On August 1, 2012, the German act implementing the EU directive
on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals
for the purpose of highly qualified employment became effective in
Germany. The new law facilitates the immigration of foreign
personnel with advanced education and is thus an important factor
in safeguarding the supply of specialized personnel in Germany. The
key provision of the new law is the EU Blue Card, which, as a
fundamental residence permit, complements the national arrangements
regarding indefinite residence permits.
Prerequisites for Granting
The introduction of the EU Blue Card has reduced many of the
previously existing barriers to the immigration into Germany of
foreign specialized personnel. The complex point system previously
in use has been replaced by two prerequisites:
The applicant must provide proof of a university degree or
Thus, the beneficiaries of this law are primarily graduates of
foreign universities who want to work within their professions in
The applicant must provide proof of an employment contract with
an annual gross salary of at least €44,800.
This represents a significant reduction from the previous salary
threshold of €66,000. For members of "understaffed"
professions—natural scientists,* mathematicians, engineers,
physicians, and IT specialists— the salary threshold is even
lower: only €34,944 per year.
No "Germans First" Examination/Check
Previously, a foreign applicant could not be hired until it was
proved that the position in question could not be filled by a
German citizen. Under the new law, this time-consuming process is
not required if the minimum salary threshold is exceeded.
Residence Initially Permitted for Four Years
When granted for the first time, the EU Blue Card will be made
out for the term of the employment contract plus three months, but
for no more than four years. After the card holder has been
employed for three years—provided he/she has a good command
of the German language—he/ she will receive an indefinite
residence permit. Any periods during which the foreigner has
resided in other EU member states with the EU Blue Card will be
factored into the calculation.
"Onward Migration" to Other EU Member States
After 18 months, the EU Blue Card opens the possibility of
working in another member state in the European Union. In most EU
member states, no visa is necessary for this "onward
migration"—a clear advantage in comparison with national
residence permits. However, a change of employment within the first
two years of receipt of the Blue Card is subject to approval by the
Application for German Citizenship
After eight years of habitual and lawful residence in Germany,
the holder of an EU Blue Card has the option of applying for German
citizenship (Section 10 of the German Citizenship Act,
Family Members and Spouses
The spouses, life partners, and children of holders of the EU
Blue Card are allowed to move to Germany immediately or at a later
date. No proof of knowledge of the German language is necessary. In
addition, spouses and life partners may enter into employment
immediately upon arrival in Germany.
Visa for the Employment Search
A graduate of a foreign university who does not have a specific
job offer may be granted a visa enabling him/her to search for
employment in Germany for up to six months. If the graduate finds
an employer during this period, he/ she can apply for the EU Blue
Card directly in Germany. In the future, foreign graduates of
German universities will be allowed to search for employment in
Germany for a period of 18 months—i.e., six months longer
* Astronomers, biologists, chemists, Earth scientists,
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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This article aims to clarify the matters concerning Turkish citizenship acquisition in relation with Turkish Citizenship Law.
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