EU Blue Card in Germany - Applicaton Guide

Documents and steps for getting Blue Card based on real case in Berlin

Screenshoot 1 Screenshot 1. - Registration form in English (Source: Bundesdruckerei) Screenshoot 2 Screenshot 2. - Registration form in German (Source: Bundesdruckerei)

There are two sources of information for this: Service Portal Berlin and my own professional experience as a migration consultant.

In this article I try to make the theoretical part easy to understand and to illustrate it with practical examples from my professional experience.


Step 1: learn the basic Information

The EU Blue Card has several advantages compared with a residence permit for the purpose of employment. For example, it enables you to obtain the right of permanent residence more quickly. More information about the benefits in the “More information” section and also in the TODO lists in a section About EU Blue Card.

The EU Blue Card is valid for a maximum of 4 years. If you have a fixed-term employment contract, the EU Blue Card can also be valid for a shorter time. Normally it also lasts 3 months longer than your employment contract.

For the first two years of employment, approval from the Foreigners’ Registration Office must be obtained before any change of job.

You have foreign family members in Berlin who also need a residence title?
Then please make an appointment together to apply for the EU Blue Card and the residence permits for your family members.
You can find the necessary documents for your family members in the service "Residence permit for spouses and children of holders of an EU Blue Card" (see section "More information").


Step 2: prepare your university degree

You have one of three following degree types:

  • a degree from a German university or
  • a degree from a foreign university which is recognised in Germany, or
  • a different degree from a foreign university which is comparable to a German degree.

You can check the "anabin” database to see whether your foreign degree is recognised.
If your degree is not evaluated in this database, you can have a certificate assessment carried out specially for your degree. This will incur additional costs.

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Step 3: prepare your employment contract

You already have an employment contract or a concrete job offer. You can only get the EU Blue Card if you earn enough. This amount is changing every year. In 2020 an Blue Card minimum wage is €55,200 annual gross salary, which equates to €4600 monthly gross salary.

Minimum salary

However if you work in a so called shortage occupation there is good news for you. In an shortage occupation you need to earn €3,588+ gross per month. (This equates to €43,056 per year (for the year 2020)).

Shortage occupations (Mangelberufe) are specific occupations for which there are not enough workers in Germany.

Possibly: Approval of the Federal Employment Agency

You need the approval of the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) if you:

  • work in a shortage occupation and
  • earn less than EUR 4,600 gross per month and
  • do not have a degree from a German university.

Step 4: conclude your Health insurance

You have health insurance in Germany, either in the statutory health insurance system or a comparable private health insurance. Foreign health insurance is not sufficient. See also 4.9 below.

Main residence in Berlin**

Your main residence is in Berlin. If you have your main residence in other German city, you have to apply for the Blue Card there.

In-person visit

Please submit your application to your local office. We recommend that you book an appointment online.

Documents required

Step 5: collect and submit necessary documents

4.1: Form Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels
4.2: For the Approval of the Federal Employment Agency, 2 more forms:
4.2.1: Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung (Work Permit Application)* completed by you.
4.2.2: Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis" (Jobdescription) completed by your employer. 4.3: Your passport
4.4: Proof of your residence, for example by:
   - Certificate of registration at the main residence (Melde-Bestätigung) OR
   - lease and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord (Wohnungsgeber-Bestätigung)
4.5: Current biometric photo
The photo must be a recent one (within last 6 months). It must meet the photo requirements for electronic passports. The Federal Printing Office’s photo reference board shows the specific requirements.
4.6: University or university college qualification (Original)
4.7: If necessary: Zeugnisbewertung
You need this document if your foreign degree is not evaluated in the “anabin” database or your anabin status H- or H+/-.
In this case you need to recognize your degree in Germany by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
4.8: Your employment contract or job offer (Original)
4.9: Proof of your health insurance:
   in case of statutory health insurance:
      - electronic health card with photo;
      - up-to-date confirmation of health insurance;
   in case of private health insurance:
      - proof that you have paid your contributions, for example through account statements;       - certificate from the insurance company;

The certificate must state the type, scope and duration of the insurance. Please tell your insurance company that you need the certificate for a residence permit for the purpose of employment.


Step 6: pay the fee

Usually there are two possibilities:

  • payment is either made on site via a cash machine, OR:
  • payment by bank transfer (you will receive the payment request in a few days/weeks by regular post).

- For the first issuance: €100.00
- For an extension of up to three months: €96.00
- For an extension of more than three months: €93.00

Average time to process request

Around 5–6 weeks. A personal visit 4-6 weeks before the existing temporary residence title expires is best. If possible you should book an appointment for this.

Responsible authorities

This service can only be taken advantage of in the Berlin Immigration Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung – LEA) at Keplerstrasse. Click here to make an appointment in Berlin

* - the example in this article is for Berlin only. In other regions of Germany there are similar procedere. If you are, let's say in Hamburg, just google "Blue card beantragen Hamburg" {enter the city name of your desired location}.
** - only required on first application;

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02.05.20 ©️ Jaroslav Plotnikov (All articles)