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EU blue card acquisition for highly-skilled workers

EU blue card sometimes is compared to US green card. Blue color is referred to as the color of the European Union flag, for this reason the card is meant to be blue .Its purpose is to give work and residence permit to non-EU/EEA nationals. It provides rights for people to merge into socio-economic landscape and get on a path leading to permanent residence in Europe. Simply put, people can live and work in Europe without restrictions, while owning a blue card.

Purpose of introducing a EU blue card

It was introduced by European Commission in 2007, proposed and implemented in 2009 as well as issued by 25 countries which are member states of EU. According to Eurostat data in 2016 the highest number of work permits issued was registered in Germany (more than 17,000), France (more than 700) and Poland (more than 600).

The EU blue card’s second purpose is to make Europe a more attractive destination for professionals from outside the European Union. A special EU Blue Card Scheme was created for all EU member states, except the UK, Ireland and Denmark, inviting highly qualified persons to EU states. This scheme is supposed to make Europe the world’s most favorite migration destination.

This can be ensured by providing equal salaries and working conditions to foreigners, free movement within the Schengen area, socio-economic rights, favorable conditions for family reunification, a perspective of permanent residence and a freedom of association as well. There are several main benefits of obtaining the EU Blue Card. These include very high chances of getting a permanent residence permit which entitles to any kind of occupation under facilitated conditions, equal rights as well as equal opportunity to work in the largest Europe’s economy and vast business market and easy-travel opportunities.

Requirements for a blue card application

Although the same basic criteria can be applied for all 25 member states of EU, there are minor additional criteria set by each member state for its own. Generally, the Blue Card can be requested, if three main conditions are met. These are: non-EU citizenship, foreigners to be educated or professionally experienced (highly-qualified or skilled workers, researchers, students and vocational trainees) and having employment contract or binding job offer (seasonal workers, intra-corporate transfers). A person can be considered high-qualified worker if he or she has a work contract of at least one year, and if he or she can meet the conditions listed below. If a person is able to meet such obligatory requirements, he will be given an online profile in the EU Blue Card network which has a double function – to consult foreigners by employers in order to offer them a job contract and to enable foreigners to submit their applications.

During past few years there is a lack of workforce which can be noticed in such fields as: medicine, technology, informatics (IT), natural sciences and mathematics. This means that foreigners, working in mentioned fields usually have a higher chance of obtaining the EU blue card.

Additionally, if a person is self-employed or entrepreneur, he/she will be able to receive the blue card in case he/she possesses sufficient financial resources, has a business which will have a positive effect on the economy of the hosting state and can provide an economic interest that is short in the hosting EU member state.

When applying, it is important to consider time frames needed for gathering all the necessary documents. Usually 4-6 months are needed to prepare all the required documentation. Some countries set appointments at the appropriate Embassies or Consulates in foreigners’ home countries, some offer online applications which may be filled by foreigner himself/herself or his/her employer or a law firm. After applying the person is expected to wait for up to 3 months until the processing is completed.