How can you use your Blue Card in another EU country?

The “Blue Card” is a term used for document issued by one of the EU countries for highly qualified workers form non-EU countries. It allows them to stay in the EU country and work there. Blue Card also provides some other rights to its owners, e.g. the right to be treated similarly as the citizens of EU country that issued the Card. But can you use it in another EU country and how you can do it?

The short answer is yes – you can use your Blue Card in EU country other than the one which gave you this document. The only limitation is that you have to stay in the first country for at least 12 months. For example, if Poland gave you your Blue Card, you can use it to work in Germany after 12 months of residence in Poland.

When the period of 12 months pass and you want to work in another EU country, you have to submit an application for transfering your Blue Card. You should provide all the documents normally required for Blue Card in new country. Plus you have to it within one month after your arrival.

Such application can also be submitted by your employer.

The documents needed to get Blue Card in Poland:

  1. Valid employment contract or binding hiring offer for highly qualified job for at least one year,
  2. Documents confirming that you are a highly qualified specialist (such as documents proving your past work experience and/or degrees),
  3. Valid passport,
  4. visa or valid residence permit (if you had it before),
  5. document confirming your health insurance.

Also, you will be checked if you may pose a threat to public policy, public security or public health.

When you get your Blue Card in another country, all related rights are given to you automatically.

The rights related to Blue Card are:

  • access to a specified job position requiring high qualifications (and after 2 years – to all the jobs requiring high qualifications),
  • equal treatment,
  • freedom to enter and exit the country,
  • possibility for your family to join you.

If your family is staying with you, they can join you when you get the Blue Card in another EU country.

To do so, each of your family member have to submit an application for residence permit as a family member within one month after arrival.

Do you need legal assistance during your stay in Poland? Feel free to contact us and take advantage of our services.

30 thoughts on “How can you use your Blue Card in another EU country?”

  1. Dear Sir,

    My name is Sina Darban and I am writing this email to ask about the EU Blue card rules. I have been holding EU Blue card for 3 years in Poland due to my job contract with AGH UST. I would now go to France and work there for two years. May I ask you if I can transfer my paid retirement insurance to France from Poland? besides, I would know if my three years of work in Poland will be counted in France for using to get nationality?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Sina Darban

    • I don’t specialise in social insurance law, sorry. Basically this depends on whether there is an international contract between Poland and France that regulate that. If there is, the periods of time worked in Poland and France add up for the purpose of calculating your future pension.
      As for the citizenship, this is regulated by French law, so you should contact a French lawyer for that.

  2. Hello!

    I am living in Poland right now and I am applying to Karta Pobyto as a student during this time. I also graduated in Turkey with two Bachelors in “Public Relation & Promotion”, and “International Business & Logistic Management” fields. I also found a job to work while I am keeping on my master’s degree. So,

    The question is if I would like to apply Blue Cart during waiting for my “Karta Pobyto”. Can I apply Blue Card?

    How are the criteria evaluated by the immigration office to apply Blue Card? If I apply, how long Blue Card that I can get?

    And how much the cost will be?

    • Blue card IS karta pobytu – a temporary residence permit to be exact. “Blue card” is just a common name for what is formally known as “temporary residence permit for the purpose of performing work in a profession requiring high qualifications”.
      You can have only one karta pobytu process active, so you either cancel your previous process and start a new one or change the ongoing process.
      The requirements are that your contract must be for at least 1 year (or indefinite), salary of at least about 9000 gros per month (exact number for 2023 is not yet confirmed by the government) and you need to prove that you have university education or long experience in your profession.
      The fees are the same as with a residence and work permit.

  3. Hi there,

    If you can answer my question:
    I have a blue card and i need to spend at least 18 months. I know i can use it to work in Germany after 18 months of residence in Poland.
    However, i got better opportunity and i move to Germany.
    The time i have spend in Poland i.e 18 months, Do you know if time will be calculated by Germany at the time of applying EU long term card in Germany?

  4. Hi Piotr,
    I have question, I’m living here in Poland and I had my first Blue card for 3 years which had just expired in last month. I already applied on renewing my card since Dec 2021 and didn’t get the decision till now.

    Currently, I got a new job at Netherlands and I would like to apply on a new Blue Card at Netherlands, is it mandatory to have a valid Blue Card? if not so how can I pass the borders legally?

    Another question, regarding to my social security that I paid to Poland since my stay here with holding Blue Card, will it (pension) be transferred automatically when I apply on Netherlands Blue Card?

    Thanks in advance,

  5. Hi Piotr,
    I have a question. I am a non-EU citizen. I have an EU Blue card and have completed 30 months of living and working in Poland.

    While the blue-card can be transferred to another EU country, my understanding is, that a potential employer in another EU country still needs to file an application and obtain a work-permit from the local immigration office. Is this correct?

    • Yes, that’s correct. An employer in another EU country still needs to apply for a work permit to employ you.

  6. Hello Piotr,
    As new regulation is just 12 month for tranfering your blue card to another country. whether this regulation is effective in poland or not in 2023? I am curious to know this changes.

  7. Hi Piotr!
    I still don’t really understand what is the exact benefit of having Blue Card in regards of moving to another country.
    Like, the article says that after 12 month of residence with Blue Card, for example, in Poland I can apply for Blue Card in Germany. But if I understood correctly, I still need to prepare again all the documents and pass the same procedure for getting German Blue card like I initially was passing for Polish one. For me it’s the same if I would just apply for my first Blue Card in Germany.
    What is the difference?

    • Yes, you still would need to request German government for their equivalent of a blue card. However, you will be able to do so on better terms. However, I cannot tell you what are German legal provisions regulating that, since I am proficient only in Polish law. It’s best to ask that question to a German lawyer 😉

  8. Hello there,
    I currently hold a blue card which was issued 4 months back. I was offered a new job in another EU country meeting all the Bule card requirements.
    My potential new employer is unaware of Blue card and its related process. Could you please proving some info on my case?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Good afternoon,
      the rules for blue card holders for being employed in another EU country varies between these countries. Each one has different rules, so it’s best if you ask a lawyer from there about it.

  9. Hi Piotr,
    I currently have a temporary residence permit valid for another year. My residence permit was issued for another reason but I also have a job that fulfils the requirements for a Blue Card. Can I apply for a Blue Card without waiting for my current residence permit to finish ? If yes, while waiting for the Blue Card to be issued, will my current residence permit be still valid or it gets cancelled?

    • Good Morning,
      yes, you can apply for a new blue card type residence permit without a need of waiting for the current residence permit to expire.
      Your current residence permit won’t expire because of you applying for a new one and you can use it while the proceeding is ongoing (provided you will continue working for the employer stated on this permit).

  10. Hi Piotr,
    I am working for master’s degree holder from a polish university and now working for IT company, I am fulfilling the requirements for both blue card and normal card according to my education in poland.

    My question is, if I possessed a blue card, I can’t move from employer to another employer except after i pass 2 years of employment, so i can’t accept any offers from any company during this period? Or even the hiring employer won’t have interest to hire me because it’s not possible

    • Hello there!
      Before these 2 years are up, you can change work if you apply for a change of the Blue Card decision you have (so that the employer stated on this decision will be changed to a new one).

  11. Hi,
    I have applied for blue card and awaiting a decision.
    If I get a new job, do I have to start the entire process again or the current one can be amended?

    • Hi!
      If you want to change employment during the the ongoing process for a residence permit, you can just provide documents regarding the new employment to the Voivodeship Office.

  12. Hi Piotr,
    Thank you for what you are doing! I hope you find the time to answer my questions too.
    You states that a blue card holder can change country after 12 months, while all other sources say that this can only be done after 18 months. Could you provide a reference to your source of information?
    I entered and started working in Poland in September 2021, the blue card application was submitted in January 2022, and I received the card in January 2023. What date does the countdown start from?

    • Hello there!
      It used to be 18 months, but this has been reduced to 12 months. Sources saying it’s 18 months are outdated.
      The only true reference here is the legal act itself – Directive (EU) 2021/1883 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2021 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment, and repealing Council Directive 2009/50/EC
      You can find rundown of changes made to the Directive here:

  13. Hi,
    I have received my blue card this month in Poland but unfortunately. my job dismissed due to the current financial recession. As for my understanding I will have to inform relevant authority about my job loss within 15 working days. Now I am not receiving any direct employment offer, instead got a B2B offer from a company to perform job under this type of contract. The job nature is same as my earlier work permit. But this time, my employer will not apply for work permit, instead they are willing to hire me on B2B basis. For this I have to create a company and sign agreement with them. Now my question is how my legal stay will be affected by this? If I can not get any direct employment job offer, do I have to leave the country?

    • If you register a company and start working on a B2B basis, you won’t be able to stay based on a Blue Card you have (unless you would also at the same time be employed based on umowa o pracę).
      If you have a company in Poland, you need to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of conducting business activity.

  14. Hello Piotr, I got a question, I already completed 5 years working in Poland with EU blue card, i also passed the B1 exam so can apply for Polish (or called EU) long term residence, but i got an offer from Germany and thinking to move there, so can i combine both?
    Applying for Polish long term residence while i am still here and then move to Germany and apply there for blue card needed for work, and when the Polish long term residence issued, i decide if I want to get it & return to Poland or drop it and start the whole path in Germany?
    So in other words, will Poland know about my work in Germany (which will be based on Germany official blue card) and will that affect my long term residence application in Poland?

  15. Hi Piotr,

    Quick question. I have been working for a company in Poland for 1 year and 8 months. My Blue Card will be delivered to me only now. The question is : It is already count has more than one 1, therefore, is it possible to move to another EU country?

    Thank you


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