Blue Card

Due to the law for the implementation of the EU Highly Qualified Workers Directive workers with university degrees from outside the EU are allowed to stay in the country for three years if their annual earnings exceed 45,300 euros.

The core of the new regulations is the Blue Card for academics and similarly qualified persons from non-EU countries. University graduates from non-EU countries can obtain the Blue Card if they present an employment contract with an employer in Germany and have a salary of more than 45.300 euros per year.

In professions where there is already a shortage of skilled workers, such as doctors and engineers, the salary threshold is 41.041,80 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 58.400 euros.
  • In professions where there is a shortage of skilled workers in Germany a gross annual income of 45.552 euros is sufficient. Such professions are currently: natural scientist, mathematician, architect, spatial, urban and traffic planners, designer, engineer, engineering scientist, medical doctor (not: dentist) as well as academic specialist in information and communication technology.
  • A valid passport
  • A current biometric photograph: 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 bright.
  • University degree certificate (in some cases the degree must be certified by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)). 
  • Employment Relationship Declaration Form (Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis) for requesting the approval of the Federal Employment Agency 
  • Professional license (Berufsausübungserlaubnis), if legal regulations require such a license.
  • Detailed information on this can be obtained from the responsible office.


  • § 18b (2) of the Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory. Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • § 18 b (2) AufenthG