With the creation of the European Union, many of the individual EU countries’ sovereign functions fell into the jurisdiction of the central government in Brussels.
Migration-related matters and issuance of work permits to foreign employees are just two examples of areas that Brussels now (partially) controls.
Back in 2009, the central EU government launched a Blue Card work permit that would apply universally across the continent.
It applies to highly skilled, salaried individuals wishing to work in the EU (although entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals can use the EU Blue Card in certain situations, too.)
The Blue Card comes with a lot of benefits compared to the local work permits that all EU countries still issue.
For example, Blue Card holders are allowed to spend very little time in Europe each year (if your employer doesn't mind it, of course). And Blue Card holders can switch employers within the same country, or even move to a completely different EU country, without losing European residency.
None of the above would be possible with local work permits.
Finally, after holding the EU Blue Card for five years, you can claim the EU version of permanent residency (PR) – which is a great Plan B asset to have.
It allows you to live anywhere in Europe (i.e. not just in the country that issued it). And if you don't plan to live in Europe in future, but still want to keep your European PR active, you will only need to visit any EU country once every 24 months.
So far, however, only Germany has fully embraced the EU Blue Card. All other countries find local work permits more convenient (and don't necessarily care about the benefits that Blue Cards bring to applicants).
But that's about to change. An amended set of rules will come into force in 2023 and will make the program’s conditions even more attractive for job seekers.
Moreover, counties will have to make the Blue Card pretty much a default option when issuing work permits.
Check out this Monthly Letter for more information on the EU Blue Card, and also learn how you can qualify for one.
Until recently, Europe has been a cluster of independent states (that often went to war with each other). Each country independently enacted laws concerning all aspects of sovereign life — from criminal law, to governance, defense and matters concerning immigration. A lot of that changed with the creation of the European Union (EU). Today, the…