Germany has increased the minimum required salary for first-time EU Blue Card applicants and those renewing their existing Blue Cards issued by German authorities since January 1, 2021.

The same requirement is reviewed every year by the competent authorities within the German government and is updated in accordance with the current average salary in the field for which a third-country citizen is applying to get a Blue Card for in order to work in Germany.

With the new changes, the minimum annual salary requirement for non-shortage occupations has increased from €55,200 in 2020 to €56,800 (€4,733 gross per month) in 2021, and for shortage occupations from €43,056 to €44,304 (€3,692 gross per month).

The changes affect EU Blue Cardholders who receive their cards after January 1, 2021, or whose contract start date is on or after January 1, 2021,” explains Corporate Immigration Partners (CIP), a group of immigration attorneys and legal professionals.

The same also notes that across all occupations under the Blue Card, the minimum salary requirements will increase by approximately three per cent, affecting both – individuals who are applying for a new or renewal EU Blue Card.

The changes do not apply to current EU Blue Card holders who received their cards in 2020,” the same group notes advising German employers to plan their budgets accordingly based on the 2021 minimum wage requirements.

At the same time, Germany has also increased the minimum salary requirement for first-time residence permits for employees affected by the age threshold for certain categories (older than 45 years) to €46,860 per annum (€3,905 gross per month).

The same requirement has also increased for IT-specialists without academic training to €51,120 gross per annum (€4,260 gross per month).

Back in mid-2019, Germany-Visa.org had reported that Germany remains the top favourite country for highly-skilled migrants ever since the introduction of the EU Blue Card in 2012.

Statistics released at the time by Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) showed that Germany had issued 85 per cent of the total number of Blue Cards granted by the EU countries since 2012, a total of 104,000 Blue Cards through that period.

The Number of EU Blue Cards Issued in Germany

In 2017, 84.5 per cent of all EU-issued Blue Cards EU were issued by Germany, followed by France with 4.3 per cent, Luxembourg with 2.8 per cent, Poland with 1.9 per cent and Italy with 1.2 per cent.

By the end of 2018, 51,130 people residing in Germany had a Blue Card, with 55 per cent of them also having a permanent residency status.