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Thursday, September 1, 2011

European Blue Card - Update September 1, 2011

I think it's time that we took a look to see how the Blue Card implementation is progressing. Many thanks to arvind who left this link with some news about overall implementation. Here is another about the situation in Belgium.   Both confirm what we already know - it's moving slowly but surely.

The Netherlands: In addition to this link left by arvind - Invoering Europese blauwe kaart - here is a link to Forms and Attachments for holders of an EU Blue Card which appears to be for employers and another to their Customer Service Guide which has an overview of what options are available to you. I also found this site called werk.nl which describes the different work permits and how to apply. There is a link as well for jobseekers where you can register, search for jobs and post your CV.

Romania: The Romanian Office for Immigration has a new website here. I think it is a work in progress (and very nice work it is) but they have posted useful information about how to go about getting permission to stay and work. The Guide of Foreign Workers in Romania (English) and Guide du Travailleur Etranger en Roumanie (French) are also good resources.

Belgium: They were a little late getting started - the law appears to have been voted on at the end of July. More details in this press release which says that Blue Cards will be available in Belgium to those workers who:
  • possèdent des qualifications professionnelles élevées, attestées par un diplôme de l’enseignement supérieur (possess high professional qualifications and advanced degrees)
  • produisent un contrat de travail à durée indéterminée ou d’une durée minimale d’un an (have a work contract for an indeterminate period (CDI) or of at least one year)
  • perçoivent un salaire annuel supérieur à 49.995 euros bruts. (earn a salary superior to 49,995 euros before taxes)
Slovakia: According to this site, Slovakia is accepting Blue Card applications. Their official government site has this page, Stay of Foreign Nationals in Slovakia, which outlines the procedure for requesting permission to reside. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything specific about the process for the Blue Card.

Austria: Thanks again to arvind for this great  link to information about Austria's Red-White-Red Card (RWR Card). Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to factsheets about this program.

That's all for now.  Thank you all (especially arvind) for sharing links and asking such thoughtful questions. From the mail and comments I receive, it appears that the information we share here is useful and much appreciated by many people.  I'll post another update soon and try to cover more countries.  I suspect there is much much more good news to come in the months ahead. 

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

how blue card is different from work permit.both require prior job offer.so no signifcant change

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I see what you're saying: the pre-requisite for a Blue Card is having a job offer which makes it very similar to other programs.

Here is my understanding of what makes the Blue Card different. The major change (the "offer") is that prior to the Blue Card if you got a work permit to work in France and you wanted to go to Germany, you had to apply twice. A French work permit only granted you the right to work in France, not in any other EU country.

In theory (and we won't really know how well this works until Blue Card migrants actually try to use that right) once you have a Blue Card and you work for a certain time in the first country, you can then move to another country within the EU and work there with less paperwork, fewer administrative hassles and so on. The idea is that instead of being limited to one country, you would have access to the job markets of ALL participating EU countries after having satisfied certain conditions.

I'd be very interested in hearing what you think. Is this a good deal or not? As a highly-qualified potential migrant is this offer interesting enough to make you decide to go to Europe as opposed to the US, Australia or Canada?

Let the start be chaotic! said...

Hi Victoria, Thanks for the nice information. Here in Germany from 1st september they are giving electronic cards to "immigrants". Is it this Blue card?

Rahul

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Rahul, Thank *you* for reading and leaving a comment.

What you say is really interesting because my new French residency card also has a new format complete with a chip. What does the German card look like?

I'm pretty sure the new German card is not a Blue Card. Depending on how it is implemented, it appears that the EU Blue Cards will be like existing cards but with a note on them that says "EU Blue Card." At least that is what they are saying will happen in France.

I'm going to investigate these new formats (thanks again for mentioning it). Is this something driven by the EU, by the desire of the member-states to have common immigration processes and databases or is this simply EU countries updating their tracking technologies? I'd like to know and I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting.

All the best,

Victoria

Let the start be chaotic! said...

Hi Victoria,

You were right. This is a form on new electronic residency card.
http://www.expatforum.com/germany/new-biometric-residence-permits-for-germany.html

It says its driven by the EU.

Regards,
Rahul

Zeeshan said...

Dear Victoria,

I have lived in France for like 5 years and I have always observed a gap between their establishment and industry....Are they gonna make sure while launching blue card scheme that their industry is well aware about all the details and advantages of recruiting a foreigner under blue card scheme. Moreover, when do you think its France gonna start taking applications for blue card.

Thanks in Advance for your reply.

Regards
Zeeshan
Pakistan

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Zeeshan, thanks so much for reading and for your comment. Those are really good questions that I've been asking too.

From what I've been able to read about the history of the Blue Card, it appears that the push to create it came from industries lobbying the EU and countries that are worried about their demographics. France is doing alright in the latter - the birthrate is pretty high compared to other member states. So if the French voted for it then I conclude that French industry was for it. This site http://www.immigration-professionnelle.gouv.fr/ shows that the government is serious about helping French companies hire foreigners. I also noticed that a notice about the Blue Card was published recently on this site http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/N110.xhtml. So it appears to be moving, just not very quickly. There are a couple of plausible reasons why. Certainly the implementation of procedures is one, the fact that was passed in summer just before everyone went on vacation is another. But I think there is another reason that is even more important. France is in an election cycle right now. Judging from the reactions of my French (and other EU county) friends and colleagues, they were not aware of the Blue Card and when they hear the particulars, they don't like the idea. The French government may fear the reaction of French voters if it becomes widely known that this now exists and it could become another issue that the Far Right can grab and use against the current government since it concerns two hot issues: immigration and the EU.
So I think that industries that were behind this are probably well-aware of it and will use it to recruit. For the time being, however, I think the French government has every interest in keeping it very quiet.

That's my take on it. Does anyone else have a different view?

Monique said...

Hi Victoria,

Do you know if there is a list of particular occupations the Blue Card will be limited to (or given preference to)?

Also, is there the possibility that any of the countries will/have option to waive the job offer criteria?

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Monique, Thanks so much for the questions.

For France I think the list to look at is called "metiers en tension" and depending on where you are from (EU or non EU or countries with agreements with France) there are different lists. I would check out the Professional Immigration site of the OMI and see what they say.

Not sure that any country can or will waive the job offer qualifications. Right now in France they are kicking out foreign students who have just completed their diplomas, many of whom already have jobs. I think (and I could be wrong) that the job qualification will stand just about everywhere - it is the only way (and even that is no guarantee) that the general public will not express their displeasure at yet another avenue of immigration (however qualified) at the polls.

All the best,

Victoria

Anonymous said...

Hi , Its a very good step by you for guys seeking info on EU Blue card, I must say.
I just came across http://localknowledge.be/belgian-law/eu-blue-card-now-in-belgium/

Kiran

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Kiran,

Thanks so much for stopping by and for the link.

This is very much a labor of love - the Blue Card is a fascinating topic and I really enjoy searching the government websites for more information. I really hope that it has helped people to navigate the muddy waters that are current EU immigration policy.

And thanks also for the link. I'm travelling right now but when I get home next will I plan to work on an October update. Your link will get me started :-)

All the very best to you,

Victoria

carponoid said...

Hello All,

It's good to see lots of people becoming aware of blue card, when I started to gather details about this blue card (sometime in Jan) this "flophouse" helped me a bit in knowing what is it, a big thanks to Victoria.

Anyway I just received a mail from a consultant listing the countries that started accepted blue cards and they are as below.

Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary.

Thanks,
Praveen.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Praveen,

You are a *star*! Thank you so much for the good news and for sharing it.

Looks like things are finally rolling. :-)

All the best,

Victoria

Arvind said...

Hi Praveen,

I was following Germany, I think they are still in process of making it to law changes. Please correct me if i have still have old news.

Regards
Arvind Verma

carponoid said...

Hi Arvind,


Your are correct! germany is not in the list yet!! (my apologies :P).

Here is the latest info which I got.

Basic Requirement -

Bachelor's Degree (Medium of instruction English only)
5+ years of experience
Annual income more than 5 lakh
Applicant must pass health & character checks & have travel medical insurance.

Mandatory Requirement -

The EU Blue card requires a Job offer from the particular country where you wish to apply and the salary offered to you by the employer has to be 1.5 times more than the existing wages in that country for one to qualify for this programme.

Accepting Application for : Austria,Crech Republic,Estonia,Bulgaria,Netherlands and Slovakia.

May be we will sit tight and watch out until the Germany rolls it out.. (:D)

Thanks,
Praveen

carponoid said...

Hi Arvind,


Your are correct! germany is not in the list yet!! (my apologies :P).

Here is the latest info which I got.

Basic Requirement -

Bachelor's Degree (Medium of instruction English only)
5+ years of experience
Annual income more than 5 lakh
Applicant must pass health & character checks & have travel medical insurance.

Mandatory Requirement -

The EU Blue card requires a Job offer from the particular country where you wish to apply and the salary offered to you by the employer has to be 1.5 times more than the existing wages in that country for one to qualify for this programme.

Accepting Application for : Austria,Crech Republic,Estonia,Bulgaria,Netherlands and Slovakia.

May be we will sit tight and watch out until the Germany rolls it out.. (:D)

Thanks,
Praveen

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Praveen,

Thanks so much for the additional information and my apologies for not being a bit faster to post your comment. I do have this blog set up so I can moderate comments before they are posted (keeps the advertising away) but sometimes I'm not as fast as I would like to read through and post them.

Yesterday was my birthday which was my reason for taking the day off. :-)

All the best,

Victoria

arvind said...

Wish you Belated Happy Birthday Victoria.

Cheers
Arvind

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Many thanks for the birthday wishes, Arvind. :-)

arvind said...

Hi,

I have some information that france has not adopted Blue Card yet . It is in same stage as Germany. It would come in Next year 2012. So it would be bit longer wait.

Cheers
Arvind verma

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Arvind,

2012 Sounds right - still no news from the prefectures (just checked a few of my link).

However France was not mentioned in the EU message about non-complying nations so they may farther along than we think.

All the best,

Victoria