Press Release

Rösler: The Blue Card will make Germany much more attractive in the competition to recruit the best brains

Engineer Showing Plans to Woman
© Fotolia/ Stephen Coburn

The Bundestag today adopted the Act implementing the EU directive on highly qualified employment. The "Blue Card" creates a new, unbureaucratic way for graduates and people with similar qualifications from outside the EU to access Germany's labour market. The Card can be issued to graduates from non-EU countries if they present an employment contract with an employer in Germany and earn more than ¤44,800 a year. The salary threshold is just under ¤35,000 for occupations already faced with a skills shortage, such as doctors and engineers. If holders of the Blue Card possess the necessary German language skills, they will be granted a permanent settlement permit for Germany after just 21 months.

Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, stated: "The new act is an important element of the Federal Government's strategy to cover the future demand for skilled labour. It paves the way for immigration legislation which is based on criteria and oriented to the skills needs of the German labour market. We are thus laying the foundation stone to position Germany much better in the international competition to attract the best brains. Our new immigration law provides an attractive offer for foreign skilled workers to come and work in Germany. This will also safeguard jobs in Germany. We have substantially improved the statutory basis for increased immigration of people with skills. It is now important for government, commerce and all the forces in German society to work hard together to establish a genuinely welcoming culture for foreign skilled workers."

The act also makes it easier to employ foreign students and foreign graduates from German higher education. The period in which these people are allowed to seek out adequate employment in Germany is extended to 18 months. The new six-month right of residence to look for work offers well-trained graduates from abroad a stronger incentive to try and make a career in Germany.

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