What is the European Blue Card?
The Blue Card is the EU’s bid to attract highly skilled workers, competing against the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The proposed EU Blue Card is an Immigrant Visa which legally entitles the holder to work and live in the EU for an initial two years. After five years the holder of the Blue Card can apply for permanent residence.
EU Blue Card Criteria
Blue Card visa applications will be fast-tracked for highly skilled workers based on common criteria including:
- a work contract offered by an EU employer,
- professional qualifications and work experience,
- a minimum salary level which has to be at least three times the level of existing minimum wages at national level
EU Work Permit
Successful visa applicants admitted under the Blue Card scheme will receive a special residence and work permit, entitling them to EU residential and economic rights and favourable conditions for bringing along family members.
Access to the labour market in the country where the Blue Card is issued will be restricted for a minimum of two years after which holders of the card can move to another Member State for highly qualified work.
Workers on the Blue Card can add up periods of residence in different Member States to obtain long-term EC residence, enabling them to buy a house, run a business, have investments, travel, obtain credit, get a driving license etc. in the EU.