EU Blue Card: What Is It and What Is It For?

| June 16, 2021

The EU Blue Card is granted to qualified workers from outside the European Union (EU) who wish to work within one of its member states. There are several requirements that need to be met before an EU Blue Card will be granted, along with the rules that you need to follow as a Blue Card holder.

What is an EU Blue Card?

As a member of the European Union (EU), you are free to live and work across the EU. If you reside outside of these member states, you will need an EU Blue Card before you are afforded the same opportunities.

An EU Blue Card holder can live and work in an EU member state, but in order to qualify for the card, they must be a highly-skilled worker with advanced qualifications and a high-paying job offer or contract within the EU.

How to Qualify for an EU Blue Card

To qualify for an EU Blue Card and work within the European Union, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must prove that you have professional qualifications. Alternatively, some EU member states will accept professional experience providing it was achieved at a high level in a relevant field.
  • You must work as a contracted full-time employee. The EU Blue Card is not offered to self-employed individuals and freelancing/part-time contracts do not apply.
  • You must have a salary that is considered “high”, which typically means that it is at least 1.5x larger than the average salary in your chosen EU member state.
  • You must be able to present the right travel documents and have health insurance for yourself and any family members that travel to the country with you.
  • You must have a binding contract that lasts for at least one year.

To apply for an EU Blue Card, your employer will need to submit an application to the relevant authorities in the EU country where you wish to work. The rules may differ from country to country and some of them will require you to pay an application fee.

Where Can an EU Blue Card Holder Work?

The EU Blue Card is valid in most EU member states, with the exception of Ireland and Denmark. It is available to all non-EU residents and works across a variety of different professions.

Is the EU Blue Card Worth It?

It depends on whether or not you want to work in an EU country. If the contract is large enough, the work is long enough, and you’re happy to move to another country, then it is definitely worth it. However, it’s not going to be the right move for everyone.