The EU Blue Card (Blaue Karte EU) is a residence title for academics outside the EU who wish to work in an EU member state. To obtain an EU Blue Card, applicants are required to have a university degree and a work contract which meets the minimum gross salary requirement.
Graduate professionals who work in subject areas linked to occupations where there are skills shortages, such as science, technology, information technology and mathematics, as well as medical doctors, are also eligible to apply for an EU Blue card of they earn as much as domestic employees in comparable posts. The minimum gross salary that must be earned by these staff currently sits at 41,808 euros (threshold for 2019). In these cases, approval must be obtained from the Federal Employment Agency (BA – Bundesagentur für Arbeit). However, if the higher education degree was acquired in Germany, no such approval is required.
The EU Blue Card is initially issued for a limited period of a maximum of four years. If the duration of the employment contract is less than four years, the EU Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment contract plus three months. After it has expired, the EU Blue Card can under certain conditions be extended or can be converted into a permanent settlement permit, allowing the bearer to reside in Germany indefinitely.