The EU Blue Card offers many other benefits to potential card holders that might be attractive to you - Let´s explore what is in for you once you land your dream job!

In general, the Blue Card is valid in all European Union member states, except Denmark, Ireland, and the UK. Initially, it is issued for a limited period of four years at most. If the employment contract has a term of fewer 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 that applies to all EU-member countries, and which allows skilled non-EU citizens to live and work in an EU-member country. The blue card is often described as Europe’s answer to the US Green Card, which similarly provides residence and work rights in the US for skilled non-citizens.

Why was the Blue Card introduced?

The idea was to fill skill shortages in Europe’s labor markets, cut bureaucracy, 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 2012 in Germany and since then has become the most attractive residence title. Understandably, Germany has been its most active supporter, awarding over 85% of the total Blue Cards in Europe in 2017!

EU Blue Card Eligibility: Who Can Apply?

Whether or not you are eligible to apply for an EU Blue Card will first depend on the category that you apply for. Individuals can apply in the following categories:

  • Highly-qualified or skilled workers

  • Researchers

  • Students

  • Vocational trainees

  • Seasonal workers

  • Intra-corporate transfers

  • Self-employed/entrepreneurs

The exact eligibility requirements vary by category (for instance, entrepreneurs will have a different qualifying criteria than students), but for the most common categories — highly-qualified workers and researchers — applicants require:

  • A university degree

  • A job offer with a contract of at least one-year

  • A valid passport

How do you apply for an EU Blue Card?

Think you might meet the eligibility requirements for an EU Blue Card? Here’s how you apply.

1. Prepare the necessary documentation

You’ll need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • A valid university diploma

  • A valid work contract of at least one year

  • A written declaration of intent from your employer

  • A valid passport

  • Two passport-sized photos

2. Submit an application

This can be done by either you or your employer. Though it varies by country, most EU countries require that you set an appointment at the appropriate Embassy or Consulate in your home country. At this appointment, you will submit your EU Blue Card application (find the appropriate application here) along with the necessary documentation. You may also have to submit an application fee (though, again, it depends on the country).

3. Wait 90 days (maximum)

Processing of your application will take a maximum of 90 days, at which point your application will be either accepted or rejected. You can also appeal a rejection within three weeks of receiving the decision.

EU Blue Card Benefits

The EU Blue Card is such a sought after visa because it provides a wide range of benefits that supersede traditional work visas in most EU countries. Here are some of the biggest benefits of having an EU Blue Card:

  • Travel freely within the EU (for cards issued in Schengen countries)

  • Get the same work and travel conditions as citizens of the country

  • Bring family members

  • Permanent residency rights

  • Access to the same social programs as citizens, including education, healthcare, and travel

Does it apply across the EU?

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

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

The information below will guide you through all the perks the EU Blue Card could offer to you and your family once the requirements are fulfilled and the application process is successful - Enjoy! :)

EU Bluecard FAQs

Who is eligible for EU Blue Card?

Though technically any non-EU citizen is eligible to apply for a Blue Card, applicants typically must also have a university degree and a job offer with a minimum one-year contract.

How long does it take to get EU Blue Card?

Processing times takes a maximum of 90 days, though your application may be processed in as little as one month.

Can the card be taken away?

EU Blue Cards can be revoked in a limited number of circumstances:

  • If the Blue Card holder no longer has a valid passport

  • If the card holder’s employer committed fraud

  • If the card holder’s application documents are proven false

  • If the card holder no longer meets the required conditions

EU Blue Card guide infographic

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Oliwia Schildt

Oliwia Schildt

Oliwia is a Talent Relocation Manager at Honeypot and her mission is to support tech talents in having a smooth relocation. Before settling in Berlin, she lived in the USA, France, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Poland, and India.