Working & Researching in HeidelbergBlue Card EU

Scientists and scholars from countries outside of the EU can apply for the Blue Card EU according to §18g (formerly §18b) German Residence Act as a temporary work permit.


  • Applicants must have completed a university degree (a German university degree or a degree from a foreign university that is either recognized or comparable to a German degree).
  • Applicants must have an employment contract or a binding employment offer in Germany with a minimum salary and a minimum duration of six months.
  • Minimum gross salary is 45,300 Euro (as of 2024). Exception: minimum gross salary is 41,041.80 Euro (as of 2024) in so-called STEM disciplines such as the subjects of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, technology and human medicine, as well as for other bottleneck professions listed on the ISCO classification. It is necessary to obtain the approval of the Federal Employment Agency.


  • The residence permit can be issued for up to 4 years, at the most, however, for the length of the employment contract plus three months.
  • A permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) can be obtained after 27 months of employment or after 21 months with proof of good German language proficiency (B1).
  • After 12 months, the holder can travel to another EU country and within one month can apply for the Blue Card EU in that country (not valid for Ireland and Denmark!).
  • After 12 months, the holder can change the employer within Germany without the consent of the Immigration Office (before completing the 12 months the employer has to inform the Immigration Office).
  • Easier application for a visa for family reunion for the holder's family members, in case they have lived in another member state before (the proof of living space and subsistence is no longer required).
  • Researchers with a Blue Card EU for Germany are allowed to leave the European Union up to 12 months. 

Further Information

An employment confirmation letter of the hiring institute is required. It is not possible to use a hosting agreement (according to §18d German Residence Act) for a  Blue Card application.

Blue Card EU