The EU Blue Card program is designed to make Europe a more attractive destination for professionals from outside the European Union. The Blue Card scheme acts as a Portuguese work visa and residency for highly qualified workers from non-EU countries.
To an extent the Blue Card program is a merit based system; interpreting a person with ‘merits’ as one who received adequate education or, through professional experience possesses sought after skills. The EU Blue Card is not points based; either you have the education or skills, or you do not.
EU Blue Cards are valid for between one and four years and allow non-EU nationals to work in 24 of 27 EU member states (excluding Denmark, Ireland, and the UK). A Blue Cardholder who has been living in Portugal; for 18 months can apply for a residence permit for researchers or highly skilled migrants.
The European Blue Card provides comprehensive socio economic rights and a path towards permanent residence and EU citizenship.
- The card facilitates the admission of non-EU highly skilled professionals into the EU. It intends to simplify the procedures and improve the legal status of those already in the EU.
- The permit authorizes its holder to enter, re enter and stay in the country that has issued it. Their family members can accompany them. The Blue Card holder and their family members are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU.
- The Blue card holder enjoys equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State where they have settled. Yet, they can only work in the sector they are concerned about.
- If a third country national holds an Blue Card, after 18 months of regular employment, he or she can move to another EU member state to take up employment. He or she must notify the authorities there within one month of their arrival.
- Working and salary conditions equal to nationals.
- Free movement within the Schengen area.
- Entitlement to a series of socio economic rights (e.g. unemployment benefits).
- Permanent residence perspective.
- Freedom of association.
Where You can Work with EU Blue Card?
The Blue Card is recognized by 25 EU member states with the same basic criteria applying for all, there are minor additional criteria set by each member state for its own.
Following are the countries that accept the Blue Card :
- Czech Republic
EU Countries Not Issuing the EU Blue Card :
Member states that have opted out of the Blue Card Directive and as a result do not issue the Blue Card are:
Other states in the European Union not issuing the Blue Card are the EFTA member states:
EFTA member states participate in the single EU market through the EEA agreement. While Switzerland operates by a bonding bilateral agreement with the EU member states in regards to the free market and the sharing of services.
EU Blue Card Eligibility Criteria :
Start the application process to get a Blue Card, by checking if you are eligible. When applying for an Blue Card the applicant must meet the following conditions:
- Have a Master’s Degree or equivalent.
- At least 5 years of experience in your field.
- Have a work contract or a job offer for highly qualified employment for at least one year.
- Meet the minimum salary threshold in the EU country in which you want to work.
- For regulated professions: proof that the national legal requirements are met.
In case you lose your job within the first three years under a Blue Card, you will have three months to find another job. Or else you will have to leave the country.
Learn More about Requirements and Reason for Rejection of EU Blue Card.