Process of Applying for the EU Blue Card in Germany

The following article will explain the process of applying for the EU Blue Card for highly qualified individuals in Germany and which requirements need to be met. On 1 August 2012, the legislation implementing the EU Directive on Highly Qualified Employment (Council Directive 2009/50/EC) came into force. This legislation provides the opportunity to obtain the EU Blue Card, a new type of residence permit. You can find the legal basis for this in §19a of the German Residence Act, which regulates when it will be issued. Schlun & Elseven can assist you with all questions surrounding the EU Blue Card and can help you obtain the residence permit.

For more information we have an EU Blue Card FAQ page concerning some questions we have been asked on this topic.

The EU Blue Card opens up Germany and the rest of the European Union to its holder

Schlun & Elseven Attorneys will answer any and all concerns you have

General Requirements for Issuing the EU Blue Card

University Degree

First, you will need to provide evidence that you hold a degree either from a German university or a recognised foreign university, a foreign degree comparable to a German degree, or a comparable qualification, evidenced through a minimum of five years of practical employment experience. Problems can already occur at this stage, where the determination of comparability/ recognition of a foreign degree is concerned. We are happy to support you in such determination proceedings. You can check on the following page, if your University and your degree is comparable to the German degree:

Approval of the Federal Labour Office and Minimum Salary

Further, the Federal Labour Office has to approve the issue of an EU Blue Card and your salary needs to exceed a certain minimum level. If the latter applies, the approval of the Federal Labour Office is no longer strictly necessary. The German government has increased the minimum salary requirements for European Union (EU) Blue Cards, effective 1 January 2020. For the year 2020, you must be able to show a minimum income of 55,200 Euros per year. However, in so-called understaffed professions, an income of 43,056 Euros will suffice. This applies, in particular, to scientists, mathematicians, engineers, IT-experts, and doctors. A complete list can be found in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The current EU Blue Card salary threshold is in effect from January 1st. The calculation is linked to the income threshold governing the statutory pension insurance scheme, which changes every year. The decisive factor here is generally that the guaranteed salary will have to meet the minimum salary requirement, meaning that the employee can in fact freely dispose of these funds, and payment of their salary does not depend on other factors (the Federal Labour Court so decided in a case concerning minimum wage for building cleaners, see Federal Labour Court judgment from 18 April 2012 – 4 AZR 139/10).

Employment Contract or Job Offer

It should further be noted that you must show evidence of a valid German employment contract, or a concrete job offer. Here lies a significant difference between the EU Blue Card and the US Green Card. (If, however, you have satisfied all other conditions for the issue of an EU Blue Card, you may obtain a six month visa for the purpose of finding employment in accordance with §18c of the Residence Act – the so called Job Seeker Visa.).

Do I need a Visa to apply for the EU Blue Card?

If you are not a citizen of Australia, Japan, Israel, Canada, The Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America, you generally have to apply for a visa at a German embassy in your country of origin. This becomes unnecessary only if you have a schengen visa and if you have signed the employment contract after entering Germany. If you hold an EU Blue Card from a different EU Member State for at least 18 months, then you will be also able to apply for a visa in Germany within a month of arrival.

The (Main) Advantages of the EU Blue Card – Work Permit, Residence Permit and Your Family Can Join You

An EU Blue Card has a four year time limit after its issue. Apart from that, the duration will depend on your employment contract. If your employment relationship is limited to less than four years, your EU Blue Card will be limited to the duration of the employment relationship plus three months. During this time, you will have a full work and residence permit in Germany.

However, you can also use the EU Blue Card to obtain a settlement permit after 33 months (with German skills at a B1 level after 21 months), §19a(6) of the Residence Act. This is a permanent residence permit. Further, your family members (in the absence of particular hardship, this is limited to your spouse and children) can travel with you to Germany and have an immediate and unlimited right to work there. Further evidence (of language skills) need not be shown. The spouse who intends to accompany the other to Germany must personally make the corresponding application at their German consular post abroad.

The EU Blue Card and the European Union – What Is Allowed?

Those holding an EU Blue Card can generally move to another country in the European Union after 18 months. In that case, the time you have spent in Germany will be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the time required for permanent residence in your new country. You must however note that the Directive on Highly Qualified Employment has no effect in Ireland, the United Kingdom, or Denmark. You are generally entitled to move between Schengen Member States without a visa for tourism purposes. It should be noted that, as an EU Blue Card holder, you may spend up to 12 months outside of the EU. If this period is exceeded, you may lose your residence permit.

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Lawyer Samir Muratovic

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Jens Schmidt Lawyer

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Contact our Practice Group for EU Blue Card

Sandra Zimmerling Lawyer

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Daniel Schewior Lawyer

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Abschira Hassan Lawyer

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Our Services

Are you a highly skilled individual and interested in the EU Blue Card? Or are you an employer and interested in hiring people from abroad in Germany? Our law firm Schlun & Elseven with offices in Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf and conference rooms in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Hamburg offers full service assistance during the issuing proceedings, can take care of correspondence with the relevant authorities, and will naturally represent you where an EU Blue Card is refused or withdrawn. We are also happy to review the transition to an EU Blue Card from a different type of residence permit. If you satisfy the conditions for obtaining an EU Blue Card, you have a legal right to its issue. We are also happy to review your documents to determine whether you are eligible for the EU Blue Card. As we have successfully represented many clients, including doctors, engineers, IT-experts and managers, we have all the experience needed to asssist you in obtaining your EU Blue Card. We also offer a relocation service to our clients, in order to save your time and to give you the chance to focus on your business.

Through the language skills of our individual lawyers, we are able to advise you in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Turkish.

Our law firm, Schlun & Elseven, can assist you nationwide and is your reliable and competent partner in all questions surrounding the EU Blue Card and other types of residence permits. Simply call our number +49 241 4757140 or send us an e-mail via .

Contact our Immigration and EU Blue Card lawyers

Please use the online form to inform us about your inquiry in the field of immigration law and EU Blue Card. After receiving your request, we will make a short preliminary assessment on the basis of the information provided and give you a cost estimation. You are then free to decide whether you want to instruct our German immigration law experts.

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Locations & Contact for EU Blue Card Services

Office Hours

Mon. – Fr:
09:00 – 19:00 o’clock
24h Contact:
+49 211 882 84196

Appointments only after
telephone arrangement.


Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte PartG
Von-Coels-Straße 214
52080 Aachen (Eilendorf)
Tel: +49 241 4757140
Fax: 0241 47571469


Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte PartG
Kyffhäuserstr. 45
50674 Köln
Tel: +49 221 93295960
Fax: 0221 932959669


Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte PartG
Königsallee 60F
40212 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 882 84196
Fax: 0221 932959669

Conference Rooms

Munich 80339
Theresienhöhe 28

Hamburg 20354
Neuer Wall 63

Berlin 10785
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