Are you a recent graduate who's landed a job opportunity in Germany? Delve into the requirements for obtaining the EU Blue Card here: The EU Blue Card (Section 18g of the Residence Act [AufenthG]) is tailored for foreign academics and individuals with similar qualifications seeking skilled employment in Germany. To determine if you need a visa to enter Germany, refer to the "Do I need a visa?" section.

Here are the prerequisites for obtaining the EU Blue Card

  • You possess either a German degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a German one. In the absence of a traditional university degree, you must demonstrate attainment of a tertiary-level qualification that required a minimum of three years to complete. This qualification should correspond to at least level 6 of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011) or level 6 of the European Qualifications Framework. Examples include "Master craftsman training / Master craftswoman training" and certain professional qualifications in educator professions. Information on the equivalence and recognition of foreign degrees can be found in the "Recognition" section.
  • You have received a specific job offer from a German company that meets the following criteria:
  • The employment period spans at least six months.
  • The job aligns with your qualification (degree). If a license to practice (regulated professions) is mandated, it must be in place or in prospect at the time of the visa application.
  • Your job entitles you to earn a gross annual salary of at least €45,300 (as of 2024).
  • In the case of employment in a bottleneck profession, you can secure an EU Blue Card with a lower gross annual salary of at least €41,041.80 (as of 2024) if your employment has been approved by the Federal Employment Agency (BA). The list of bottleneck professions is updated annually by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community.
  • If you've obtained your last degree or equivalent qualification less than three years ago, you can still obtain an EU Blue Card with a job offer that guarantees a gross annual salary of at least €41,041.80 (as of 2024). This applies to entry-level positions across all professions, with approval from the Federal Employment Agency also required for the visa process.

Special Scenario: EU Blue Card for IT Professionals without Formal Qualifications

Are you an IT professional aspiring to work in Germany without holding a formal qualification? Under specific conditions, you may qualify for an EU Blue Card:

  • You must secure a specific job offer as an IT professional in Germany with a minimum employment period of six months.
  • Your job should enable you to earn a gross annual salary of at least €41,041.80 (as of 2024).
  • You must possess at least three years of professional experience in IT within the past seven years, equivalent to university-level proficiency and prerequisite for employment in Germany.

If you meet the aforementioned criteria, you're entitled to an EU Blue Card under Section 18g of the Residence Act [AufenthG]. Explore the entry and visa process for further details.

Even if you don't meet the EU Blue Card requirements, alternative options may be available.

You can consider applying for a work visa for professionals with an academic qualification under Section 18b of the Residence Act (AufenthG). Additionally, IT professionals without formal qualifications may explore special regulations for individuals with practical expertise.

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What does the EU Blue Card offer?

The EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of your employment contract plus an additional three months, with a maximum validity of four years. Extension of this residence title in Germany is possible under certain conditions.

After 27 months, EU Blue Card holders can obtain a settlement permit upon demonstrating German language proficiency at level A1 according to CEFR. If language level B1 is attained, the settlement permit can be acquired after just 21 months.

As an EU Blue Card holder, you can reside in Germany with your family. Refer to the "Family reunification" section for requirements and considerations.

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Changing Jobs with an EU Blue Card

Are you an EU Blue Card holder seeking to switch employers in Germany? This transition is permissible, and you can commence your new role with a valid EU Blue Card. However, if you change jobs within the first year of employment, you must inform your local foreigners authority about the change. They will assess if you still meet the conditions for the EU Blue Card in your new position. If not, you may be eligible for another type of residence permit, such as a work and residence permit for qualified professionals.

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