The EU Blue Card scheme is aimed at qualified academic professionals employed in a position commensurate with their qualification and with a designated minimum remuneration (threshold as of 18 November 2023: €43,800 gross per annum, subject to change). Comprehensive information on the EU Blue Card is also available here.
Academic professionals employed in a bottleneck profession (see list here) qualify for a EU Blue Card with a remuneration starting at €39,682.80 gross per annum (threshold as of 18 November 2023, subject to change).
New entrants to the labour market
The lower salary threshold of €39,682.80 gross per annum (threshold as of 18 November 2023, subject to change) also applies to new entrants to the labour market: if you obtained your last degree or equivalent qualification less than three years ago, you also qualify for an EU Blue Card.
IT professionals without formal qualification
IT professionals without a formal qualification, but having worked in IT for at least three of the past seven years and with professional experience at university level may also qualify for an EU Blue Card.
British citizens may apply for their residence permits with the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. Please note that you need to register your new residence (Anmeldung) with the authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply for your residence permit with the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) within the first 90 days of stay in Germany. This privilege is also extended to citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea (Republic) and the United States of America. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.
Please note that you may only take up employment once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorising such employment. You may also choose to apply for a visa prior to travel, effectively permitting employment from the first day of visa validity.
All other nationalities require a visa prior to travel to Germany.
The EU Blue Card visa category requires you to hold a German, a recognised or a comparable foreign academic degree or equivalent tertiary qualification. The qualification must be relevant for your intended employment. If you hold a foreign academic degree, please check whether both your degree and the awarding academic institution are listed as comparable in the official Anabin database. If the degree is not listed as “entspricht” (comparable) or “gleichwertig” (equivalent) and/or the institution is not classified as “H+”: please have the degree formally assessed through a “Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications” issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). Any equivalent foreign tertiary qualification must have been formally recognised.
Some regulated professions such as medical doctors, nurses, teachers, architects, auditors, tax advisors and more require a formal license to practise their profession in Germany. Please consult the database on recognition in regulated professions.
Under German law, all residents must have sufficient health insurance cover. Please read our additional information on health insurance requirements.
How to apply for your visa:
1. Complete the VIDEX online application form, print one copy of the form including the barcode page (page 7) and sign the form on pages 5 and 6. Separate application forms are required for each applicant; all children also require separate forms.
2. Compile your supporting documentation to bring to your appointment:
- Printout of the online application form including barcodes (as under #1)
- Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least six months. The passport needs to have at least 2 consecutive blank pages (i.e. a blank double spread).
Plus 1 photocopy of the passport biodata page
Current UK residence permit (BRP)/visa (non-British applicants only).
Plus 1 photocopy of the permit/ visa
- 2 fully biometric passport photos, size 35 x 45 mm. Consult our FAQs for detailed requirements.
- Employer’s declaration (Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis) - to be completed by your employer (download form here)
Academic degree or tertiary qualification
We will need to see the original degree certificate/ qualification or a copy either notarised by a notary public or certified by the issuing institution. Any original will be returned to you during your appointment. Any document in a language other than German, English or French needs to be translated into one of these languages by a certified or sworn translator.
1 photocopy of the original/ certified copy and translation (if applicable)
- Print-outs from the official database - showing that both the qualification as well as the academic institution are listed as comparable - 1 copy each
- OR “Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications”, issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
- OR formal recognition of the tertiary qualification; contact us for details.
IT professionals without formal qualification
We will need to see evidence of your full employment history during the last 7 years, including reference letters outlining the duration of the employment and the exact areas of responsibilities held.
- Confirmation of health insurance cover commensurate with the level of statutory German public health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung).
- Academic/ professional curriculum vitae
- Only if available: pre-approval by the Federal Employment Agency (copy sufficient).
- Prepaid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery return envelope (up to 500g) in order to return your passport after processing (not applicable for applications submitted to a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact).
- Visa fees apply
Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) or the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will contact you.
In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 2 weeks. This also applies to accompanying family members.
Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.
3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.
Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:
All visa applications for a Blue Card must be applied for with a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact. Visa applications for family members accompanying a Blue Card applicant will also be accepted by TLScontact.
TLScontact operates from London and Manchester (serving the German Embassy in London) as well as Edinburgh (serving the German Consulate General in Edinburgh) with two distinct jurisdictions and your place of residence determines which Visa Application Centre you will need to contact to apply for your visa. Please refer to our consular district map for additional details.
Accompanying spouses of Blue Card holders are exempt from the requirement regarding basic German language proficiency.
If your application is successful, you will be issued a limited-validity entry visa - similar to a UK entry clearance. Once you have arrived in Germany please register your new residence with the local authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply to your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your Electronic Residence Permit. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.
Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.