How do you get an EU Blue Card?

Does anyone know how to get a EU Blue Card? I’ve read about it but can’t seem to find much information.

It’s apparently easiest in Germany. I would recommend asking at Germany specific forums. You should be able to pay yourself around 45k euros per year or I think 33k euros for IT related jobs.

I haven’t applied for it personally but a friend of mine has one. On the other hand, Germany also has the freelance visa which might be easier than the blue card. For that you need to show two contracts or something like that.

Hopefully someone else can shed more light on this.

I am a US citizen who has an EU Blue Card, and I got it in Germany. You’ll need the following:

  1. A job contract (in German) from a company in Germany that will pay you more than 48400 Euros before taxes, per year.
  2. After you have arrived in Germany, you’d need to register your address at the city as a resident (Anmeldung). It’s ok if it’s just a temp address (including hostels), but whoever you’re staying with needs to be ok with it.
  3. Make sure you obtain proper German health insurance. I arrived with travel insurance but it’s not gonna fly if you wish to apply for the Blue Card.
  4. Download the Blue Card application form from your local Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner’s Registration Office) website, and make an appointment with them. You should be able to find a list of things you need to bring from Ausländerbehörde website. Everything will be in German so just Google translate the heck out of it.
  5. Show up for the interview. It’s worth noting that they don’t necessarily speak much English (at least that was my experience in Berlin) so if you don’t feel comfortable about that, bring a person who can speak German with you. I don’t speak much German, but went by myself and tried my best to answer their questions, and I passed.
  6. After they accept the application and payment (only around 100+ Euros), you’ll have to wait for a few weeks before they issue the real card. Mine is good for 4 years because I have an unlimited contract. Usually your Blue Card expires when your job contract expires.

And that’s it. Good luck if you decide to go ahead. It’s not hard. I’ve heard it’s very easy to obtain a freelancer visa, but you’ll have to pay the full amount for your own insurance (vs. some of mine is subsidized by the company).

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@sunsiren Thank you for the extremely detailed post. On a side note, would this be at all possible via a German company that you setup yourself?

In general:

  1. Setup a German company (perhaps deposit some capital, 50k euros?).
  2. Create a contract to employ yourself within the stipulations mentioned for a blue card.
  3. Follow the steps you have mentioned above?

I’m curious to know if this is also a viable way to get an EU blue card. Of course, for German specific immigration, the freelancer visa might be way better.

It probably takes a legal expert to answer this, but I’ve heard setting up a company in Germany can be quite complicated and one would have to navigate through all sorts of bureaucratic procedures. I have a friend from South America telling me she “regretted” setting up a company; she would haven been better off tax-wise as a freelancer.