Under new rules that came into force this year, foreign workers in Germany who don’t belong to a so-called “shortage occupation” will have to earn a minimum of €56,800 per year in order to be eligible for an EU Blue Card.
The EU Blue Card was designed to enable skilled professionals from outside the EU to come to the bloc, and comes with a range of benefits, such as freedom of movement around the EU, the right to bring family members and shortcuts for applying for permanent residency.
However, the high salary requirements can be an obstacle for many people who want to apply for one.
The new salary requirements equate to a monthly gross salary of €4,733 and apply to all workers who aren’t in one of the so-called “shortage occupations”, such as mathematics, engineering, medicine or IT.
For this group of workers, a gross salary of €44,304 per year (or €3,692 per month) is enough to be eligible for the scheme.
(article continues below)
See also on The Local:
Though earnings have stagnated in Germany in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new salary requirements represent an increase of around three percent on last year’s figures.
In 2020, the salary requirement for EU Blue Card holders was €43,056 for those in shortage occupations, and €55,200 for workers in other industries and occupations. This means that non-shortage workers on the top end of the spectrum will now need to earn just over to €133 extra each month in order to qualify, while shortage workers will need to earn an additional €104 per month.
According to the StepStone Salary Report 2021, the average gross salary in Germany is currently €58,800 per year – but there are huge discrepancies in earnings between different regions of the country.
While a salaried professional in Stuttgart can expect to earn upwards of €66,000 per year, salaries in Brandenburg are closer to €47,000 per year, reflecting the country’s North/South and East/West divides.
Meanwhile, the gender pay gap continues to be rife in Germany, with women generally earning around 25 percent less than their male counterparts in a range of professional occupations.