How to apply for the EU Blue Card

In order to apply for the EU Blue Card, except for being a non-EU citizen and a qualified worker, you will also need the following documents:

  • A filled application form, by either you or your employer
  • A recognized university diploma
  • A valid work contract of at least one year in the hosting state
  • For regulated professions – the equivalent certificate or license of profession
  • Proof of your salary exceeding by 1.5 times the average salary in the hosting state or for professions in shortage 1.2 times the average salary in the hosting state
  • A written declaration by your employer
  • A valid travel document
  • Not pose any threat to the public policy, security or health of the hosting state
  • Two passport-size personal photos not older than 6 months
  • Proof of application fee payment

In case of no university degree:

  • 5 years of work experience in particular profession are required when applying for the EU Blue Card.

*Note: To prepare and gather the required documentation, such as the recognition of qualification or translation of documents and other similar documents, you will need approximately 4-6 months. Some member states may be quicker although you will need to keep this detail in mind when interested to apply.

  • Most of the member states require candidates to apply by setting appointments at the appropriate Embassies or Consulates in their home countries; few member states offer online applications.
  • The application may be filled by you, your employer or law firm.
  • The application fee payment for issuance is 140 € while 100 € for renewal of the EU Blue Card.
  • After handing in the application, you may have to wait for a maximum of 3 months/90 days until processing is complete.
  • You have the right to appeal against the decision of rejection or withdrawal within three weeks of the decision’s arrival – an attorney can also appeal on your behalf.

A written declaration by your employer

This is a document written by your employer stating reasons of employment and the benefits gained by this act.
As a sponsor it is sufficient to write a declaration stating that the employee meets all conditions and requirements important to the employer.

Salary Threshold

The annual salary expected to earn depends on the profession you occupy. You must earn at least the minimum salary set by the threshold in order to be considered a suitable EU Blue Card candidate.

  • For professions in shortage: the estimated salary is 37,752 €.
  • For university graduates the estimated salary is 46,400 €.
  • For jobs where a “special interest” is requested, the estimated salary is lower, hence, easier to obtain the EU Blue Card.

The figures presented are based on the salary thresholds in Germany during 2014. The minimum varies on year-to-year basis although the figures are somewhat similar to the preceding years.

Recognition of Qualifications

The process of evaluating differences or the equivalency of professional and vocational qualifications obtained in foreign countries compared to the ones obtained within the specific hosting state is known as the Recognition of Qualifications. The intention is to determine whether there are differences in the content and the duration of such qualifications. Such procedures are governed by the Federal Law. The EU directive on the recognition of professional diplomas/qualifications is effective since 2005 and it enables the recognition of EU diplomas while also granting free access into the labor market.

Should there be differences among the training obtained and the one relevant in the hosting state, then compensatory measures set out by the competent authorities must be completed successfully.

For students that have completed their qualification programs in any of the EU member states, there is no need for further recognition of qualifications or compensation measures.

Examination certificates are issued once the compensatory measures in training have been completed.

For obtaining recognition of qualifications, fees range from 200 to 600 €. In case of requirements for translations, notarization, or other documents – charges may rise.

How to compensate your trainings or qualifications

Regulated occupations

These are occupations that you must have a license, certificate or be registered with a regulatory body/agency in the location you plan to work. These occupations have their own standards of practice and have the authority to self-regulate their professions.

In order to practice occupations regulated by law, such as Craftsmanship, Doctors of Medicine, Dentists, Psychotherapists, Veterinary, Nurse, Obstetrics, Lawyer, Notary, Teacher, Engineer, Medical specialists, and other similar, it is necessary to meet certain standards by undergoing State examinations or Compensatory measures regarding knowledge and professional ethics.

Compensatory measures

Compensation measures refer to the measures recommended to undertake for the recognition procedure to be completed. You may be required to complete an additional training, work experience or exam. More specifically, it refers to the compensation of substantial gaps and significant differences among non-EU trainings and trainings n the hosting EU member state.

Non-regulated occupations

For practicing a non-regulated occupation, you do not need a state license, certificate or registration. You should be educated and/or experienced in order to practice your knowledge and skills. Dual system professions are part of this category since the certificates obtained are both for theoretical and practical trainings.

Dual system professions/occupations

Professions that require learning by doing in both theoretical and practical trainings are considered dual system professions. Also, vocational trainings which require work experience as well as learning are known as such professions.

How to Apply for Qualification Recognition

For qualification recognition, you must apply from your home country.
First, apply for the license to use the specific title of your profession. You may undertake compensatory measures if significant differences are found. If valued as equivalent, you are free to move on to the labor market right away. Your professional experience will also be considered during the recognition procedure. The significance of your qualification is measured by the content and the duration of courses.

A fee, dependent on specific rules and laws of the hosting state, ought to be paid.

The documents you need when applying:

  • Identity card or passport,
  • Training qualification certificate or diploma,
  • Relevant work experience proof and
  • Skills (trainings or similar)

Individuals with non-regulated professions are required to provide proof of at least 2 years of correlating work experience.