What is an EU Blue Card?
A Blue Card is essentially the EU equivalent of the US Green Card. It is a simple process that enables highly qualified non-EU professionals, especially those in STEM subjects, to put their talents to use in 25 of the 27 EU member states (Denmark and Ireland are not included).
In Germany, Blue Card holders can apply for a permanent settlement permit after 33 months – or just 21 months if you have good German language skills. Your family can move with you, subject to certain conditions.
You can also refer to the official EU Blue Card information page for full details.
Am I eligible for an EU Blue Card?
There are several conditions you will have to meet to qualify for a Blue Card:
- You must have a German university degree or recognized equivalent.
- You must have signed an employment contract or hold a binding job offer as a paid employee with a term of at least one year. Self-employed people are not eligible for a Blue Card.
- Your future job must have a salary of at least €56,800 (if you have an university degree) - though there are some exceptions.
- You must submit an application to the authorities in the EU member state in which you plan to live and work. In Germany, EU Blue Cards are issued by the local foreign nationals’ office, or Ausländeramt.
Where does health insurance come into this?
Everyone who lives and works in Germany is required by law to hold valid health insurance. At ottonova, we offer a special expat rate specifically tailored to their unique situation and can offer advice on visas and permits.
But if you plan to stay longer than five years in Germany we also have tariffs for long term insurance of course.
What are the benefits of the EU Blue Card?
- Easier family reunification: Easier conditions for reunification apply to your family members. Spouses, for example, are entitled to a residence permit with immediate unrestricted permission to work, even without German language skills.
- Faster to the settlement permit: As a holder of the EU Blue Card, you will receive a settlement permit in Germany after 33 months if you have pursued highly qualified employment during this time, have contributed to a pension scheme and can communicate in German in a simple way. If you have sufficient knowledge of German (language level B1), the period is reduced to 21 months.
Where can I work with an EU Blue Card?
There are many countries where you can work with the EU blue card. In total there are 25 countries. Examples are Austria, Croatia, France, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and some more. The two countries that are not participating are Denmark and Ireland.
EU Blue Card - the Application Process
The application process for an EU Blue Card is different for every country. Member States are free to decide whether the application for the card must be made by the non-EU national and/or his or her employer. Most member states require applicants to make an appointment at the relevant consulates or diplomatic missions in their home countries; online applications are only provided by a few member states.
There are also some fees you need to pay for the EU Blue Card. The application fee for issuance is €140, and for renewal of the EU Blue Card is €100.
What could be the reasons for the rejection of the EU Blue Card?
There are different reasons for a rejection:
- You did not fulfill the admission criteria.
- You made incorrect or false statements.
- You could pose a threat to EU public order, security or health.
- The vacant position could be filled differently
Your employer has been found guilty of employing undocumented irregular migrants.
- There is a lack of qualified workers in your field in your home country.
You have the option to appeal against the decision/rejection within three weeks.