The European Blue Card
The European Blue Card (Blauwe Kaart) is a combined residence and work permit for employees that come from countries out with the European Union (third countries). The validity of the permit is connected to the duration of the work contract. You must be employed for a minimum of one year, up to a maximum of four years. After this period, an indefinite extension of the permit is possible. The holder of a European Blue Card is only allowed to work for the employer that submitted the European Blue Card application.
Conditions for the European Blue Card
The three most important conditions for receiving a European Blue Card are as follows:
- The employment contract must last for at least one year
- The employee must have received at least a three-year bachelor’s degree at higher education level. A foreign degree has to be validated by the EP-Nuffic, an organization for internationalization in higher education;
- The employee must earn at least the pay threshold set by the European Blue Card, excluding 8% vacation pay.
Other conditions can be found on the IND website, where you can submit a European Blue Card application. Be aware that the IND’s decision regarding an application can take a few months.
Family members of the European Blue Card holder
Family Members (spouses, registered partners and minor children) can receive a residence permit with which t are allowed to live with the European Blue Card holder. T also have free access to the job market, contrary to the card holder.
Differences between the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme and the European Blue Card
The biggest differences between the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme and the European Blue Card are as follows:
- The pay threshold of the European Blue Card is set higher than that of a highly skilled migrant permit;
- A European Blue Card has requirements regarding degrees, contrary to the highly skilled migrant permit;
- The employer involved in submitting a European Blue Card does not have to be registered as a recognized sponsor, contrary to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
Applying for a European Blue Card is a complex procedure. Mistakes are easily made which may have grave consequences. It is recommended that you hire an immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is completed with the utmost care and precision.
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