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EU Blue Card (Blaue Karte EU)

Issue of an EU Blue Card for highly qualified foreign nationals to engage in an occupation befitting their qualifications.

The EU Blue Card is issued for a period of four years if the employment contract is permanent or, in the case of a temporary employment contract, lasts for at least four years. In the case of shorter employment contracts, the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment plus three months.

For the first two years of employment, approval from the Foreigners’ Registration Office must be obtained before any change of job.

Prerequisites

  • Possession of a qualification from a German Hochschule, an accredited foreign university or university college qualification, or a foreign university or university college qualification comparable to a German Hochschule qualification
    It is possible to submit a query to the online database of the Central Office for Foreign Education Affairs (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen, ZAB) to determine if the foreign university or university college qualification is recognised in Germany (see under 'More information').

    If the database does not contain any relevant information, applicants are required to apply to the ZAB to have their qualification specifically evaluated against payment of a fee and to present their qualification certificate to the ZAB (see under 'More information').
  • Qualified employment with a minimum gross salary of EUR 49,600 per annum or, in shortage occupations, a gross salary of EUR 38,688 per annum
    Annual gross income of at least EUR 49,600 (or gross income of EUR 4,133 each month) must be earned from the qualified employment.

    In certain shortage occupations, annual gross income of EUR 38,688 (or gross income EUR 3,224 each month) is sufficient.
    These professions at present are: Scientists in natural science disciplines, mathematicians, architects, interior, urban and traffic planners, designers, engineers, scientific engineers, physicians (except dentists) and those with academic qualifications in information and communications technology.
  • Approval of the German Federal Employment Agency
    When engaging in employment

    • with an annual gross income of at least EUR 49,600 (or gross income of EUR 4,133 monthly) or,
    • in shortage occupations, an annual gross income of EUR 38,688 (or gross income of EUR 3,224 monthly), and when in possession of a German university or university college qualification,

    no approval is required from the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).

    However, when

    • holding a foreign university or university college qualification and
    • engaging in employment in a shortage occupation,

    the Federal Employment Agency must provide approval.
  • Occupation practice permit
    If a licence is required to practice a profession (e.g. physician, engineer), evidence of this licence or evidence that the licence will be issued must be presented before the EU Blue Card can be issued.
  • Main residence in Berlin
  • A personal interview is required
    The interview should, if possible, take place by appointment.

Documents required

  • Valid passport
  • 1 current biometric photo
    35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background
  • University or university college qualification
    Original and copy; together with evaluation / statement of the ZAB if applicable (see 'Prerequisites')
  • employment or concrete job offer
    Original and copy
  • The form "Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels" (Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit)
    A residence permit may only be issued upon formal request. Only required for first-time application.
  • The form "Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung" (completed)
    Only when approval is required from the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)
  • The form "Stellenbeschreibung" (filled in by the employer)
    Only when approval is required from the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)
  • Occupation practice permit
    Only if required (see 'Prerequisites')
  • Health insurance
    Proof of a secure livelihood must also include sufficient health insurance. Those with statutory health insurance are sufficiently insured. Those with private health insurance must consider the type and extent of their health insurance. For more information, please read the leaflet "Information for students on adequate health insurance".
  • Proof of main residence in Berlin
    • Certificate of registration at the main residence or
    • lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord

Fees

  • 100.00 euros for the first-time issue of an EU Blue Card, valid for up to one year
  • 110.00 euros for the first-time issue of an EU Blue Card, valid for more than one year
  • 65.00 euros for an extension of up to three months
  • 80.00 euros for an extension of more than three months
  • maximum of 28.80 euros for Turkish citizens

Average time to process request

Since the EU Blue Card is generally issued as an electronic residence permit, it is recommended that the interview takes place approx. 6-8 weeks before your visa or previous residence permit expires.

Responsible authorities

Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten