An EU Blue Card is a residence permit for qualified non-EU foreign nationals to work in an EU country. It permits its holder to enter and remain in a particular EU country for employment.
The card facilitates the admission of non-EU highly skilled professionals into the EU. It intends to simplify the procedures and improve the legal status of those already in the EU.
The permit authorizes its holder to enter, re-enter and stay in the country that has issued it. Their family members can accompany them. The EU Blue Card holder and their family members are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU.
The EU Blue card holder enjoys equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State where they have settled. Yet, they can only work in the sector they are concerned.
If a third-country national holds an EU Blue Card, after 18 months of regular employment, he or she can move to another EU member state to take up employment. He or she must notify the authorities there within one month of their arrival. Note that Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not part of this program.
Who Needs an EU Blue Card?
If you are wondering if you need an EU Blue Card to work in an EU country as a highly skilled, do not rush to apply immediately. There are nationals of some countries are exempt from obtaining this residence permit.
The nationals of the following do not have to apply for a Blue Card and obtain one in order to work in an EU country:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea (South Korea)
- 9 Outermost Regions of EU, the nationals of which are not considered part of EU nor subject to the EU law:
- Canary Islands
- French Guiana
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Martin
- 25 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) which depend constitutionally on six EU member states:
- British Antarctic territories
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- French Antarctic & Australian territories
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Saint Helena
- Saint Pierre & Miquelon Greenland
- Saint Eustatius
- Saint Martin
- South Georgia
- South Sandwich Islands
- Tristan da Cunha
- Turk & Caicos Islands
- Wallis & Futuna
EU Blue Card Eligibility Criteria
Start the application process to get a Blue Card, by checking if you are eligible. When applying for a Blue Card the applicant must meet the following conditions:
- Have a Master Degree or equivalent.
- Have at least 5 years of experience in your field.
- Have a work contract or a job offer for a highly qualified employment for at least one year.
- Meet the minimum salary threshold in the EU country in which you want to work.
- For regulated professions: proof that the national legal requirements are met.
In case you lose your job within the first three years under a Blue Card, you will have three months to find another job. Or else you will have to leave the country.
EU Blue Card Requirements
The required documents for an EU Blue Card are as following:
- Application Form. Fully completed with honest and correct information. Print the form twice and sign both copies at the end.
- Passport. Valid for at least 15 more months beyond your planned date to leave the EU. Is must not be damaged. It must have at least two blank pages in order to be able to affix visa, as well.
- Copies of important passport pages. These are the first pages with your details and the pages with visa stickers and stamps.
- Previous passports. If you have any older passports, you will have to submit them too. If you have more than one old passport then tie them together with a rubber band.
- Two photos. They must be identical and meet the ICAO standards. The photos must be in color, with white plain background and taken within the last three months.
- Work contract with an EU employer based in the country you wish to work. It should be signed by all parties involved. It must be valid for at least one year, meeting at least the minimal required wage.
- Proof of professional level. A university diploma is required as a proof of professional level. It is compulsory to also show proof of continuous 5 years professional work experience in your field.
- Up-to-date CV.
Application Process for an EU Blue Card
The application process for an EU Blue Card differs from one EU country to another. The Member States are free to decide whether the application for the card has to be made by the third country national and / or their employer.
The EU Member States can also set an upper limit of the third-country nationals that can enter their country under an EU Blue Card.
EU Blue Card Fee
The application fee for an EU Blue Card is €140. On the other hand, the application fee for the renewal of an EU Blue Card is €100.
EU Blue Card Application Processing
The maximum processing time for issuing an EU Blue Card is 90 days.
EU Blue Card Validity
The standard period for which a Blue Card is valid, is three years. However, since this is a renewable residence permit, one can remain more in the EU under a Blue Card.
If the work contract you have with a company / organization / institution based in an EU country, is valid for more than a year but less than three years, then you will be granted with an EU Blue Card valid for that period (i.e. 30 months).
EU Blue Card Rejection Reasons
Your application for a Blue Card may be rejected based one or more of the following:
- You have not met the eligibility criteria.
- Your application was based on incorrect or false information.
- You are considered a threat to public policy, public security or public health of the EU.
- A national or EU worker, or an already present non-EU citizen could fill the vacancy.
- Your employer has been found guilty for employed irregular migrants without documents.
- Your home country lacks qualified workers in your sector.
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