Blue card

The Blue card is an EU based residence permit aimed at highly educated employees. The permit finds its origin in the EU Blue Card Directive 2009/50. In many ways the Blue card is similar to highly skilled migrant permit, but nonetheless has a few distinctive differences.


The Blue card knows two main requirements.

  • Income: To qualify for the permit one needs to earn a salary of at least € 6.245 gross per month excluding 8% holiday pay. Unlike the highly skilled migrant permit which differentiates the salary for persons under and over 30 years of age, the Blue card has one salary requirement irrespective of age.
  • Education level: This permit is only open to persons who are highly educated. One is regarded as highly educated under the Blue Card scheme is the applicant has completed at least a three-year bachelor program. This is another difference with the highly skilled migrant scheme which does not demand any level of formal education.

An additional requirement is that the employment contract needs to be valid for at least for one year.

Contrary to the highly skilled migrant scheme, the Blue Card does demand that the employer is a recognized sponsor.

Residence rights

The permit is issued for at least one year and with a maximum of four years. The Blue card is extendable. Although the permit is directly derived from an EU Directive, the Blue card only allows one to live and work in the country which issued the Blue card. If, for instance, Belgium issued the Blue Card, the holder may only live and work in Belgium and not elsewhere in the EU. To be permitted to work elsewhere on will need to apply for the Blue Card again in that specific EU member state.

One of the advantages of the Blue card permit is that if one has had a Blue card in another EU member state for 1,5 year or more, he/she is exempted from the so-called Mvv-requirement. This condition entails that an applicant generally is required to await the outcome of the application procedure from his/her country of origin or country of residence. The aforementioned exemption brings along that one my come directly to the Netherlands and legally await the outcome of the procedure here.

Another perk of the permit that the stay based on the Blue card different EU states is added up towards the five consecutive year stay for the EU longterm residency. Normally, the five years can only be built up with residency in one EU state.

Furthermore, family members of Blue card holders enjoy unrestricted access to the employment market. Ergo, they may work for any employer without needing any prior permission or needing to meet any specific requirements. Ironically, they enjoy more rights in this respect than their host who is restricted to one employer.

If you have any questions about the Blue Card permit, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us, 020 223 2466, or send us an email, We are happy to help! You can also reach us through our social media channels which you can find at the bottom of this page.