Many European countries are glad to host qualified specialists. The main reason for this is to attract competent representatives of scarce professions in the European Union. The Blue Card was created by analogy with the American Green Card.
What does the Blue Card give?
A Blue Card holder has several advantages over an immigrant who has received a regular residence permit.
First of all, a highly qualified specialist gets the right to the same working conditions and wages as EU citizens. But the minimum wage threshold for obtaining a Blue Card is lower, although it is about one and a half times higher than the average salary in the country.
There is an advantage for the employer: he/she does not have to prove to the employment agency that he/she should hire a person only because there was no suitable candidate in their home country. This means that the period for approving documents is shortened and your chances of getting an entry permit increase. Besides, there are no requirements for knowledge of the language (if the profession does not require it).
If the contract with the company has ended, the Blue Card holder has three months to find a new job. Moreover, you can search for work in another state: after 1.5 years, you can exchange your certificate for the Blue Card of any other country included in the program, if you have an employment contract with the employer.
The Blue Card simplifies the process of moving a spouse: he/she is issued a residence permit with the right to work even without a contract and knowledge of the local language. Moreover, there are no restrictions on the specialty.
With a Blue Card, you can easily move around the EU for tourism, recreation, study. The maximum period of continuous stay in another state without losing a residence permit is 12 months.
The period after you can apply for permanent residence is also reduced: you will be able to submit documents in 21 months. But all this time, it is necessary to make contributions to the pension fund, and the procedure for reviewing documents includes passing a language proficiency exam. If you don’t want to prove your knowledge of the language, you can wait another year and apply for permanent residence in 33 months.
Higher education is obligatory, the term of study is at least three years with the assignment of a specialist or master’s degree. Moreover, to be hired, your diploma must correspond to the European diploma in the specialty in question in the country where you are going.
If your educational institution is not in the database, you will have to confirm the diploma. In some countries, in addition to higher education, a mandatory requirement is work experience in the relevant specialty, which you can document. If your specialty is especially in demand, a proven work experience of at least five years can replace a higher education diploma.
If you do not yet live in the European Union, you must apply for a work visa before receiving a Blue Card. After entering the country and before the expiration of the visa, you need to submit documents for the issuance of a “Blue Card” at the local migration office.
A potential Blue Card participant will need to collect and submit a package of documents.
- Application for a visa and an application for stay in the country.
- Biography of the applicant with all contact details, as well as a certificate of no criminal record.
- An employment contract, which must indicate the name and address of the company, the duties of a specialist, the amount of wages and other working conditions. The contract is endorsed by both parties, and also certified by the Ministry of Labor of the country where the move is planned.
- Higher education diploma that meets EU requirements.
- An international passport, the validity of which is not less than the period for which the labor contract was concluded, as well as an internal passport.
- Employment history.
- Medical insurance.
- Receipt of payment of the fee for the examination of documents.
If you have collected a complete package of documents, then you will receive a response about obtaining a Blue Card in a maximum of 12 weeks. When everything is done correctly, the notification may come earlier: in 8-9 weeks. A positive answer is published on the official website.
The Blue Card is valid for up to four years from the date of issue, provided that the employment contract is concluded for the same or longer period. If the contract is less than four years old, the card is issued for the specified period plus three months. If during the first two years you decide to change your place of work, you will first have to coordinate your decision with the Office for Foreigners.
Getting a Blue Card is not such an overwhelming task. All you need is perseverance in collecting and approving documents, dedication in finding a job and having an education in a profession that is relevant in the EU countries. But in return, you will get the opportunity not only to earn decent money doing what you love, but also to move to a new place in the company of close relatives, freely travel across the territory of the European Union and, if desired, get permanent residence without much effort.
The result is worth the effort!