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EU Blue Card vs. German Residence Permit: Which One Should You Download?


How to Download a Blue Card: A Guide for Non-EU Professionals




If you are a highly skilled non-EU professional who wants to work and live in the European Union, you may have heard of the blue card. The blue card is a residence and work permit that allows you to access the EU labor market and enjoy many benefits. But how can you download a blue card and what are the steps involved? In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about downloading a blue card, from the eligibility criteria and application process to the validity period and renewal options. We will also cover how to move to another EU country with a blue card if you wish to change employers or explore new opportunities.


What is a blue card and why is it useful for non-EU professionals who want to work in the EU?




A blue card is an approved EU-wide work permit that allows highly skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in 25 of the 27 countries within the European Union, excluding Denmark and Ireland. The card facilitates the admission of non-EU highly skilled professionals into the EU. It is not related to the blue card system that regulates activities that are essential to childrens lives.




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A blue card is useful for non-EU professionals who want to work in the EU because it offers many advantages, such as:


  • Travel freely within the EU (for cards issued in Schengen countries)



  • Get the same work and travel conditions as citizens of the country where you have settled



  • Obtain a permanent residence permit after 33 months of employment or after 21 months with proof of good German language proficiency (B1) (in Germany)



  • Bring your family members with you and allow them to work without restrictions



  • Change employers or countries within the EU after 18 months of regular employment



  • Enjoy equal treatment with the nationals of the Member State where you have settled in terms of working conditions, social security, education, etc.



What are the requirements for applying for a blue card?




To apply for a blue card, you must meet the following general requirements:


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  • You must have a higher education degree, either German or from a university that is recognized in Germany. Certain professions, like health, law, teaching, and engineering, are regulated, so in addition to presenting your degree, you must also have it recognized.



  • You must have a concrete job offer from an EU employer that matches your qualifications and lasts for at least one year.



  • You must have a valid travel document, an application for a visa or a visa (if necessary), and a valid residence permit or a national long-term visa (if appropriate).



  • You must have proof of sickness insurance (or proof of having applied for it).



  • You must not pose a threat to public policy or security in the view of the Member State.



  • You must meet the minimum salary threshold in the Member State concerned (at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary in that country).



How to download a blue card in different EU countries?




The application process and documents needed for downloading a blue card in different EU countries may vary depending on the specific rules and procedures of each member state. However, the general steps are as follows:


How to download a blue card in Germany




Germany is one of the most popular destinations for non-EU professionals who want to work in the EU with a blue card. Here are the main steps to download a blue card in Germany:


  • Find a job offer that matches your qualifications and meets the minimum salary threshold. For 2021, the minimum salary for a blue card in Germany is 56,800 euros per year, or 44,304 euros per year for shortage occupations such as engineers, IT specialists, doctors, or mathematicians.



  • Apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence. You will need to submit your passport, application form, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, and biometric photos. The visa fee is 75 euros.



  • Travel to Germany with your visa and register your address at the local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of arrival.



  • Apply for a blue card at the local foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) within three months of arrival. You will need to present your passport, visa, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, biometric photos, and proof of address registration. The blue card fee is 140 euros.



  • Receive your blue card by post or collect it in person at the foreigners authority. The blue card is valid for four years or for the duration of your employment contract plus three months, whichever is shorter.



  • Renew your blue card before it expires if you want to continue working in Germany. You will need to submit your passport, current blue card, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, biometric photos, and proof of address registration. The renewal fee is 100 euros.



How to download a blue card in France




France is another attractive destination for non-EU professionals who want to work in the EU with a blue card. Here are the main steps to download a blue card in France:


  • Find a job offer that matches your qualifications and meets the minimum salary threshold. For 2021, the minimum salary for a blue card in France is 53,836.50 euros per year.



  • Apply for a long-stay visa (visa de long séjour) and a talent passport residence permit (passeport talent) with the mention EU Blue Card at the French consulate in your country of origin or residence. You will need to submit your passport, application form, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, and biometric photos. The visa fee is 99 euros.



  • Travel to France with your visa and register with the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) within three months of arrival. You will need to present your passport, visa, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, and proof of address. You may also have to undergo a medical examination and attend an integration session.



  • Receive your talent passport residence permit with the mention EU Blue Card by post or collect it in person at the prefecture (préfecture). The residence permit fee is 269 euros.



  • Renew your residence permit before it expires if you want to continue working in France. You will need to submit your passport, current residence permit, job offer, proof of qualifications, health insurance, biometric photos, and proof of address. The renewal fee is 269 euros.



How to download a blue card in Spain




Spain is also a popular destination for non-EU professionals who want to work in the EU with a blue card. Here are the main steps to download a blue card in Spain:


  • Find a job offer that matches your qualifications and meets the minimum salary threshold. For 2020, the minimum salary for a blue card in Spain is 33,908 euros per year.



Apply for a long-stay visa (visa de larga duración) and a talent passport residence permit (tarjeta de residencia de larga duración para profesionales altamente cualificados) at the Spanish consulate in your country of origin or residence. You


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