EU Blue Card and Single Permit Directive Allow Non-EU Citizens to Work in EU Countries

Within the European Union (EU), the EU Blue Card program allows non-EU citizens to work in EU countries. Applicants for the EU Blue Card must meet specific criteria before they can obtain the card. Employment portals such as the EU Blue Card Network lets applicants submit applications as well as create profiles that can be searched by EU employers so they can offer employment contracts. Additionally, the European Job Mobility Portal provides an overview of job opportunities in the EU, as well as tips on how to apply for jobs and information on living and working in all EU countries.

What are the specific criteria that citizens must fulfill to request an EU Blue Card?

There are several specific conditions that non-EU citizens must meet before they can request an EU Blue Card:

  1. Citizenship outside of the EU
  2. Have post-secondary education (degree) or at least five years or more professional experience
  3. Obtain an employment contract or binding employment offer from an EU employer that is at least one year in length
  4. Work as a paid employee; self-employed workers or entrepreneurs are not eligible for the EU Blue Card
  5. Annual gross salary must be at least one and a half times the average national salary (except when the lower salary threshold applies)
  6. All necessary travel documents are in order
  7. Health insurance is in place for yourself and any relatives who come to the EU with you
  8. Proof that you fulfill the legal requirements to practice your profession, if the industry regulates your profession

How did the EU Blue Card program originate?

The European Commission believes that workers with a high level of skills from outside the EU are crucial to maintaining the EU’s economic competitiveness. Several sectors of the EU economy are dealing with a shortage of skilled employees, lowering the EU’s ability to compete in the international market. Since 2009 the EU Blue Card Directive creates a common admission criteria and helps speed the procedure for hiring skilled foreign nationals. A new EU Blue Card Directive in June 2016 further simplifies and streamlines the processes. The EU Immigration Portal created a new EU Blue Card website to provide a user-friendly portal as well as current information for applicants.

What should employers do?

Employers seeking to hire non-EU citizens should review the program’s requirements. They should also investigate EU Blue Card job portals and networks that will allow them to search for qualified applicants to help fill job openings.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts helps thousands of our clients with country-specific employment requirements. We can help your company understand how to use the EU Blue Card program and job networks to search for highly skilled foreign nationals to fill your job openings, and help you design a relocation policy that appeals to qualified job seekers. Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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