EU Blue Card in the Netherlands

EU Blue Card in the Netherlands

A few months ago we published a news item on EU Blue Card changes. Dutch government has recently announced the changes for the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands, that have come into effect per the end of June, 2024.

Main changes EU Blue Card in the Netherlands

  • Relaxed Admission Requirements
    • An employment contract of minimum 6 months is sufficient, instead of 12 months.
    • The salary threshold for the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands has been lowered to at least the Highly Skilled Migrant requirement.
    • Relevant work experience can qualify as a higher professional qualification. In most cases a period of 5 years is applicable, with exceptions for IT (3 years).
  • Longer Periods of Unemployment Allowed
    • For holders of 2 years or more, longer periods of unemployment are permitted. The new EU Blue Card Directive says it is 6 months. Current IND circular says 3 months, but information seems to be outdated. We’ll keep you updated.
  • Expanded Scope
    • Persons with international protection and third-country nationals with free movement can apply for a Blue Card.
  • Facilitated Mobility within the EU
    • Short-term mobility (max 90 days) for work-related activities in another Member State.
    • Long-term mobility after 12 months instead of 18 months.
    • Family members can move along for long-term mobility (>90 days).
  • Benefits for Long-Term Residents
    • Longer absence periods allowed before status lapses; the period of absence may be a maximum of 12 consecutive months, or a total of 18 months, in the 5-year period to obtain a long-term EU permit.
    • More favourable family reunification rules retained.
    • Cumulation of residence periods in different Member States for status.

Lower threshold for graduates

The new regulations in the Netherlands have a broader scope for graduates from all kinds of programmes and universities as long as they diploma is found to be equivalent to a Dutch Bachelor or Master. A foreign diploma for a graduate EU Blue Card does not have to be from one of the top 200 universities, as is required for the reduced salary criterion under the HSM.

The new threshold for graduates will be on € 4.265 bruto per month (2024), higher compared to the threshold for graduates under the HSM. The only extra condition that the EU Blue Card for graduates imposes is that the person must apply for the lower threshold within 3 years after the graduation or promotion date.  

When is the EU Blue Card interesting for you as a company?

The EU Blue Card can be interesting for you when:

  • your company is not (yet) a recognized sponsor for the IND;
  • you expect that your non EU employees will also have to work from other EU countries.

The EU Blue Card for graduates might be interesting for companies that:

  • want to hire a graduate who did not study at one of the top 200 universities and/or
  • are no recognized sponsor

Popularity of the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands

We expect that thanks to the announced changes the popularity of the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands will rise. Until now this procedure was not very popular (210 applications in 2023, compared to 14.970 for Highly Skilled Migrants, source IND) but this will probably change fast. The EU Blue Card gives many advantages when you and/or your employee have plans for more EU mobility.

More info

Do you want to know more about the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands? Or do you wish to receive an offer for our assistance with the application? Please contact us at

Scroll to Top