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FAQ

Legal topics explained briefly and understandably by our experts

What is the minimum salary for obtaining an EU Blue Card?

There are two minimum salary thresholds for the EU Blue Card that must be met in order to obtain an EU Blue Card. The basic salary limit for 2024 is an annual gross salary of 45,300 euros. For so-called shortage occupations, the lower salary limit in 2024 is 41,041.80 euros. Find out more about minimum salary limits here.

Further FAQs on the topic:

If the job offer you have received only meets the lower salary threshold for shortage occupations and young professionals, you must first obtain approval for your EU Blue Card from the Federal Employment Agency. No approval is required for all employees whose salary is also above the general (higher) salary threshold, even if they work in a shortage occupation or are career starters. Here you can find the salary limits for the Blue Card for 2024.

If you are a national of a so-called privileged country, you do not need an entry visa to apply for an EU Blue Card in Germany. These privileged countries that do not require an entry visa include: Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America. Citizens of other countries generally require a visa for the purpose of gainful employment, which is issued by the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad.

You can leave Germany for up to 12 months without losing your EU Blue Card. The 12-month period also applies to your family members.

Yes, holders of an EU Blue Card are permitted to travel to other Schengen states within the EU for tourism purposes without a visa. You can travel to Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland for 90 days within a 180-day period. As a rule, it is not possible to take up employment outside Germany without a corresponding residence permit.

It is generally possible for holders of an EU Blue Card to change jobs. However, in the first year of your employment, you must report any change of employer to the immigration authority. The authority then has the option of suspending the change and checking within 30 days whether it is permissible. If the authority allows this period to elapse or does not respond to your notification at all, the change is automatically deemed permissible. After one year, you can change your job without the approval of the immigration authority. However, the basic requirements, such as the minimum salary, must still be met.

Yes, your (nuclear) family can accompany you. Spouses, children and, more recently, parents and possibly even parents-in-law (i.e. the parents of your spouse) can apply for and receive a work and residence permit at the same time as you as part of the so-called family reunification procedure. Family reunification can also be applied for as part of the accelerated procedure for skilled workers, which has the advantage that the processing time for the application is identical for you and your family. You can enter Germany together. The family members of an EU Blue Card holder are immediately permitted to work or be self-employed without restriction.

No, unlike other residence permits, no German language skills are required to obtain an EU Blue Card. This applies to both the applicant and their family.

If you can demonstrate language skills at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), you can apply for a permanent work and residence permit after just 21 months with an EU Blue Card. However, language skills are not mandatory. Without language skills, the waiting period for the possibility of applying for a permanent work and residence permit is extended to 27 months.

In case you are dismissed by your employer, you have three months to find a new job. If you do not succeed, there is a risk that your Blue Card will be revoked and you will have to leave Germany again. Get more information about the EU Blue Card and termination here.

In principle, certain additional payments can be included in the gross basic salary. These payments count towards the minimum salary if the supplements are agreed in the employment contract and are not dependent on the occurrence of certain conditions. Not every salary component is clear from the outset and requires individual examination in case of doubt.

The EU Blue Card is usually issued for four years, unless the employment contract is shorter than four years. In this case, the EU Blue Card is valid for the duration of the employment contract plus three months, but never longer than four years. The EU Blue Card can be extended before it expires, provided you still meet all the requirements for an EU Blue Card.

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