The Blue Card is an approved EU-wide work permit allowing high-skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in any country within the European Union, excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, which are not subject to the proposal. The European Commission has stated that to maintain economic growth, the EU needs to attract top talent from around the world. Unfortunately, migrants wishing to live and work in the EU have to deal with a various of different immigration requirements.
To combat these problems, the European Union is proposing a single work and residence permit for qualified migrants, entitled the “blue card” inspired by the United States green card and named after the color of the EU flag.
The European Union blue card would create a “one-stop shop” for skilled migrants hoping to work in the EU.
The Blue Card will allow qualifying third-country nationals to reside and work in an EU member state and ultimately attain long-term residence rights. After residing for 18 months in the EU country that initially granted the Blue Card, the cardholder will be permitted to move freely throughout participating EU countries to take up highly skilled employment and may be accompanied by dependents. After five years of legal and continuous residency within the EU as a Blue Card holder, a qualifying foreign national may apply for permanent residency in the EU country where he or she lives.
The EU Blue Card directive gives member states considerable latitude to determine how the program will be incorporated into their domestic immigration systems. As a result, each country will have its own unique Blue Card program, with eligibility requirements and application procedures that may differ from those of other member states. At a minimum, however, each country must require the following of Blue Card applicants:
A valid work contract or a job offer, with a minimum annual salary that is at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary in the member state concerned;
If the applicant will work in a regulated profession, a valid authorization document that allows him or her to work in the profession;
If the applicant will work in an unregulated profession, original documentation demonstrating that he or she possesses high professional qualifications in the industry sector of the offered position;
A valid travel document;
A completed application;
Evidence of comprehensive health insurance; and
Documentation that the applicant is not a threat to public safety or security.