Germany: New Blue Card Salary Levels for 2018

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By Andrea Barbara Schuessler

Effective Jan. 1, third-country nationals need to earn an annual salary of at least 52,000 euros ($65,000) to apply for the European Union's Blue Card to work in Germany. For professions in particularly high demand (engineers, IT specialists, doctors), the threshold is 40,560 euros.

The Blue Card program provides an expedited residence/work permit application process for highly skilled employees from nations outside the European Union who have a university degree and an employment contract meeting the salary requirement. Employers hiring Blue Card holders are not required to prove they cannot find a suitable EU candidate for the job.

Blue Cards are valid for up to four years depending on the length of the employment contract. After three years, a card holder may apply for an unlimited residence permit, after two years if the employee can demonstrate proficiency in the German language.

The salary requirement is set as 1.5 times average salary and so will vary (sometimes significantly) country to country. The 2018 value in France, for example, is 51,444 euros, in Belgium 52,978 euros, in the Netherlands 61,920 euros, and in Luxembourg 73,998 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Barbara Schuessler in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

For More Information

For more information on German HR law and regulation, see the Germany primer.

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