EU Blue Card

Benefits of EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card offers potential candidates many other benefits that could be attractive to you – let’s explore what’s in it for you when you land your dream job!

Generally, the Blue Card is valid in all member states of the European Union, except Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It is initially issued for a limited period of time, up to a maximum of four years. If the employment contract has a duration of less than four years, the Blue Card is issued for the duration of the employment contract plus three months.

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is a work and residence permit and visa valid for all EU member countries that allows qualified non-EU citizens to live and work in an EU member country. The Blue Card is often described as Europe’s answer to the U.S. Green Card, which grants qualified non-EU citizens similar rights to reside and work in the United States.

Why was the Blue Card introduced?

The idea was to address the skills shortage in European labor markets, cut red tape and promote alignment within the EU by making it easier for non-EU citizens to move between member states.

The Blue Card was introduced in Germany in 2012 and has since become the most attractive residence permit. Understandably, Germany is its most active proponent, issuing over 85% of all Blue Cards in Europe in 2017!

EU Blue Card Eligibility: Who can apply?

Whether you are eligible to apply for an EU Blue Card depends first on the category for which you are applying. Individuals can apply in the following categories:

  • Highly skilled or qualified workers
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Professional trainees
  • Seasonal workers
  • Intra-company transfers
  • Self-employed/entrepreneurs

The exact eligibility requirements vary by category (for example, entrepreneurs have different qualification criteria than students), but for the most common categories – highly skilled workers and researchers – applicants need:

  • A college degree
  • A job offer with a contract of at least one year
  • A valid passport

How to apply for an EU Blue Card?

Think you might qualify for an EU Blue Card? Here’s how to apply.

  1. Prepare the necessary documents
    You will need to submit the following documents with your application:
  • A valid university diploma or degree
  • A valid employment contract for at least one year
  • Proof of salary (must be 1.5 times the average salary in the host country)
  • A written letter of intent from your employer
  • A valid passport
  • Two passport size photos
  1. Submission of an application
    This can be done either by you or your employer. Although it varies from country to country, most EU countries require you to make an appointment at the appropriate embassy or consulate in your home country. At this appointment, you will submit your EU Blue Card application (the relevant application can be found here) along with the required documentation. You may also have to pay an application fee (again, this depends on the country).
  2. Wait 90 days (maximum)
    It will take a maximum of 90 days for your application to be processed. After that, your application will either be accepted or rejected. You can appeal a rejection within three weeks of receiving the decision.

Advantages of the EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is such a sought-after visa because it offers a wide range of benefits that surpass traditional work visas in most EU countries.

Here are some of the biggest benefits that come with an EU Blue Card:

  • Free travel within the EU
  • Receive the same working and travel conditions as citizens of the country
  • Bring family members with you
  • Permanent right of residence
  • Access to the same social programs as nationals, including education, health care, and travel

Does it apply throughout the EU?

Many applicants believe that the EU Blue Card is handled like the U.S. Green Card, which allows the holder to live and work anywhere in the United States.

While the similarity in name can be misleading, it is important to know that obtaining a Blue Card in Germany does not automatically mean you can move and work freely throughout Europe.

An overview of vacancies available in the EU, job information in all countries, can be found on

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