European Blue Card

The European Blue Card is a combined residence and work permit intended for highly skilled migrants who come from outside the EU / EEA / Switzerland. To be eligible for this permit, an employment contract must be concluded with the minimum duration of 12 months. In addition, the salary criteria and the educational requirement must be met.

Salary criteria

The salary criteria as of 1 January 2021 is EUR 5,567 gross per month. When calculating the salary, the compensation and allowances count when they are included in the employment contract, and if and insofar as they are paid to the holder of the European Blue Card every month. The holiday allowance, any benefits in kind and irregular pay are not included in the salary.

Educational requirement

For the educational requirement, the foreign national must have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree at HBO (higher professional education) or university level. A foreign diploma is evaluated by Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education.

Advantages compared to highly skilled migrant scheme

The European Blue Card scheme has a number of advantages over the highly skilled migrant scheme:

  • The employer does not have to be recognised as a sponsor in this case;
  • The holder may, in principle, work in another Member State after 18 months on the basis of a European Blue Card to be applied for, provided that the conditions applicable there are met;
  • In addition, the holder may return to his/her country of origin (for the purpose of work / study) for a longer consecutive period without interrupting the term required to be eligible for a permanent residence permit.

Note that the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark do not participate in the directive that forms the basis for the European Blue Card.

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