Skilled workers holding a university degree – Section 18b of the Residence Act

10.05.2024 - Article

General information

The issuance of a visa to skilled workers holding a university degree is based on the requirements set out in Section 18b of the Residence Act. To apply for this visa, you need

  • a German university degree, a recognized foreign university degree or a foreign university degree comparable to a German university degree and
  • engage in skilled employment in Germany. Work requiring skills, knowledge and abilities acquired in a course of study or in quality vocational training constitutes skilled employment.

If your employment in Germany matches your professional qualifications and you receive a minimum annual gross salary of EUR 45,300 (2024) (for bottleneck professions in accordance with Section 18g Paragraph 1 Sentence 2 of the Residence Act (this includes in particular the areas of natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, human medicine and academic professions in information and communication technology) and new entrants to the labor market (holding a university degree not older than three years), a lower salary threshold of EUR 41,041.80 (2024) applies), you can apply for an EU Blue Card visa. Please see the respective checklist.

Online application and appointment booking via the consular services portal

You can apply for the EU Blue Card visa online via the Federal Foreign Office's consular services portal. After uploading the application and documents, your information and documents will be checked for completeness and any questions will be clarified with you directly via the consular services portal. Once all documents have been checked online, you will receive an invitation link to register for an appointment via the consular services portal.

At the subsequent appointment at the German Embassy Nairobi, your identity will be verified, your biometric data (fingerprints and photo) recorded, the visa fee has to be paid and your original documents listed below have to be presented.

Apply online now!

Basic information

- If you do not want to apply for your visa online, you have to register on the appointment waiting list of the German Embassy Nairobi in order to apply for an EU Blue Card. All application documents must be submitted in original with 1 copy then.
- Please sort the documents in the order listed below.
- Documents not in the German or English language must be submitted with a certified German or English translation.
- The Embassy reserves the right to request additional documents in individual cases.
- Incomplete application forms as well as applications with incomplete documents will delay processing and may lead to rejection of the application.
- Processing time is as a rule ca. 1 to 2 months but can take longer in individual cases. If the Foreigners authority issues a so-called preliminary approval to the visa according to Section 81a of the Residence Act (“Fast-track procedure for skilled workers”), the processing time is ca. 2 weeks.
- Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa section and can thus not be answered.

For your application we require the following documents:

  1. Passport and 1 copy of the data page. If you are a foreigner residing in Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan or the Seychelles, you have to show a valid residence permit for the country of residence.
  2. 1 completed and duly signed application form. A digital application form to be completed online can be found on https://videx-national.diplo.de
  3. 2 current, identical biometric passport photos with a white background
  4. Signed information pursuant to section 18 (2) no. 4a of the Residence Act (AufenthG) – Requirement to have a concrete job offer
  5. Curriculum vitae in German or English, gapless
  6. Completed form signed by your employer: “Declaration regarding a contract of employment
  7. From the age of 45: Proof of adequate provision for old age (only if salary does not amount to at least 55% of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for the general pension insurance scheme – 2024: 4,152.50 EUO gross/per month / 49,830.00 EUR gross/per annum)

  8. Proof of qualification
    • University degree (with supplementary sheet)
  9. Proof of recognition of foreign qualification
    • Printouts from the anabin database on the qualification and on the institution or (if the qualification is not assessed as “entspricht” (comparable) or “gleichwertig” (equivalent) and/or the institution is not classified as “H+”)
    • Statement of Comparability by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) or (in the case of regulated professions in which permission is required to exercise the profession, for example, doctors, engineers; complete list is available from the Federal Employment Agency or the European Commission)
    • Permission to exercise a profession issued by the authority responsible for recognising qualifications or assurance of permission to exercise a profession (for example, for medical professions: decision of the licensing authority in the federal territory, i.e. assurance of permission to exercise a profession and/or issuing of medical licence)
    • More information on recognition: www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de
  10. Proof of incoming health insurance coverage, valid for one year beginning with the date of entry to Germany
  11. If applicable: preliminary approval to the visa according to Section 81a of the Residence Act (“Fast-track procedure for skilled workers”) issued by the Foreigners Authority
  12. Visa fee in the amount 75 Euros, payable in Kenyan Shillings

This fact sheet reflects the legal situation at the time of drafting it. It is regularly updated but makes no claim to be complete. Authoritative version of the fact sheet is the German version.

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