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Support in the recognition of professional qualifications

We take primary responsibility in the professional recognition process and arrange all formalities without any difficulties. 

The corresponding "act to improve the assessment and recognition of professional qualifications gained abroad" came into force on 1 April 2012, in accordance with Article 76, Paragraph 2 of the German constitution.

The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, the BQFG inn short, should decide on the assessment of the parity between professional qualifications and provide a law to improve the assessment and recognition of professional qualifications gained abroad. 

Further information of the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act

EU Blue Card

Alongside the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, the EU Blue Card Directive was also implemented this year. This came into force on 01.08.2012 and should facilitate and encourage the migration of highly qualified people. Thanks to the EU Blue Card, citizens from non-member countries, who have a university degree of comparable qualification, receive a residence permit and can seek employment in Germany in line with their qualification.  

The salary limit for understaffed professions was therefore slightly increased to 52% of the income threshold (€ 34,944) for general pension schemes. The permanent settlement permit for EU Blue Card holders obtained after three years of employment was reduced to a period of two years for German language skills of level B1 of the"Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In addition, a new temporary six-month residence permit was introduced for academics (university graduates) looking for work. An assumption of approval was also introduced during the priority review after two weeks as well as the opportunity for a preliminary check by the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

Detailed facts can be found on the following pages:


EU Blue Card Germany

The EU Blue Card Germany is a residence permit, i.e. (documentary) proof that a citizen of a non-member country can legally reside in an EU-member country for the purpose of employment. It is intended for citizens of non-EU countries. Member of EU states enjoy freedom of movement in terms of their stay. 

The EU Blue Card Directive became part of German law on 1 July 2012 as laid down in act on the implementation of the EU Directive on highly qualified workers. The Residence Act in particular was modified. The core provision is § 19 a of the Residence Act a EU Blue Card. 

Who can apply for a Blue Card? 

A foreign national, who is a citizen of a non-EU country, can apply for an EU Blue Card for Germany if they 
a) have either a German or recognised foreign university degree or a foreign degree comparable to a German university degree and 
b) an employment contract with a gross annual salary of at least 44,800 € (3,733 per month) or 39,444 € (2,912 per month) in the so-called understaffed professions (scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and IT specialists. 

The following are answers to the key questions about the EU Blue Card

Does a foreign national have to apply for the EU Blue Card before they enter the country?

Yes. Entry to Germany is governed by the general entry regulations. Accordingly, the application for the EU Blue Card for the citizens of most non-member countries must be made before entering Germany. The respective German embassy is responsible for this. 

How long is a Blue Card valid?

The EU Blue Card is initially only valid for no more than four years. If the employment contract is to be for less than four years, i.e. for a fixed term, the Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment contract plus three months. It can be extended thereafter or a permanent settlement permit can be issued. 

When is the holder of a Blue Card entitled to become a permanent resident in Germany?

Foreign nationals who have an EU Blue Card can already apply for a permanent residence permit after 33 months. If you have German language skills at level B1, you can already apply for permanent residency after 21 months (see § 19a, Section 6 of the Residence Act). 

Can the Blue Card be withdrawn in the case of a longer stay outside of the EU?

EU Blue Card holders can reside for up to 12 months outside of the EU without losing the right of residence in Germany or the EU. 

Can Blue Card holders move to another EU country?

EU Blue Card holders have the right to move to another EU country after an 18 month stay in Germany.

Are the time periods spent in other EU countries with a Blue Card taken into account for the right of permanent residency?

If the foreign national with an EU Blue Card has already spent time in other EU-member countries, these time periods also count for the acquisition of the right of permanent residency in Germany.

Do visa procedures need to be conducted when moving within the EU?

No visa is required in virtually all EU countries if foreign nationals move within the EU. The application can be made in the home country. In Germany the application must be made within one month of entering Germany.

Is a priority review carried out? Are members of the German employment market given privileged treatment?

A priority review means that a check is made to see whether German employees are being considered for the job vacancy. A priority review of this type is not required when the salary limits are reached. However, a review of the working conditions does take place. 

If a salary of at least € 34,944 is paid, a priority review takes place for the non-understaffed professions so that a Blue Card can be issued. 

Can family members of Blue Card holders work in Germany without any restrictions?

Family members of an EU Blue Card holder can work in Germany without any restrictions without a waiting period.

Do spouses have to have German language skills before entering the country?

The subsequent immigration of spouses is not dependent on proof of their German language skills or other integration measures. Even basic German language skills are not required for spouses.

Implementation of the EU Directive on highly qualified workers

The EU Blue Card is based on an EU Directive, namely the Blue Card Directive 2009/50/EC. The EU Blue Card serves the purpose of granting residency within the EU to highly qualified citizens of non-member countries. This should counteract a shortage in skilled workers. 

The authorisation requirements of the individual EU countries remain unaffected by the EU Directive. It does not govern the influx of citizens of non-member countries who enjoy protection due to international obligations, who are resident in the EU due to a research project, who are entering the country in the context of the subsequent immigration of families or who cannot be deported. 

Holders of the EU Blue Card should receive the same remuneration as citizens of the Union in a comparable position. Gender equality with regard to claims for professional training or social benefits is not mandatory but should be encouraged. The Blue Card is limited. It is valid for one to four years. The format within the EU is standard and corresponds to Regulation (EC) 1030/2002.

and spring into action



Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft e.V.
Davidstraße 41,
D-73033 Göppingen

Your contact person
Karin Nagel