The EU Blue Card in Germany acts as a residence title for non-EU citizens, somewhat like the Green Card in the USA. Introduced on 1 August 2012, the EU Blue card offers highly skilled non-EU workers the opportunity and the right to work and stay in the European Union / Photo: EC

Germany: More than 50,000 work visas issued to highly-qualified non-EU citizens

Since its introduction in August 2012, 53704 highly-qualified immigrants have received an EU Blue Card in Germany, according to figures just released by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

The EU Blue Card, a single work and residence permit, allows non-EU citizens with a university degree to take up employment in the EU commensurate with their qualifications. Holders often work in occupations with highly-skilled labour requirements.

Germany is at the forefront in the issuance of the EU Blue Card within the European Union. In 2015 the German share of all visas issued in the EU was more than 85 per cent, according to the BAMF.

The EU Blue Card offers highly-qualified young Africans the opportunity of regular migration to the European Union / Photo: EC-EBC

“We see through the figures quite clearly that Germany is an attractive country for highly-qualified immigrants and the EU Blue Card is a sought-after opportunity to work here,” says Dr Uta Dauke, Vice-President of the BAMF.

Out of the recipients of the work visa, over 32,800 were still in Germany at the end of December 2016. In addition, more than 14,700 former Blue Card holders now live with a different residence permit in the country – more than 90 per cent of them have a permanent residency.

The EU Blue Card was launched in August 2012 to address skills shortages in the European Union. It is a temporary residence permit for highly-qualified immigrants from non-EU countries and it offers holders the prospects of eventually obtaining a right of permanent residence at an early stage of their stay.

The EU Blue Card is awarded to persons who have a university degree and a work permit for employment in Germany and who earn a certain annual minimum income (50.800 euros for 2017). A lower minimum income (39,624 euros) applies to skilled workers in occupations with a highly-skilled labour force, such as engineering, natural sciences, computer science and human medicine.

The main countries of origin of the immigrants are India, China, Russia, Ukraine and Syria.

Femi Awoniyi

 General information on the EU Blue Card is available from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees website at and from the portal for qualified professionals




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