The European Blue Card is a standardized work permit which allows Non-EU workers to live and work in 25 out of the 28 EU member states. The countries which do not participate in the Blue Card scheme are the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark.
Length of stay
Blue Cards are usually issued for between 1 and 4 years, and can be renewed. The card also allows the holder to travel between and visit other Blue Card scheme countries, but only for a combined period of 90 days in any 6 month period.
The EU Blue Card Scheme is designed to make Europe a more attractive destination for professionals from outside the European Union. All EU member states, except the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland, participate in the EU Blue Card scheme.
Highly qualified persons have opted in the past for destinations such as the United States, Canada or Australia. The European initiative has a number of distinctive qualities that will help Europe become the world’s most favourite migration destination:
- Working and salary conditions equal to nationals
- Free movement within the Schengen area
- Entitlement to a series of socio-economic rights (e.g. unemployment benefit)
- Favourable conditions for family reunification
- Permanent residence perspective
- Freedom of association
Three key conditions are to be met in order to request the EU Blue Card.
- Non-EU citizenship
- Educated or skilled
- Work contract or binding job offer
- At least a Bachelor’s degree or 5 years of professional experience
- A job offer in a Blue Card scheme country, which:
- Pays at least 150% of the country’s minimum wage
- Will last for at least 1 year
- Has a contract or other binding legal agreement: self employed work cannot be used to apply
- Registration and any other professional requirements for their field, if applicable
Changing jobs or employers
After 18 months on a Blue Card workers can apply for a new Blue Card for a different country. After 2 years on a Blue card candidates are often free to change jobs with their employer, or start working for a new employer in the same country. Some countries are more restrictive in regards to changing jobs and employers.
The Blue Card allows applicants to include family members on their application.
If Blue Card holders lose their job they are given 3 months to remain in the country and look for work, and can claim social security benefits in this time. If they are still unemployed after 3 months their Blue card may be withdrawn.
How to apply for the EU Blue Card
In order to apply for the EU Blue Card, except for being a non-EU citizen and a qualified worker, you will also need the following documents:
- A filled application form, by either you or your employer
- A recognized university diploma
- A valid work contract of at least one year in the hosting state
- For regulated professions – the equivalent certificate or license of profession
- Proof of your salary exceeding by 1.5 times the average salary in the hosting state or for professions in shortage 1.2 times the average salary in the hosting state
- A written declaration by your employer
- A valid travel document
- Not pose any threat to the public policy, security or health of the hosting state
- Two passport-size personal photos not older than 6 months
- Proof of application fee payment
In case of no university degree:
- 5 years of work experience in particular profession are required when applying for the EU Blue Card.
- *Note:To prepare and gather the required documentation, such as the recognition of qualification or translation of documents and other similar documents, you will need approximately 4-6 months. Some member states may be quicker although you will need to keep this detail in mind when interested to apply.
- Most of the member states require candidates to apply by setting appointments at the appropriate Embassies or Consulates in their home countries; few member states offer online applications.
- The application may be filled by you, your employer or law firm.
- The application fee payment for issuance is 140 € while 100 € for renewal of the EU Blue Card.
- After handing in the application, you may have to wait for a maximum of 3 months/90 days until processing is complete.
- You have the right to appeal against the decision of rejection or withdrawal within three weeks of the decision’s arrival – an attorney can also appeal on your behalf.
Country Wise Information on Blue Card
Please click on the flag below:
For Personal Guidance/Advice: