A French EU Blue Card is a French residence permit that permits its holder, a non-EU foreign national, to enter and remain in France under the purpose of engaging in paid activity and to explore career opportunities available in their field.
The main idea behind the Blue Card is that the European Union is trying to improve its ability to attract highly qualified workers from third countries, in order to enhance competitiveness and limit brain drain.
The card is designed to facilitate the admission of these non-EU highly skilled professionals by harmonizing entry and residence condition throughout the EU, by simplifying the procedures and improving the legal status of those already in the EU.
The Card authorizes its holder, as well as their families (parents, spouse, children) to enter, re-enter and stay in the country that has issued it, as well as to pass through the other countries. The Card holder can not only work in the sector they are concerned, but they will also enjoy equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State where they have settled, as working conditions, social security, pensions, recognition of diplomas, education etc.
If a third-country national holds a France EU Blue Card, after 18 months of regular employment, he or she can move to another EU member state (aside of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom which are not part of this program) and take up highly qualified employment. However, the Blue Card holder must notify the authorities there within one month of their arrival.
Who Needs a France EU Blue Card?
If you are wondering if you need an EU Blue Card in order to be able to work in your field in France, do not rush, since the 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 France:
- 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
France EU Blue Card Eligibility Criteria
In order to start the application process to get a Blue Card, you are highly advised to check if you fulfill all of the eligibility criteria first, as set by the EU. In apply for a Blue Card the applicant must:
- 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 a duration of at least one year.
- Meet the minimum salary threshold in France, which is 53,331 EUR.
- for regulated professions: proof that the national legal requirements are met
In case you lose your job within the first three years in France under a Blue Card, you will have three months to find another job. Or else you will have to leave the country.
France EU Blue Card Requirements
In order to obtain a France EU Blue Card you will have to submit some documents at the France embassy or consulate in your home country during the application process. The required documents for a France EU Blue Card are as following:
- Application Form – fully completed with honest and correct information. Require the application from the French embassy or consulate in your home country through email. 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 France. Is must not be damages, and also it must have at least two blank pages in order to be able to affix visa.
- Copies of passport important pages – which are the first pages with your details and also 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 – that meet the ICAO standards. The photos must be in color, with white plain background and taken within the last three months.
- OFII form
- Work contract with an employer based in France, signed by all parties involved. It must be valid for at least one year, with a monthly wage at least equal to 1.5 times the French minimum wage.
- Proof of professional level: university diplomas and proof of continuous 5 years professional work experience in applicant’s field
- Relevant CERFA form fully completed by the employer in France, that gives details on the position the applicant will be holding and the wage threshold
- Up-to-date ‘K bis’ from the company in France if applicable
- Up-to-date CV
- Certificate of social contributions’ payment by the company in France to the relevant Social Department in France
The application process for an EU Blue Card differs from one EU country to another, since 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.
France EU Blue Card Fee
The fees for an EU Blue Card in France are a little bit higher than for a professional long-stay visa, the definition of which is the closest to that of an EU Blue Card.
When you apply for an EU Blue Card, you will have to pay an amount of 260 euro initially. Upon the expiration of you card, if you wish to renew it, you will have to pay an extra 200 euros, whereas if you wish to replace another type of residence permit with a Blue card, then you will have to pay 216 euros.
Remember that if your application is rejected, in any of the three cases, you will not be able to get your money back.
EU Blue Card application processing
In general, the maximum processing time for issuing a Blue Card in France is 90 days, which the French national law also foresees.
EU Blue Card Rejection reasons
Your application for a France 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
France 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 France under a Blue Card. If the work contract you have with a company / organization / institution based in France, 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).