BERLIN, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The number of highly qualified immigrants that were granted an EU Blue Card by German authorities continued to rise and reached a new high in 2019, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) announced on Friday.
Increasing by almost 15 percent to more than 31,000 compared with the previous year, the "positive trend" of steadily rising EU Blue Card grants had continued, said BAMF Vice President Andrea Schumacher.
Since its introduction in August 2012, around 135,000 EU Blue Cards were issued to highly qualified immigrants in Germany by the end of last year. "The EU Blue Card is a much sought-after opportunity to work in this country," said Schumacher.
In terms of issued EU Blue Cards, Germany was ahead by a "wide margin" in a European comparison, according to BAMF. The country accounted for more than 82 percent of all issued cards, followed by Poland and France with around 4.5 percent each.
The EU Blue Card is a temporary residence permit for highly qualified immigrants from non-European third countries and also includes the prospect of obtaining a permanent right of residence at an early stage as well as to continue to migrating within the European Union.
According to BAMF, immigrants who hold a university degree and can provide a job guarantee for employment in Germany with a certain minimum annual income were eligible to the EU Blue Card.
At almost 29 percent, the highest share of EU Blue Cards in 2019 was issued to Indian citizens. With 7.4 percent and more than 4,500 cards issued, China came in second, followed by Russia and Turkey, according to BAMF.
There were still significant differences in the gender ratio. "The share of women who were granted an EU Blue Card is 26.5 percent, and there is still room for improvement," said Schumacher.
At around 38 percent, the share of women who received the EU permit for highly qualified workers was particularly high among citizens of China and the United States, according to BAMF. New qualified workers from India on the other hand had been 80 percent male. Enditem