EU Blue Card Germany

Germany has one of the strongest economies in the European Union, with an average annual salary of over 45,000 euros. Lots of non-EU citizens decide to migrate to Germany to access this stronger labour market, and the EU Blue Card is a great pathway for highly qualified people.

Getting an EU Blue Card can be a challenging process, but Total Law can help. You can visit us online or call us at 0333 305 9375 to learn more about the services we offer.

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    What is the EU Blue Card?

    The EU Blue Card is based on the US Green Card, aiming to attract highly educated and skilled workers that can add value to the labour market. It acts as a residence title and is aimed at people with comparable qualifications to the most skilled workers and academics in Germany.

    The Blue Card is generally valid for one to four years, depending on your circumstances. This is generally the length of your work contract plus three months. It will give you the right to live and work in Germany in a highly skilled occupation during this time. Once the Blue Card expires, you are welcome to renew it so long as your circumstances have not changed. If they have, you will usually need to reapply.

    Read this article to discover why you should consider a Blue Card, the requirements, and how you can apply.

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    Benefits of Getting a German EU Blue Card

    For most people who are eligible for an EU Blue Card, it will be a preferable option to the standard work-based routes to a residence permit. The primary benefits are listed below:

    • You are eligible to apply for permanent residence after just 33 months, giving you the right to remain in Germany indefinitely. This allows you to start a business or change employment whenever you want.
    • You have three months to find a new job if you are made redundant.
    • You don’t need approval to change employment after two years.
    • Your spouse and dependent children can come with you, and your spouse is allowed to work in any profession.
    • You are free to visit Schengen states for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
    • You can go outside of the European Union for up to 12 consecutive months without losing your Blue Card status.

    EU Blue Card Eligibility Requirements


    All these benefits are not easy to obtain. You will need to fit with stringent eligibility criteria to qualify, which includes the following:

    • You have a university degree that is either from Germany or officially recognised in Germany. Foreign qualifications must be at least level 6 on the International Standard Classification of Education or the European Qualifications Framework.
    • You have been given a binding offer of employment, or you have signed an employment contract. The role must be based in Germany.
    • The period of employment must be at least six months.
    • The role must pay 43,800 euros at the time of writing in November 2023. This is reduced for selected STEM roles and “bottleneck professions”, and is currently 39,628 euros. It must also pay an appropriate amount for your industry and level of seniority.
    • Your qualifications match the role that has been offered.
    • Any new role that you take must fit with the requirements of the EU Blue Card Germany.

    Please note that some circumstances mean you don’t need formal qualifications to be eligible for a Blue Card. This includes IT professionals without formal qualifications who have worked in IT for three of the past seven years.

    Documents for a Blue Card

    To prove that you match the eligibility requirements and have the legal right to travel, you will need to make sure you provide the following documents in your application:

    • A valid passport.
    • A passport-style photo that matches German standards.
    • Your employment contract or a binding offer.
    • A completed application form.
    • Your degree or relevant qualification transcript.
    • Proof that you have German health insurance.
    • A permit or licence to carry out your profession if required.
    • Academic or professional curriculum vitae.
    • A prepaid and self-addressed return envelope, allowing for up to 500g, so that your passport can be returned.
    • Copy of your pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency if you have one.

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      Applying for a EU Blue Card Germany


      With your application prepared, you will be ready to start the application process. You must follow the process described below:

      1. Print off and complete the VIDEX online application form. Sign the form on pages five and six, and make sure you include the barcode page (page seven).
      2. Gather your documentation.
      3. Book an appointment with your nearest German embassy, consulate, or visa application centre.
      4. Attend the appointment where you will hand in your application and documents, answer questions during a short interview, and pay the application fee.

      Process Time and Application Fees

      The standard amount of time that you will need to wait is five to six weeks. There will be some variation on this depending on how busy the immigration authorities are when you make your application. Furthermore, your waiting time will be extended if there are substantial issues with your application, so completing it to a high standard will speed up the process. Your application will also take longer if you have previously lived in Germany because the authorities will need to investigate your previous immigration history in the country.

      The fee that you will need to pay for your application will depend on the German state that you are applying to. The range is 100 euros to 140 euros. This fee covers your application, and you are not required to pay an additional issue fee if your application is successful.

      Common Reasons for Refusal of Blue Cards


      There are three common reasons for Blue Card applications to be rejected, which can severely set back your efforts to move to Germany, including the following:

      • You have missing or incomplete documents.
      • Your employer hasn’t fulfilled their obligations for hiring foreign workers.
      • You don’t meet the local Federal Employment Agency’s requirements.

      Each of these reasons for rejection and what you can do about them is covered in more detail in the section below.

      Missing or Incomplete Documents

      All visa types in Germany are subject to refusal if you submit an application with missing or incomplete documents. Immigration authorities in Germany have to see everything about your background to be comfortable accepting your application.

      The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to thoroughly check your application before you submit it. Working with an immigration advisor or lawyer can help you to ensure you have accounted for everything. You can get help from Total Law by visiting us online or calling us at 0333 305 9375.

      Employer Not Meeting Obligations

      Not all German employers are able to hire foreign workers, so they may offer you a role with an inappropriate salary or job description for a Blue Card worker. On discovering the role, immigration authorities will automatically refuse your application.

      You will need to check with your employer that they have properly consulted the Zulassung zum Arbeitsmarkt (job market entry requirements) so your role is consistent with the requirements of the Blue Card.

      Not Meeting Local Requirements

      The requirements stated so far in this article are federal standards, but each local authority reserves the right to impose its own standards based on the local economic conditions in the area.

      German local authorities are keen to avoid “loan-dumping”, which is the purpose of hiring foreigners with the intention of paying them less. Therefore, wealthy areas like Munich may require you to have a substantially higher salary than the 43,800 euro national standard.

      In some cases, your employer may be able to get legal assistance if this is the reason your Blue Card is rejected. They may prove in the courts that the salary offered is in line with industry and local standards.

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        What To Do Once I Have Been Issued a Blue Card


        Once you have your Blue Card, you will be able to enter Germany and start living in the country. You will need to register your new residence with the local authorities within two weeks of moving in.

        Furthermore, the Blue Card does not give you the automatic right to remain in Germany, and you will need to get a residence permit to legally reside in the country long-term. This is a plastic card with your data attached, which you should keep on your person while you are in the country. It is recommended that you apply for this permit within two weeks of being in the country.

        Applying for a Residence Permit

        Even if you have successfully got a Blue Card, you will still need to fit with the eligibility criteria for a Blue Card. This includes the following:

        • Having no criminal record in Germany.
        • Having a valid passport from your home country.
        • Having B1 German Language skills, classed as the intermediate level where you can participate in everyday conversation.
        • You are financially stable enough to support yourself and any dependents with you.
        • You have started your employment in Germany with a letter from your employer, or you are going to have a valid employment contract.

        If you fit this eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply for a residence permit by following the steps listed below:

        1. Confirm registration of your German address with the relevant local authorities.
        2. Open a bank account in German, which you will get paid into. Make sure you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents.
        3. Make sure you have sufficient health insurance arrangements.
        4. Go to your local immigration office to pick up an application form.
        5. Attend an appointment at the immigration office, where you will submit your application and answer questions during a short interview.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Getting an EU Blue Card in Germany will be life-changing because it will allow you and your family to start a new life in one of the EU’s richest nations. To apply for this visa, you will need to complete a complex online application and then successfully obtain a residency permit once you are in the country. Many applicants make use of immigration lawyers and advisors to improve their chances of success.

        At Total Law, we have plenty of experience in helping people with their Blue Card applications. We can help you to pull together your documentation, complete the application form, and prepare for the interview. If your application is not successful, we are well-positioned to help you decide on your next steps, including launching an appeal or applying for a different visa for Germany.

        To find out more about the range of services we offer, please contact us at 0333 305 9375 or visit us online.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  Your immediate family will be able to join you in Germany. This covers your dependent children and your spouse, but they will have to apply for German Family Reunion visas separately.

                  Once in Germany, your family members can enjoy great rights in the country. Your children can enter state education, and your spouse will be allowed to work anywhere they can get a job offer.

                  Your family will benefit from some mitigations during the application process that will make it easier for them to join you in Germany. For example, they will be exempt from passing German language requirements.

                  The standard length of time to wait before you can get a permanent visa in Germany is 33 months. This applies to you and any family members that you decide to bring with you.

                  However, this time is reduced to just 21 months if you become a fluent German speaker. You can prove this by passing a German language test.

                  International students are not allowed to apply for EU Blue Cards while they are still conducting their studies. This can be frustrating because 40% of international students studying in the country plan on working there after their studies.

                  However, once you complete your studies, you will have the option to extend your residence permit for up to 18 months, which will give you the opportunity to find suitable employment. Once you have a job offer with a high enough annual salary in this job-seeking period, you will be able to apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany.