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A New Path to Visas in Europe: EU Blue Card

28 August, 2012 15:15  Erin Erin

EU Flag © Emmanuel ESPANOL - Fotolia.comThere is a new way to immigrate to Europe. The Blue Card is an approved EU-wide work permit that allows highly-skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in any country within the European Union (excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom). The visa seeks to create a more unified immigration structure and solve the issues of a shrinking labor force and ageing population by recruiting highly skilled workers with specialized skills.

Participating Countries

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Countries Currently Accepting Applications: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovakia

Obviously, not all 27 EU-member nations have signed onto the agreement. There has been some resistance by different member states (such as the Czech Republic). Time will tell which countries agree and when.


The card offers a one-track procedure for non-EU citizens to apply for a work permit. The visa is renewable and valid for two years, depending on the country of issue and other factors. It has a multitude of other unique benefits.

  • Smoothest way to gain a Permanent Residence from the country you live in (after completing a 5 years residence within the EU)
  • Favorable family unification rules
  • Allows for greater mobility within the EU
  • Same labor-related rights that EU citizens enjoy (like receiving tax benefits, social assistance, and payment of pensions)
  • Free Education in Government Institutes

After 18 months, Blue Card holders may move to another country within the EU. After two years, Blue Card holders hold equal status with citizens and long-term residents of the EU in regard to access to well-paid jobs.

Basic Qualifications

The qualifications are still being defined, and differ from country to country, but there are some basic standards.

  • Entry clearance visa and valid Travel Documents
  • Job offer valid for at least one year in a participating EU state (in a position that could not be filled by an EU citizen)
  • Have a higher education degree (completed in the English language) OR 3-5 years of relevant work experience OR a combination
  • Proof of sickness insurance
  • 1.5 times the minimum salary level set by the member state
  • Applicant should hold a minimum of a mid management level position (TL onwards)

French or German Proficiency is an advantage.

    Fields in Demand:
  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Science & Information Technology Sectors
  • Tourism

How to Apply?

Though standards and application differ between coutnries, the EU Blue Card Network provides information on the process. Applicants can register online and list their credentials and CV for free.

EU Blue Card Network
Address: Square de Meeûs 38/40
1000 Brussels Belgium
Tel: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11
E-mail: support@apply.eu

For information on other visas and ways to immigrate, consult the 50+ City Guides available online, or free download.


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         EasyExpat on

EU Blue Card [Reply]

Thanks for the article.
Sounds like a great initiative.

Europe’s Blue card seems to aim particularly at the well-educated, while the US green card is more like an open-for-all system.

  G. Vettrivel     28 Aug 2012, 20:26