Non-EU Residents: Applying for an EU Blue Card to work in Germany

Moving to a new country is big change, and there is a lot to deal with when making that transition. One of the downfalls of such a move is the amount of paperwork that goes with it. Here is a breakdown of the EU Blue Card for foreigners looking to live and work in Germany.

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is similar to the green card in the United States. It offers proof for a citizen of a non-European Union country to stay in a European Union country to work. The EU Blue Card is only available to skilled workers with university degrees who find a jobs in their field in a country that is a member of the European Union.

How to Apply for the EU Blue Card?

First off, in order to apply for the EU Blue Card, you must have a degree from an accredited university. Secondly, you must have a job in Germany, in your field, and you must make an annual gross salary of at least €46,400. However, if you happen to be a scientist, mathematician, engineer, doctor, or an IT skilled worker, then you are eligible if your annual gross salary is at least €36,92. This is because those skills are more in demand than other skills.

Typically, you will apply for your EU Blue Card after you sign your employment contract, but before you move to Germany. However, if you have the degree but not yet the job, you can apply for a special visa and stay in Germany for six months while you search for employment. Once you have found a job in your field, you can apply for the EU Blue Card or a residence permit.

Citizens from certain countries —the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, or Israel —are allowed to enter Germany and apply for a residence permit without a visa. Those from these countries are allowed to apply for their EU Blue Card when they already live in Germany.

You are also allowed to apply for the EU Blue Card while already residing in Germany if you have a visa allowing you to reside in the country at the time.

The following documents are necessary to apply for the EU Blue Card:


·         One new biometric photo: it needs to be 35mm x 45mm and show the person facing forwards, looking directly at the camera. The applicant needs to have a neutral facial expression and a closed mouth. The background must be bright.

·         University degree, translated into German

·         Employment contract

·         The application for granting a stay title. A residence permit may be given only on explicit application.

·         The application for permission of an employment. This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labor is needed.

·         The Work Place description form. This is only necessary if the approval of the federal agency for labor is needed.

These documents, or copies of these documents, need to be sent to the appropriate foreign department to apply for your EU Blue Card.

Finding a good paying job right after college is no easy task. If you are one of the lucky few who manage to find a job right away, recognize your luck. Finding a good-paying job in another country is an amazing opportunity, one you should never pass up. Once you have dealt with the tedious details involving your move to Germany, starting your new life in another country should be a wonderful and enlightening experience.


Tanja Traut

Saskia Petz

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