​Moving to Germany with a Blue Card​

Non-EU nationals require some form of residence permit if they plan to stay in Germany for longer than 12 months.
Note: If you plan to live and work in Germany for less than 12 months, or if you are not sure how long you will stay, check out our explainer on German work visas.

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:

  1. You must have a German university degree or recognized equivalent.
  2. 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.
  3. Your future job must have a salary of at least €56,800 (if you have an university degree) - though there are some exceptions.
  4. 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?

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 have the option to appeal against the decision/rejection within three weeks

ottonova for Expats

You have so much to do when moving to Germany, don’t let your health insurance slow you down. Let ottonova make your life easier.

What are the advantages of private health insurance?


To get your social security number you need to contact Deutsche Rentenversicherung. They also provide English support.

If you are eligible for private health insurance and you are in Germany on a visa or a limited permit, we can offer you the Expat Tariff up to five years.

ottonova is fully regulated by the BaFin and therefore fulfilling the requirements (§ 257 7Abs. 2a Satz 1 SGB V and the § 61 Abs. 5 SGB XI) for you to be able to apply for a visa with your ottonova insurance, which also includes our Expat tariff of course.

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