Need some advice... I am currently home in NYC (american citizen), was supposed to return to Germany next week (April 5) but before I try to reschedule (which is a separate issue), I was wondering if I would even be allowed in. I currently have a Blue Card expiring 12/2023. I've emailed the consulate and their response is:

The temporary travel restriction must exempt nationals of all EU Member States and Schengen Associated States, for the purposes of returning to their homes. This exemption must apply to: - all EU citizens... - third-country nationals who are long-term residents under the Long-term Residence Directive and persons deriving their right to reside from other EU Directives or national law or who hold national long-term visas.

So my question is, is the Blue Card considered a "long-term resident"? I can't find a clear answer online. Any one else in a similar situation? Thanks everyone!

  • Thank you all! @Willeke you are correct, I am "home" in NYC on holiday to visit family but reside in Berlin. I also confirmed with the consulate again, and they explicitly told me that if I take a direct flight to Germany and have my address registration (Anmeldung), then legally I can enter, however it will be up to the discretion of the border agent. I leave this Saturday so fingers crossed. Mar 31, 2020 at 22:35

3 Answers 3


I'll give a purely practical answer without digging too much into the academics.

Your first concern needs to be getting on the flight. For this, airport staff will use the TIMATIC database, which states:

Passengers arriving from a non-Schengen Member State are not allowed to enter Germany.

This does not apply to passengers with long-term right of residence (residence permit or longer-term visa) in an EEA Member States, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, returning home

A Blue card is a residence permit - Aufenthaltstitel - the word being printed on the card.

Now, the information in TIMATIC comes from section 22 of the Bundespolizeipräsidium, and as such is bound to be correct. Therefore, you can fly to and re-enter Germany.

  • This should be fine. The blue card is just an EU common format residence permit, and any airline staff who have been working for more than a week will recognize them instantly. Mar 28, 2020 at 18:44

So my question is, is the Blue Card considered a "long-term resident"?

Someone with a blue card is not a "long-term resident[] under the Long-term Residence Directive." However, such a person is a "person[] deriving [a] right to reside from...national law." Therefore, the bearer of a valid German blue card should be permitted to return to a home in Germany.

The term "long-term resident" denotes a beneficiary of Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, referred to in the quoted text as "the Long-term Residence Directive." To be a beneficiary of this directive, you must have lived in Germany for at least five years.

However, the text that you have received from the consulate seems like a judicial or other decision that places limits on the "temporary travel restriction," not a description of the actual terms of the restriction itself. Without more context from the message you received, it's impossible to say what the terms of the restriction actually are.

At Coronavirus and entry restrictions: 4 things travelers to Germany need to know, which is five days old as of this writing, the German foreign ministry says that it will allow foreigners holding any residence permit for another EU country to transit through Germany in order to return to the country of residence, but they do not explicitly cover non-Germans who reside in Germany:

EU-citzens and citizens of Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their family members will be allowed to transit through Germany to reach their home countries. The same will apply for foreigners holding a residence permit in one of these countries.

However, any residence permit is probably included in "a national long-term visa," even though it is not strictly speaking a visa. Your blue card is a residence permit, so you are probably fine to return home.

  • -1 You are making a simple matter complicated, mixing up terminology. Statement from the German Interior Ministry (now added to my answer): Persons who are not of German nationality may enter under the following conditions: To travel home to Germany to their usual place of residence or domicile. Mar 27, 2020 at 17:58
  • 1
    The original statement also states: to third-country nationals with a longer-term right of residence (residence title or longer-term visa). A Blue Card is one form of a residence title. Mar 27, 2020 at 18:16
  • 1
    @MarkJohnson no, the question mixes up the terminology. I am sorting that out by explaining what "long-term residents under the Long-term Residence Directive" actually means. Have you read that directive? As to your second comment, that is precisely what the last paragraph of this answer suggests, though the "original statement" in the question does not use the term "residence title" at all. If it did, there would be no need to speculate.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2020 at 19:13
  • @MarkJohnson I've added a thesis statement to the beginning of this answer to make that clearer.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2020 at 19:21
  • My answer, is however, the correct and direct answer to this question. Mar 27, 2020 at 22:21

Yes, the Blue Card is one form of a residence permit.

Long is anything that is at least 3 months.

Within Germany, returning to your place of residence is considered a valid travel reason.

Assuming you have your card with you, you should have no problems with either the Airline or Border guards.

Personen, die nicht die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit haben, dürfen unter folgenden Bedingungen einreisen :
Zur Heimreise nach Deutschland zum gewöhnlichen Aufenthaltsort bzw. Wohnsitz.

Persons who are not of German nationality may enter under the following conditions:
To travel home to Germany to their usual place of residence or domicile.

This should be clear enough for everyone to understand.

The German term längerfristigen Aufenthalts means, as it is used in the German law terminology, long term presence (can be longer than 90 days).

Kurzfristiger Aufenthalt is the opposite, short term presence (presence of maximum 90 days - C-Visa, Schengen Visa).

The meaning of these terms should not be confused with similar terminology used in other jurasdictions where the definition may be different. In translations residence is often used, but should not be confused with residence permit or a D-Visa (which allows a long term presence).


  • 2
    Under the "Long-term Residence Directive," the word "long" means five years, not three months. A blue card holder is not necessarily a long-term resident. Therefore, the answer to the explicit question 'is the Blue Card considered a "long-term resident"?' is no. However, a blue card probably counts as a long-term visa even though, strictly speaking, it is not. Therefore, the answer to the implicit question "Can I go home to Germany?" is probably yes.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2020 at 16:23
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    @phoog No, what you mean is permanent. National visas are based on National laws. D-Visa werden auch in Fällen eines beabsichtigten längerfristigen Aufenthalts in der Regel für zunächst 90 Tage erteilt (vgl. aber Ziff. der Verwaltungsvorschrift zum AufenthG) Mar 27, 2020 at 16:43
  • @phoog Under German residence laws your have either Aufenthaltserlaubnis or Niederlassungserlaubnis. both are längerfristigen Aufenthalts (long term residence) to distinguish from short term which are restricted to a maximum of 90 days. Mar 27, 2020 at 17:00
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    No, what I mean is long-term. The phrase permanent residence is reserved for those who qualify under Directive 2004/38/EC. The directive 2003/109/EC, which is the specific, explicit subject of this question, uses the term "long-term resident," as you can see if you follow the link in my answer. The corresponding terms in the German-language directives are Daueraufenthalt and langfristig Aufenthaltsberechtigter. A "long-term resident's EC residence permit’" as defined in 2003/109/EC is issued under national law that must conform to the directive. That's what directives are.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2020 at 19:07
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    You are confusing long-term visas as defined by the Schengen Visa Code with long-term residence as defined by 2003/109/EC. The threshold in the second case is five years, and only a Niederlassungserlaubnis is a 'long-term resident's EC residence permit’ within the meaning of 2003/109/EC, which is the meaning explicitly sought in the question.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2020 at 19:11

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