EU Blue Card FAQ for developers

Photo of Anastasiya Surtaeva
Anastasiya Surtaeva
December 4, 2020
Photo on theme 'EU Blue Card FAQ for developers'

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue card is a residence permit for non-EU foreign professionals to work in an EU country.

What is the difference between the EU Blue Card and a common work permit?

Both common work permit and Blue Card can allow you to work in an EU country, both are issued on the basis of demand for the profession in an EU country, both allow the holder to bring their families to an EU country. However, there are quite a few differences between them.

A common permit is often issued for shorter periods of time and can be extended afterward. It can be converted into a residence permit after 60 months. It doesn’t depend on how much the holder earns. The application process may be quite complicated.

The EU Blue Card is issued for 4 years with no extension. It can be converted into a residence permit after 21 months if the knowledge of the language of the EU country it is issued by is confirmed by the B1 language certificate. In case the knowledge of the language is not confirmed by the certificate, the EU Blue Card is converted into a residence permit after 33 months. The EU Blue card is issued for the purpose of work with a specific company. In case you change the jobs you will have to get a new one. The issuance of the card depends on how much you earn (the minimum salary requirement must be met).

Where does the EU Blue Card work?

The EU Blue Card is recognized by 25 EU member states, that is all EU member states except Denmark and Ireland.

Can I apply?

Yes, if you meet the requirements. To get the EU Blue card you must be a highly-skilled professional and meet the eligibility criteria, which are:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent degree;
  • At least 5 years of professional experience;
  • A signed contract or a job offer with an EU company based in the country you wish to work, the contract should be for at least 1 year period;
  • The salary should meet the minimum salary requirements for the EU Blue card applicants.

The salary requirements differ from country to country and change every year. Generally, the minimum annual salary must be 1.5 times the average gross annual salary paid in the member state. Below are the minimum annual gross salary requirements for the EU Blue Card in some EU countries for 2020:

  • Austria € 63,672
  • Belgium € 55,431
  • Bulgaria € 8,168
  • Estonia € 25,332
  • France € 53,837
  • Germany € 56,800
  • Sweden SEK 606,660

How and where can I apply?

If the applicant is located in the EU, the EU Blue Card can be obtained only from the foreigner’s office or its equivalents. Third-country nationals who are eligible for the EU Blue Card and require a visa to enter an EU country will be issued a national visa for the purpose of employment. Once they come to the EU country, their local foreigner’s office will issue the EU Blue Card to them.

Below you can find a list of documents for the application:

  • An application form;
  • Passport and copies of important passport pages;
  • Previous passports;
  • Two photos;
  • Work contract with an EU-based company;
  • Proof of professional level (a university diploma or proof of continuous 5 years of professional experience);
  • Your CV;
  • Proof that your salary meets the minimum requirements (see above);
  • Proof of health insurance;
  • Proof of application fee payment;
  • A written declaration by the employer (stating that the employee meets the conditions and requirements of the EU Blue Card Directive);
  • Proof of no threat to the public policy, security, or health of the hosting EU state.

How long is the process?

The maximum processing time for issuance of the EU Blue Card is 3 months

What benefits does the Blue Card provide?

The EU Blue Card gives its holder the right to live and work in the EU country that issued it. The EU Blue Card grants the same employment rights as those of the residents of this EU country.

I have a Blue Card issued by an EU state, can I get permanent residency?

Yes. As a Blue Card holder, you can get a permanent residence permit after working in the hosting EU state for 33 months or 21 months in case you prove your knowledge of the language with the B1 language certificate.

What if I already have a Blue Card issued by one country and want to change the country?

It’s possible. After working for 18 months (can be less) in an EU country that issued the Blue Card, a Blue Card holder can apply for a new Blue Card in a different country. After 2 years under a Blue card holders are usually free to change jobs with their employer, or start working for a new employer in the same country. However, it should be checked for each country as some EU states may have more restrictive rules regarding this.

How can my family join me in applying for the EU Blue Card?

It depends on whether you and your family apply at the same time. If that’s the case, you can include your family members in your online application. If not, they can fill their own online application.

What happens if I lose my job while being an EU Blue Card holder?

If this happens, then you are allowed to stay unemployed for 3 months in order to find a new job otherwise your EU Blue Card may be withdrawn and you may be asked to leave the hosting country.

Looking to relocate to Europe as a developer?