The EU Blue Card for Germany is a work and residence permit, issued to highly skilled individuals, allowing them to work in professions where there is a shortage or which have future prospects. It allows the holder to live and work in Germany for up to four years at first and extend the stay if they still meet the requirements.
To get a Blue Card for Germany, you must meet a set of eligibility criteria, including university education, work experience, and a salary that is higher than the national average.
Blue Card Germany Eligibility
You can apply for the German Blue Card if you fulfill the following conditions:
- You have a German degree or a degree recognized by Germany.
- You already have a job offer from an employer in Germany.
- You have relevant work experience – at least five years.
- Your salary will be at least €56,800 per year. If you are employed in one of the “shortage occupations”, such as in IT, natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, or human medicine, your salary can start from €44,304 per year.
In case you found a job before entering Germany, then you can immediately apply for the EU Blue Card while in your home country with the help of your employer. To get assistance with preparing your German EU Blue Card application process, you can contact the legal advisors at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte. They offer complete support during the entire process and will represent your case with the relevant authorities. Having represented successfully numerous applicants, including doctors, engineers, IT specialists and managers, they possess the necessary experience to help you with the application for an EU Blue Card. Contact them now!
You can get an EU Blue Card for the following categories:
- Highly-qualified workers.
- Vocational Trainees.
- Seasonal Workers (complementary to the EU Blue Card).
- Intra-Corporate Transferees.
The Minimum Salary Threshold in Germany
The salary threshold is the minimum amount your salary must be to qualify you for an EU Clue Card. It is one and a half times the national average, which means that it changes every year. For 2021, the threshold in Germany is as follows:
- For professions in shortage: €44,304 per year.
- For everyone else: €56,800 per year.
To be completely sure that you are eligible for an EU Blue Card you can contact the law representatives at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte.
Can I Get an EU Blue Card If I Don’t Have a Job Yet?
You cannot get a German Blue Card if you do not have a qualifying job offer. However, what you can get is a Job-Seeker Visa, which would allow you to live in Germany for six months while you look for a job. You must still meet the requirements, such as have a university degree, work experience, health insurance, and sufficient funds to stay in Germany.
Apply for German Blue Card: Step-by-Step Process
The process of obtaining a Blue Card for Germany is:
- Find a job.
- Apply for a German Employment Visa and travel to Germany.
- Apply for work authorization.
- Register your address.
- Get health insurance.
- Gather the necessary documents.
- Apply for the Blue Card at the German Immigration Authorities.
The chance to work in Germany is often life-changing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which is why many choose to hire professionals to help and advise them through the application process, rather than risk making a mistake and being rejected the Blue Card. After all, dealing with bureaucracy – especially German bureaucracy – can often be frustrating.
You can get legal advice regarding the EU Blue Card we recommend you get in touch with a law representative at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte. On the other hand, if you are already in Germany under another residence title, you should only complete the second step. To switch from an existing German residence permit to an EU Blue Card you can seek the assistance of the certified lawyers at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte.
Step 1: Finding a Job in Germany
You cannot obtain a Blue Card if you do not have a job offer. The job offer must be for at least one year and you must have a salary meeting the threshold requirement.
If you have not found one yet, you can apply for a Job Seeker Visa and travel to Germany to look for work. You can search for job vacancies for the EU Blue Card through EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal. Since you want a job in Germany, you can use the filtering option and only see jobs advertised for Germany. You can also use the website of the German Federal Employment Agency.
Once you have a job, your employer must provide you with a work contract, stating your position, the duration of your employment, and your salary.
Step 2: Apply for an Employment Visa
Most people have to apply for an German Employment Visa from a German Embassy or Consulate. This is a long-stay visa, which by itself, does not allow you to work in Germany – it simply serves to show the Immigration Authorities that you have entered the country legally and with the intention of working. Within three months of entering the country, you should apply for the Blue Card at the German Immigration Office.
To apply for the Employment Visa, you must contact the nearest German Mission and make an appointment. They will let you know what documents you have to submit. On the date of your appointment, you may also enter a visa interview.
Find the German Diplomatic Missions listed here.
After you receive the visa, you can travel to Germany and start preparing for your Blue Card application at the Immigration Authorities.
Only citizens of the U.S.A, Canada, Japan, Australia, Israel, South Korea, and New Zealand can apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany without getting a visa beforehand.
Step 3: Get Work Authorization
If you have a job offer in one of the shortage occupations and you will earn an annual salary of €44,304, then one of the first things you need to do once you arrive in Germany is apply for Approval from the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). If you need it for the visa application, then your employer can do this in your stead before you arrive.
Shortage occupations for a German Blue Card are those in the fields of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering, or human medicine. If you have an annual salary of €56,800 in non-shortage occupations you do not need this approval.
For some occupations, such as in medicine, you will also need an Occupation Practice Permit. Your employer should inform you whether this is necessary.
Step 4: Register Your Living Address
Within 14 days of moving in, you must register your living address. You have to do this at the local Resident’s Registration Office (Bürgeramt). The process is as follows:
- Find the local Bürgeramt and make an appointment.
- Collect the following documents:
- Your passport.
- The rental agreement and a confirmation of moving in from your landlord.
- Registration form. You can get this at the office or download it, if available.
- Submit them at the Bürgeramt on the date of your appointment.
- Wait for your Residence Registration Document (Meldebescheinigung). You can usually get this within the same day.
Step 5: Get Health Insurance
Before getting the EU Blue Card, you need to be registered with a German health insurance provider. This can be either public (statutory) or private health insurance, but not travel insurance or a health insurance plan you have from back home.
However, statutory insurers may not agree to enroll you before you officially get the EU Blue Card, proving you are legally a resident of Germany. So, you may have to register with a private insurer first and then switch to public.
Step 6: Gather the Documents Required for the German EU Blue Card
The documents you have to submit when applying for the Germany Blue Card include:
- Your passport.
- A recent biometric picture of yourself. Make sure it meets the requirements set out by the Federal Printing Office.
- The application form. Since the EU Blue Card is technically a residence permit, you have to fill out the “Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels” (application for a residence permit).
- Declaration on the Employment Relationship. In German, it’s known as the Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis; your employer has to fill this out.
- Your original employment contract or job offer.
- Proof of your residence in Germany.
- The Certificate of Registration or
- The lease and a written confirmation of residency from your landlord.
- University or college diploma, in original.
- The Certificate of Evaluation (Zeugnisbewertung). If required.
- Occupation practice permit. If required.
- If you have statutory health insurance:
- The electronic health card
- Recent confirmation of health insurance
- If you have private health insurance:
- A certificate from the health insurance company, stating the details of your insurance.
- Proof that you have paid your contributions.
Step 7: Apply for the German EU Blue Card
Once you have all completed the previous steps and have the relevant documents, you can then apply for the EU Blue Card at the local Immigration Office (known as Ausländerbehörde in German). The process is as follows:
- Make an appointment Ausländerbehörde. There is a different one in each German state.
- Complete your application file. This includes your documents, application forms, and any required fees.
- On the date of your appointment, submit everything at the Ausländerbehörde.
- Wait for your application to be processed. You cannot start working until you receive your German Blue Card.
Germany EU Blue Card Processing Time
It takes about 5 to 6 weeks for the Ausländerbehörde to process your application, from the time they receive your completed application. However, keep in mind that you also have to register your address, get work authorization, and register for health insurance, so the overall application process is longer than that.
Cost of a Blue Card for Germany
The German Blue Card fees are as follows:
- When issued for the first time: €100
- Extension up to three months: €96
- Extension more than three months: €93
- For Turkish citizens: €28.80
Keep in mind: This is only the fee for the Blue Card. There are additional fees for the Employment Visa, the qualification evaluation, and other administrative matters.
Duration of a Blue Card for Germany
The Blue Card is issued for the duration of your work contract plus another three months, to a maximum of four years. When it is about to expire, you can apply to renew it as long as you still meet the requirements (i.e. you still have a qualifying job). After 33 months of living in Germany, you can apply for permanent residence (settlement permit).
Benefits of the EU Blue Card for Germany
The benefits of obtaining an EU Blue Card for Germany include:
- You will be working in one of the world’s best economies.
- You and your family members will have access to the German healthcare and educational system.
- The German Blue Card is issued for 1-4 years and can be renewed.
- After 33 months, you can apply for the settlement permit, and become a permanent resident of Germany.
- If you live and work in Germany for eight years, you can even apply for German citizenship.
- Your immediate family members can come with you, and they are allowed to work and study in Germany as well.
- You can travel to other EU countries for up to three months within a six-month period.
- After 18 months, you can apply for a Blue Card for another country.
What if I Lose My Job?
If you lose your job, you will have three months to find a new job and re-apply for the EU Blue Card. If you are unable to find a new job within this time, you may need to leave Germany.
Are relatives of the EU blue card owners allowed to work without limits in Germany?
Yes, relatives of the owners of the EU blue card can work without delay and limits in Germany.
Can I apply for an EU Blue Card in order to seek employment in Germany?
To apply for the EU Blue Card you must already have a job offering contract and a declaration from the employer demanding and reasoning your recruitment. You cannot seek employment through the EU Blue Card, you must request an Employment visa for that matter in the corresponding Embassy in your home country.
Can I interrupt my stay in Germany during EU Blue Card validity period?
Yes, you can. You are allowed to stay in non-EU countries for a year with the EU Blue Card.
This is also applicable to your family members. However, this time will not be credited when applying for a residency permit.
Can I Change My Job?
No, in the first two years after getting the Blue Card, you are not allowed to freely change employers, unless you get permission from the German Immigration Authorities. You may change employer after two years, as long as your new position still meets the Blue Card requirements.
Can I Hire Someone to Help Me With My Application?
Yes, many people choose to hire professional law firms specializing in immigration, and especially EU Blue Cards. These companies, such as Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, can help with the application process, requirements, and advise you along the way.
Can I Bring My Family With Me?
Yes, you can. You can bring your dependent family members, like your spouse or registered partner, and your dependent minor children with you through a Family Reunification Visa. They are also allowed to work in Germany and even study.
Can I Work in Other EU Countries With a Blue Card From Germany?
You must first work in Germany for at least 18 months before you can apply for a job in another EU country for the purpose of obtaining the EU Blue Card. You cannot use your Blue Card from Germany to work in another EU country however – you must apply for a new one.