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Applying for an EU blue card for skilled work

Highly skilled citizens from abroad who wish to take up employment in Germany which reasonably corresponds to their qualifications can obtain an EU blue card.

Exception: Citizens of EU states have access to the labour market due to their right of free movement. As part of freedom of establishment or free movement of workers, you can work in Germany as a self-employed person or company employee. This also applies to other citizens of countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as to Swiss citizens.

You can obtain the EU blue card on first issue for a maximum of four years. Should your employment contract have a term of less than four years, you will receive the blue card for the period of duration of the employment contract, plus three months.

Please note: If you wish to change your job in the first two years following issuing of the EU blue card, you must obtain permission from the Aliens Department.

Persons in possession of an EU blue card can obtain a permanent residence permit if:

  • they have worked for at least 33 months,
  • they have paid statutory pension insurance contributions or have paid into another pension scheme with comparable benefits and fulfil the following further requirements:
    • Your livelihood is assured.
    • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • You are allowed to carry out employment and possess all necessary permits in this respect.
    • You have sufficient command of the German language, as well as basic knowledge of German law and the German social system.
    • You have sufficient accommodation for yourself and your family.

A person who can prove language skills at level B1 and fulfils the other requirements can obtain a permanent residency permit after 21 months of employment and contribution payments.

Responsible department

  • For issuing a national visa prior to entry into the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany: The German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • After entry: The authority for foreign nationals (Ausländerbehörde) where your primary residence is located
    The authority for foreign nationals is the city council (Stadtverwaltung) or the regional council office (Landratsamt) depending on your place of residence.

Useful tip: You can find a Directory of Diplomatic Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany Abroad on the internet pages of the Federal Foreign Office.

To display the responsible authority, select a location.



The requirements for the EU blue card are as follows:

  • You fulfil the passport and visa requirements
    In respect of the passport requirements, it suffices if you are in possession of a alternative identity document.
  • You receive an annual salary of at least 56.800 euros. For certain occupations (scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors (excluding dentistry) and IT specialists), a minimum salary of 44.304 euros applies.
  • No reason for deportation exists against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • You have
    • a German,
    • a recognised foreign or
    • a foreign higher education qualification which is comparable to a German qualification.
      The Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales can designate occupations by means of a legal decree in which a qualification verified by at least five years of employment is equated to a degree.
  • You have employment which corresponds to your qualifications or a concrete job offer which corresponds to your qualifications.
  • The Bundesagentur für Arbeit agrees to the issuing of the residency title (only in cases in which the consent is necessary).


Before travelling to Germany, you must apply for a national visa in your home country. The representation of the Federal Republic of Germany involves the competent foreigners authority. In the visa process, you must give details concerning your place of work in Germany. This allows the authorities to check whether the Bundesagentur für Arbeit must issue its agreement.

On arrival in Germany, you must apply for the residence title before your visa expires. Depending on place of residence, the foreigners authority is the city council or the rural district office.

Note: The foreigners authority will obtain the agreement of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit, should this be necessary.

From 1 September 2011, you receive the residency title in the form of a check card with additional electronic functions. You can find further information concerning this at "Electronic residence title (eAT) - application""Electronic residence title (eAT) - Application".

Required documents

  • Proof of compliance with the passport and visa obligation
  • Proof of minimum salary
  • Proof of your higher education qualifications
  • Proof of employment or employment offer
  • Proof that no reason for deportation exists against you
  • Proof that you do not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany


  • Period of validity up to one year: 100 euros
  • Period of validity more than one year: 100 euros
  • Extension of up to three months: 96 euros
  • Extension by more than three months: 93 euros

Note: Fee exemption is only possible in exceptional cases.

Processing time

Four to six weeks

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released the full description on 13.04.2021. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.


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