The European Blue Card

The EU blue card is a combined residence and work permit for Highly Skilled and educated third country residents. The aim of the EU is to attract highly skilled migrants from third countries.



  • Highly Skilled Migrants will be admitted to an EU member state if they are employed and earn at least 1.5 times the average wage in that member state.
  • Highly migrants should provide documents that show that they are well enough qualified for the position. For example, a higher educational degree such as a Bachelor or Master degree.
  • The migrant can provide an employment contract or a binding job offer valid for at least one year.


Additional requirements:

  • Member states can install a higher salary level requirement to obtain the status of Highly Skilled Migrant under this EU directive.
  • Member states can require a job market assessment to approve of the scarcity of the position.
  • Member states can limit the number of Highly Skilled migrants who can obtain the EU blue card.
  • Member states can enforce conditions of civic integration upon the Highly Skilled Migrants and his/her family members


Which effects will the introduction of the EU blue card have on present Dutch immigration laws?

Dutch immigration law already has several resident purposes that comply with this EU directive. For example, the Knowledge migrant and the search year the special residence status for higher educated and talented migrants. Nevertheless the introduction of the EU Blue Card does have some advantages for immigrants from third countries:

  • After 18 months of legal residency with the EU blue card, the migrant can freely move to another member state for a Highly Skilled position.
  • To obtain a permanent residence status in one of the member states (under certain conditions) the migrant can add up the periods of residency in any other member state.
  • The migrant will have equal rights as a EU citizen.
  • The migrant will have better conditions for family reunification and its family members will have better access to the labor market.


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