The European Union (EU) Blue Card is simply Europe’s answer to the US Green Card. The EU Blue Card is a work- and residence permit for non-EU/EEA nationals. The European Blue Card provides comprehensive socio-economic rights and a path towards permanent residence and EU citizenship.
The EU Blue Card program is a merit-based system – interpreting the applicant’s ‘merits’ based on education level, professional experience and sought-after skills. However, the EU Blue Card is not points-based; either you have the education or skills, or you do not.
EU Countries Issuing the EU Blue Card are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
However, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland don’t issue Blue Cards.
What are the eligibility criteria?
- Have a Master’s Degree or equivalent.
- Have at least five years of experience in your field
- Have a work contract or a job offer for highly qualified employment for at least one year
- Meet the minimum salary threshold in the EU country where you want to work.
- For regulated professions: proof that the national legal requirements are met.
What documents will you need to submit?
- Application Form
- Passport: Valid for at least 15 more months beyond your planned date to leave the EU.
- Two photos
- Work contract with an EU employer based in the country you wish to work in: It should be signed by all parties involved. It must be valid for at least one year, meeting the minimum wage required.
- Proof of professional level: A university diploma is required as proof of professional level. It is compulsory to also show proof of five continuous years of professional work experience in your field.
- Updated CV
- Proof of application fee payment
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof that your salary exceeds the average in the hosting state by 1.5 times or 1.2 times for professions in shortage
- A written declaration by your employer: this is a document written by your employer stating reasons for employment and the benefits gained by this act. It is sufficient to write a declaration stating that the employee meets all conditions and requirements important to the employer as a sponsor.
- Proof of no threat to the hosting state’s public policy, security, or health.
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. 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 fee payment for issuance is 140 € while 100 € for the 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.
A standard Blue Card is valid for three years. If your work contract is extended, you can renew your EU Blue Card accordingly.
If the work contract you have is valid for more than a year but less than three years, then you will be granted an EU Blue Card valid for that period (30 months).
After the expiration date of the EU Blue Card, you are granted three additional months to provide you with a sufficient amount of time to extend or find another job, should circumstances change.
Special Courtesy: Visa Guide