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Germany increasingly popular for highly skilled migrants

Jon Shelton
June 4, 2019

Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees says some 27,000 EU Blue Cards for skilled non-EU migrants were awarded in Germany in 2018. In many of the cases, they were extensions for existing residents.

EU Blue Card status on a German ID
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Karmann

Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) on Tuesday announced a jump in the number of skilled non-EU migrants relocating to the country. BAMF said Germany awarded 27,000 EU Blue Cards in 2018, a 25.4% jump over 2017, and more than any previous year.

In 2017, almost 85% of EU Blue Cards were awarded by Germany, which has distributed a total of 104,000 Blue Cards since they were introduced by the bloc in 2012.

Some 42.3% of those migrants who received the cards in 2018 had never been to Germany, whereas the other 57.8% extended their existing status.

Read more: Website gives job hope to qualified refugees

More than a new job

Recipients of EU Blue Cards must have a university degree and a guarantee for a job paying at least €53,600 ($60,280). Those working as doctors, engineers, and scientists are required to have salary guarantees of at least €41,808.

According to BAMF, almost one-third of Germany's Blue Card recipients in 2018 hailed from India, 25.9% came from China and 8.5% from Russia.

The cards give recipients time-limited residency as a means to cover the bloc's need for skilled workers. The majority of Blue Card recipients in Germany, however, have decided to make the country their home.

BAMF statistics show that some 51,130 people residing in Germany on December 31, 2018 had a Blue Card. Of that number, 28,200 also had permanent residency status.

"The numbers clearly show: Germany is becoming ever more attractive for highly-qualified migrants from outside the EU. And we are confident that the popularity of the EU Blue Card will remain strong into the future," according to BAMF Vice-President Andrea Schumacher.

Immigration via Blue Card

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