EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a temporary residence permit for living and working in Germany

As an academic or other qualified worker, the EU Blue Card offers you a faster and easier access to become part of the German labor market and lifestyle - a qualified diploma and a required minimum salary being the documents mostly looked-after. Issued in Germany among other EU Member States, it offers many benefits to potential holders, besides living and working.

The most important benefits of the EU Blue Card, are:

  • Equal work and salary conditions to national citizens
  • Free movement throughout EU
  • Social rights - including education, economic, cultural, human, health rights
  • The right to bringing your family members with you
  • Permanent-residency perspective

The work conditions and facilities available for you as a qualified worker are very motivational for practicing your profession. Also, being able to bring your family with you is a very positive move in helping you settle down with ease and focus on integrating in the new environment.

Who can apply for a EU Blue Card?

Nationals from all over the world – unless they are EU-nationals or citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Norway. Those do not need a Blue Card to live and work in Germany.

General requirements

Applicants for the EU Blue Card need:

  • an annual gross income of 50.800 euros. A lower limit of 39.624 euros applies to occupations where there is a skills shortage (such as natural scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicians, and highly qualified IT professions) The income limits are valid for the year 2017 and are adjusted annually.
  • a German university degree or
  • a degree comparable to a German university degree or
  • an acknowledged foreign diploma: 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'). Statements of Comparability for the purpose of applying for a Blue Card will be issued, as a rule, within two weeks provided that

  • the application is complete and the required documentation is enclosed,
  • the payment within seven working days.

Important Note when Applying

 Due to the short period of issue, please note the following:

 Please follow the general application steps.

  • Write "Blue Card" in the text field "Purpose of Application" (step 1 of the web form).
  • Write "Blue Card" in the text field "Purpose of Application" (step 4 of the PDF file).
  • Enclose a copy of your employment contract.
  • As a Blue Card-applicant you will receive an email notification of fees in advance.
  • Please transfer the fee on the next working day at the latest.
  • Once the payment has been received, the processing of your application begins immediately.

Required Documentation

Education systems are different in many ways around the world. As a consequence, there are certain points that you need to consider before applying.

Please select the country in which you obtained your degree from the enclosed list and click on the link. There, you will find a list of required documentation.

Your country is not included in the list?

Please refer to the general page with the required documentation.

Degrees for which Statements of Comparability are not issued: In some country files, on the top of the page with the required documentation, you will find a list of degrees for which Statements of Comparability are not issued. If your qualification is included in the list, please do not apply for a Statement of Comparability.



Required Documents

1. Please submit in officially certified photocopy:

  • The degree for the university qualification to be assessed
  • The overview of subjects and grades for the university qualification to be assessed
  • Translation of the degree and overview in German made from a sworn translator

What is a legal certification?

A legal certification is a stamp displaying the official note that the above/foregoing/succeeding document is a true (photo)copy of the original. It serves to ascertain the authenticity of educational credentials.

What makes up a legal certification?

  • the note certifying a document as a true copy
  • the official stamp/seal of the certifying authority
  • the official signature of the certifying person

Never send a copy of the certified copy!

Who is authorised to issue a certified copy?

Copies may be certified by any public authority entitled to use an official seal, e.g. municipality, town or county administration, notary public, parish office.

Devoid of the power to issue certified true copies are: corporations, translators, lawyers, public accountants, etc.

Is it possible to have copies legally certified abroad?

Yes, by a notary public or a public administration empowered accordingly. In case of doubt, an additional certification in Germany is needed.

Translators are not empowered to certify true copies.

2. Please provide in simple photocopy:

  • Your employment contract (Only if you apply for a "Blue Card")
  • The final school graduation certificate with an overview of subjects and grades, which opens up access to higher education
  • Degree certificates, with their respective subject and grades, of previous degrees
  • Your ID document (passport or ID card / passport / passaporte)
  • The official proof of a possible change of name (if not shown in the ID document)
  • Evidence of the reasons, if you can not agree with the authenticity check of your documents by the ZAB (see note 10 in the application form) Please do not submit any original documents!
  • Your submitted documents will be returned with the certificate assessment.
  • We accept no liability for unsolicited original documents.
  • For environmental reasons, you should refrain from using application kits and clarification covers.

 Important Note when Applying

Due to the short period of issue, please note the following:

  • Please follow the general application steps.
  • Write "Blue Card" in the text field "Purpose of Application" (step 1 of the web form).
  • Write "Blue Card" in the text field "Purpose of Application" (step 4 of the PDF file).
  • Enclose a copy of your employment contract.
  • As a Blue Card-applicant you will receive an email notification of fees in advance.
  • Please transfer the fee on the next working day at the latest.
  • Once the payment has been received, the processing of your application begins immediately.
How to Apply

Your application can only be processed, if the required documentation is submitted in the correct form.

Therefore, please follow these steps:

  • Please go to the page "required documentation".
  • Please provide the required copies of the documents, where necessary in certified form.

Please continue, when you have all the necessary copies (where necessary in certified form)

  • Please open the application form (link below) and fill it in.

If you would like to apply for a Blue Card: Enter "Blue Card angestrebt" in the field "Purpose of application".

If you already have an employment contract: Enter "Blue Card beantragen" in the field "Purpose of application" and tick the box "Arbeitsvertrag für Blue Card liegt bei".

  • Send the form by clicking the button at the bottom of the page.
  • IMPORTANT! A new page with a link to the filled in pdf document opens.
  • Please click the link. Then print and save the pdf document.
  • Sign the printed form.
  • Send the form together with the complete documentation by post to the address given on the front page of the application form.

Blue Card: Please do not forget to enclose your employment contract. We can accelerate the processing of your application only if you have enclosed your employment contract.

  • Following the receipt of your application, we will send you a notification of fees by email.
  • Please transfer the fee within the given period. The processing of your application begins once the payment has been received. The Statement of Comparability will be sent to you within three months.
  • Should you wish the assessment of several qualifications, please fill in a separate application form for each degree.

In case of important questions, you will be contacted by email.

Therefore, please indicate an active and permanent email address and check your mailbox regularly. To fill in the application form.

Visa application

Most non-EU nationals will need to get a visa before coming to Germany.

For a visa you must contact your local German embassy or consulate. The German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides more information about who needs a visa and how to apply for a visa. When you decide to apply, there are two main ways to go about it. Either you apply directly for the EU Blue Card in the German Embassy while in your home country or you apply for the visitor or job-seeker visa first. Either way, you will have access to the EU Blue Card application procedure. It´s better to apply for the Tourist or Job-Seeker Visa in the German Embassy in your home country and you need to have a clear idea about the required documents in order to complete your application. When in Germany on a tourist visa, you should first find a suitable apartment to provide you with a rent contract. This is a very important component as it is required to have a valid German address before applying for the EU Blue Card.

After your Arrival: Residence Registration

Within one week of your arrival you need to register your German address at the Residence Registration Office (called „Bürgerbüro“). You will receive a written confirmation of registration. This proof of registration is often required by other institutions or authorities. To get this your need to rent an apartment for a period of at least one year.

Health Insurance

As soon as you have pinned down your apartment rent contract, the next thing to do is to get health insurance. For short periods of stay, such as tourist visa stays, you cannot get national health insurance. To become part of the national health insurance you should be employed in Germany in advance. For this reason, you need to find and register with a private health insurance before applying for the EU Blue Card, this is the standard travel health insurance that travellers are required to have when visiting the EU (for instance from Alfastrakhovanie, Ingosstrakh and others). After fulfilling these two requirements, you are free to move on to the next step.

Setting your appointment

After getting your rent contract and your health insurance proof, the next step to take is to set up an appointment. To do so, you should contact the Foreigners Registration Office in your city of interest - either online or by phone. There should be online application forms in English too. If you decide to show up at the Foreigners Registration Office without an appointment, be prepared to wait in line for a longer while. Even with having set an appointment, you might still have to wait before being admitted for the interview. If you don’t speak any German, you can bring along a friend who speaks the language. It will show your interest and excitement in getting comfortable around the German language and culture.

EU Blue Card application

With your appointment being set, it is now time to start preparing the rest of the documents required for your application.

The documents you need to bring with you when applying for the EU Blue Card are:

  • Proof of non-EU citizenship (Passport)
  • For unregulated professions - a recognized university diploma (with a certified German translation and a formal acknowledgement); together with evaluation / statement of the ZAB
  • In case of regulated profession - present the acquired certificate
  • A work contract of at least one year. Original and copy. Your employer needs to fill out the form called „Ausländerbeschäftigung“.
  • Proof that your offered salary exceeds the average salary in Germany
  • A written declaration by your German employer
  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Proof of no threat to the public policy, security or health of the hosting state
  • An application form, filled either by you or your employer "Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels" (Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit)
  • Two biometric passport-size personal photos, not older than 6 months
  • Proof of application fee payment - which is around 140€
  • Health insurance proof
  • Proof of main residence in Germany: certificate of registration at the main residence or lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord

Please note, that in some cases additional documents may be required.

*Note: Allow yourself some time to collect your documents and complete document translations, qualification/diploma recognition if necessary or other similar requirements before applying. This might take you up to 4 months, maximum.

If your EU Blue Card expires and you want to renew it, you need to submit the above-mentioned documents plus a current proof of income (salary slips of the past three months) and a current proof of employment stating the type and duration of employment.

Validity period:

A EU Blue Card can be issued for a maximum term of four years. If the job term is less than four years, it will be issued to cover the work contract period plus three months.

Please note:

The Blue Card will expire if you leave Germany for more than 12 months. The same applies to your family members if their residence permit is tied to your Blue Card.

Change of Employer:

The EU Blue Card is tied to your employer. You need the Foreigners Office's permission if you want to change to a new employer within the first two years of your stay.