European Blue Card
Last updated
June 29th 2016

This arrangement aims at facilitating entry, residence and working in France for citizens of third countries for purposes of highly qualified employment.

France was the first Member State of the European Union to transpose, by the statute of 16 June 2011 on immigration, integration and nationality, European Union directive 2009/50/EC dated 25 May 2009.

Beneficiaries

Foreign citizens from third countries.

Categories not affected

Citizens from the European Union or from another State belonging to the EEAEuropean Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).
Citizens of Switzerland.
Algerian citizens under the Franco-Algerian Agreement of 27 December 1968.

Conditions for issue

The job situation is not applicable.
The highly qualified worker (THQ) must have:

  • a degree for a course of at least 3 years of higher education awarded by a higher education teaching institution recognised by the State in which it is located or evidence of 5 years of work experience at a comparable level;
  • an individual employment contract for at least one year, validated by the SMOEForeign Workforce Department
  • monthly remuneration of at least 1.5 times the reference average gross salary laid down annually by the Minister responsible for immigration (53,836.50 EUR gross/year on the 20/06/2016).

Exception(s)

n/a

Conditions for issue

The simplified procedure known as “accompanying family“ applies as a derogation from family regrouping (for more information go to the Family Arrival).

Permit issued to the worker

Temporary residence permit markedcarte bleue européenne” (EUEuropean Union Blue Card) valid for from 1 to 3 years depending on the duration of the employment contract, renewable under the same conditions.
For the first two years following issuance of the EUEuropean Union Blue Card the holder may only perform the work activity for which he or she has been admitted. He or she will then have access to any highly qualified work of his or her choice.

Dispensation from CAIReception and integration contract.

Validity of the EUEuropean Union Blue Card in mainland France and the overseas departments.

Residence card stamped “EC long term resident” (LTR-EUEuropean Union) valid for 10 years following 5 years of uninterrupted residency falling under an EBC in France and in other Member States.
The two years preceding the making of the application must have been spent in France.
Calculation of the required period of five years takes into account any absences from the territory of the EUEuropean Union lower than twelve consecutive months and not exceeding eighteen months in total over this five year period.
The residency permit stamped “LTR-EUEuropean Union” is valid for 10 years and is renewable as of right.
On expiry, the party may apply for a permanenet residency permit.

For facilitating mobility within the EUEuropean Union

  • If the THQ has had a “European Blue Card” issued by another Member State for more than 18 months he or she can make an application for an EBC during the month following entry to France for filling a highly qualified position in France.
    Nevertheless, he or she must fulfil the same basic conditions required for a first EBC.
    However, the interested party is not subject to the requirement of holding a long stay visa.
  • For entering France for the purpose of stays not exceeding three months, a THQ holding a “European Blue Card” issued by another State belonging to the Schengen area is not required to hold a short stay visa.
     

 

Permit issued to the family

Temporary residence permit stamped “private and family life” which gives authorisation to work. This card is issued for the same period of validity as the European Blue Card. Renewable as of right during the period of validity of the EBC granted to the spouse.
The application must be made in the month following arrival of the spouses in France and issuance must take place by 6 months at the latest from the date of application.

Dispensation from CAIReception and integration contract.

Residence permit stamped “EUEuropean Union long term resident” (LTR-EC) valid for 10 years if they have proof of uninterrupted residence in France of five years covered by a residency permit stamped “private and family life”. Renewable as of right.
On expiry, the members of the family may apply for a permanent residency permit.

Procedure to follow

  • First issue

    Application elements

    • Form CERFA N° 15187*01 for concluding an individual employment contract with a foreign employee residing outside France,
    • When changing status: Form CERFA N° 15186*01 for concluding an individual employment contract with a foreign employee residing in France,
    • Kbis Certificate if an entity with personality at law (unless already sent during the previous 12 months and have not been modified),
    • K Certificate or Skilled Craftsman Card or tax assessment notice in the case of a natural person (unless already sent during the previous 12 months and have not been modified),
    • Articles of incorporation for an entity with personality at law, if they exist,
    • If need be: copy of the latest receipt for contributions to the paid leave fund (unless already sent during the previous 12 months),
    • Copy of the latest receipt for social security contributions (unless already sent during the previous 12 months).
    • Degree certificate with a compliant certified translation into French and a certificate from the higher education establishment stating that the degree is awarded following at least 3 years of higher education,
      or
      Curriculum Vitae of the interested party or any other document providing evidence of work experience (declarations from employers on employment and functions carried out must be translated and certified)
    • In the case of regulated professions: proof that the specific regulatory requirements have been fulfilled

     

    Potential additional documents

    If the person has had a “European Blue Card” issued by another Member State for more than 18 months:

    • recto-verso copy of the holder’s EBC
    • copy of passport pages on civil status, entry stamps and visas

    If the administration so requires:

    • copy of the last 2 pages of the comprehensive staff record or a copy of the last 3 staff movement declarations for establishments employing more than 50 staff.

    If the employer has already applied for a work permit he may be asked for:

    • the last 3 pay slips for foreign employees who have worked in France,
    • proof of the final receipt for contributions and social security contributions.

    Documents to be provided for family members

    • Copy of passport pages with entry stamps and visas,
    • Complete copy of birth certificate (or copy of legal document with descendant), marriage certificate or family record book,
    • Temporary residence permit stamped “European Blue Card” granted to the spouse or parent,

    If the family was already formed in a Member State or if the spouse or parent has evidence of of a stay of at least 18 months covered by a “European Blue Card”: residence permit issued by the relevant Member State.

     

    Application submission

    For entry of a highly qualified worker resident abroad and for the arrival of his family: DTRegional Office of the Office Français de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration (OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration) of the place of business, single office for the following Departments: Haute-Garonne (31), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Isère (38), Nord (59), Paris (75), Puy-de-Dôme (63), Rhône (69) and Yvelines (78) SMOEForeign Workforce Department of the site of the enterprise for other Departments.

    For the holder of a “European Blue Card” issued by another Member State who has held the card for more than 18 months, and for his or her family: the prefecture of his or her place of residence.
    A receipt authorising work will be issued whilst awaiting the decision from the prefecture.

    Application evaluation

    For the eight Departments with a single office:
    The DTRegional Office of the OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration receives the file, checks it and sends it to the SMOEForeign Workforce Department which checks the contract of employment, returns it to the OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration which then transfers it by electronic means to the relevant French Consulate or to the REForeign office of the OFFI if the OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration has an office abroad (Cameroon, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey) together with if need be the documents relating to the accompanying family.

    For other Departments:
    On receipt of the file, the DTRegional Office of the OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration checks the contract of employment and sends the file to the SMOEForeign Workforce Department which transfers it by e-mail to the relevant French Consulate or to the REForeign office of the OFFI if the OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration has an office abroad (Cameroon, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey) together with if need be the documents relating to the accompanying family.

     

    In all cases, the Consulate will send for the employee and if need be his family for issuing the long stay visa and gives the copy of the checked contract of employment to the highly qualified employee.
    The latter may work from his or her arrival in France, with the long stay visa and the contract of employment issued to the highly qualified employee.

    Medical examination

    Waiver of OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration medical examination for the highly qualified worker and his family (spouse and under age children).

    Issuance of the residence permit

    Prefecture for the place of residence.

  • Renewal

    Application elements

    Documents to be provided by the applicant

    • Certificate of presence in the position issued by the employer,
    • Three last pay slips (if the documents are insufficient for proving respect for the remuneration terms initially provided for, the administration may ask for additional pay slips),
    • Form CERFA N° 15186*01 for concluding an individual employment contract with a foreign employee residing in France.

     

    Documents to be provided by the employer if the post occupied is the same as that for which the work permit has been authorized

    • Most recent receipt for contributions and social security contributions and if need be contributions to the paid holidays fund,

     

    Documents to be provided by the applicant if he or she no longer holds the post for which the preceding work permit was issued and is involuntarily unemployed

    • Letter terminating the contract of employment,
    • Declaration by the employer for the National Employment Service,
    • Work certificate,
    • If relevant: declaration by the organization paying unemployment benefit giving evidence for the remaining period of cover, providing details of the indemnification sum.

     

    Potential additional documents

    Documents to be provided by family members

    • Complete copy of birth certificate (or copy of legal document with descendant), marriage certificate or family record book,
    • Temporary residence permit stamped “European Blue Card” granted to the spouse or parent.
       

    Application submission

    Prefecture for the place of residence.

    Application evaluation

    Prefecture for the place of residence.

    Issuance of the residence permit

    Prefecture for the place of residence.

Taxes to pay

  • Taxes due by the employer

    55% of gross monthly salary up to 2.5 x the minimum guaranteed wage.

  • Taxes due by the foreign national for issuance

    €241

  • Taxes due by the foreign national for renewal

    €87 (one year permit)
    €181 (permits for more than one year)

  • Taxes due by family member

    €241

Reference documents