The EU Blue Card for Researchers is issued to highly qualified researchers from non-EU countries who want to work in an authorized research organization in an EU member state.
The EU Blue Card is a residence permit available to foreign nationals with high qualifications and skills who want to work in an EU country. It is issued to foreigners who are specialized in a job vacancy in a specific EU country (ie. in an occupation for which there’s a shortage of qualified EU workers).
Who can get an EU Blue Card for Research?
You can get an EU Blue Card for Research if you meet the following requirements:
- You are from one of the countries eligible for an EU Blue Card
- The research institution in which you will work is approved by the national authorities to host non-EU researchers
- You have at least a Master’s Degree or equivalent obtained from an educational institution in the EU or a recognized institution abroad
- You have at least 5 years’ work experience in your field
- You have a work contract or an offer for highly qualified employment in the EU for at least one year
- You meet the salary requirements for the EU country in which you want to work.
- For the EU Blue Card for Research, the salary should be 1.5 times higher than the national average in the country where you will work.
- For certain professions that are in shortage (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, technology, medicine) the salary can be 1.2 times the national average.
Where can I work with a Research EU Blue Card?
If you have a Blue Card, you can only work in the EU country which issued the Card and only in that specific research institute.
After you have worked in the first country for at least 18 months, then you can apply to work in another eligible EU country. Keep in mind that not all EU countries issue Blue Cards.
Demnark, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK do not issue EU Blue Cards for researchers.
After you have worked with the same employer for at least 2 years, then you can apply to work for another institution/company in the same country.
However, the rules regarding change of employers may differ from one country to the other.
How to apply for an EU Blue Card for Researchers?
The exact method of how to apply for an EU Blue Card for Researchers changes depending on the EU country in which you will work. Usually, both you and your employer are involved in the application process.
Your employer has to make a request at the Immigration/Foreigner Office in the EU country, while you have to apply at the Embassy/Consulate of the respective EU state in your country of residence.
Some states, such as Sweden, also offer an online application option.
If you are already living in an EU country on a long-term visa, then you can apply directly to the Immigration Authorities of the relevant EU state. You cannot apply for the EU Blue Card if you are in the EU on a tourist visa.
Remember: Unlike with regular researcher visas for the EU, you do not have to apply for both a work permit and residence permit. Instead, you can get them both in one process, known as the Single Permit.
How much is the cost of the EU Blue Card for Research?
The cost of the EU Blue Card is approximately €140 for a first-time application and €100 each time you renew.
What are the requirements for an EU Blue Card for Researchers?
When you apply for an EU Blue Card as a Researcher, you have to submit several documents to support your application, such as:
- An application form. The form has to be completed with the correct information, by either you or your employer.
- Your passport. It has to be valid for at least another 15 months from the time you intend to depart the EU.
- Photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport such as the personal information page and previous visas.
- Two passport-size pictures, in line with ICAO standards.
- Your work contract or job offer. The contract has to state your salary, which must meet the requirements (1.5 times or 1.2 times more than the average salary in the relevant country)
- Proof you meet the required educational requirements. Diplomas, qualifications, etc.
- Proof of previous professional history. You must be able to prove yo have at least five years of relevant work experience.
- Any scientific qualifications.
- Your CV.
- Proof you have obtained EU Blue Card health insurance.
- Proof of sufficient financial assets to sustain yourself during your stay.
- Letter from your employer. The institute or organization that you will join has to write a letter, declaring they are responsible to reimburse any costs if you overstay and to state the reason why they want you to join their institute/organization as a researcher.
- Proof you do not pose a threat to the public policy, security or health of the hosting state:
- Police clearance certificate
- Health certificate
- Proof you have paid the application fee.
Qualification recognition for EU Blue Card
For certain fields, such as Medicine, Law, Teaching, Engineering, etc, if you have obtained your license or certificate abroad, you must have your qualifications recognized based on the standards of the EU state in which you will work. This includes entering state examinations to measure your knowledge and professional ethics.
What is the duration of the EU Blue Card for Research?
The maximum duration of your EU Blue Card for Research is four years, but it may change in some countries. If your work contract is for less than four years, then your EU Blue Card will be issued for that time period plus three months. These three months are provided to allow you to look for work elsewhere.
If you collect 33 months of employment in the EU, you become eligible for permanent residency in that state (21 months if you also earn a B1 language proficiency certificate).
Can I bring my family members if I have a Researcher EU Blue Card?
Yes, you can. As an EU Blue Card holder, you can apply for family reunification, and bring your close family members with you in the EU country where you are working.
If I have an EU Blue Card as a Researcher, can I travel to other EU countries?
Yes, if you have an EU Blue Card, you are allowed to travel as a tourist to Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days within every 180-day period.
You can also travel outside the country for up to one year without losing your EU Blue Card status.
Additionally, once you have completed 18 months of work in one country, you are allowed to apply for a Blue Card in another country.