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EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Germany’s EU Blue Card

People walk in Cologne.
People walk in Cologne. Many third country nationals want to join the EU Blue Card scheme to live and work in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg
The salary requirements for EU Blue Card visa holders in Germany have fallen slightly this year. Here's a look at what you need to know.

Many third country nationals want to apply for the EU Blue Card visa to work in Germany, or another EU country. 

The residence permit is aimed at attracting and enabling highly qualified third-country nationals to live in the EU. Authorities in Germany also want to plug the shortage of skilled workers in many employment sectors.

It comes with lots of benefits, including options to move around more freely within the EU, the right to to request and bring family members to the country they live in, and shortcuts for applying for permanent residency. 

But there are high salary thresholds that can make it difficult for people to get their hands on this visa. 

This year, the new salary requirements mean a few more people may be able to take advantage of the Blue Card scheme. 

When applying for a Blue Card in Germany in 2022, the applicant has to earn a minimum gross salary (before tax) of €56,400 – down from €56,800 in 2021. 

In so-called shortage occupations (Mangelberufe), where there is a high number of unfilled positions in Germany, the minimum gross salary is €43,992 – down from €44,304 in 2021.

Shortage occupations include employees in the sectors of mathematics, IT, natural sciences, engineering and medicine.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get a ‘Blue Card’ to live and work in Germany

Britt Posey-Thomas, co-founder of Munich-based site Jetztpat, which helps foreigners settle into life in Germany, told The Local that the lower salary requirements were a sign that the new government is trying to attract more talent from around the world. 

“While expats – and their employers – can usually expect a 1-5 percent annual increase in the minimum salary for a German EU Blue Card, this year the threshold decreased by 0.7 percent.

“Part of the decrease reflects the national salary changes due to the pandemic, but it can also be seen as proof that the new administration is working hard to attract talent from around the world to come to Germany.”

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Posey-Thomas said the decrease may seem small, “but we believe the impact will be felt by companies and individuals”.

“Out of the residence title options, Blue Cards give expats the most agency – accelerating the process towards permanent residency,” she said.

“What we’ve seen at Jetztpat, from both our personal and client experiences, is that this transition from visa to permanent settlement helps expats feel not only empowered but more invested in their life in Germany.

“Without the worry of having a visa, they are freer to live on their own terms, switching jobs, moving cities, or even founding their own companies. These benefits are invaluable to individuals who want to make Germany their home for the long term.”

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. 

In 2020, the average income in Germany was €47,700 before tax, which corresponds to a monthly gross salary of €3,975 for a full-time job (35 to 40 hours a week is common for full-time in most companies). But there are large differences in earnings between different regions of the country.

REVEALED: How much do employees really earn across Germany? 


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