you, for example, rested for one month between two jobs. Then this month's vacation must also be added to the CV. In addition, you need to add the full address, and contact information (website, email address or phone number) where the activity was carried out. If the biography is not in German, then a notarized translation must be attached.

Do not forget to make two copies of the biography and, if necessary, the translation.

Health insurance

State health insurance begins to operate after registration at the place of residence in Germany and the start of employment in accordance with an employment contract. You must also have health insurance for the period from the start of the visa until the expected first day of work in Germany. We recommend that you take out health insurance for foreign citizens entering the country (Incoming Versicherung).

You can find a complete list of documents on the website of your German embassy or consulate in your area of ​​residence under "Visa information -> Long stay -> Checklist". Here is an example of such a checklist.

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