The EU Blue Card Netherlands in 6 steps

Feb 27, 2024

What is the EU Blue Card ?

The EU Blue Card for the Netherlands is a work and residence permit for highly skilled non-EU employees. These high skills need to be proven with a diploma and a high salary to match it, coming in at € 6,245 per month (2024). On top of that, you need to have an employment contract for at least 12 months. It’s fair to say the EU Blue Card is not for everyone. But it’s a boon for those who cannot obtain a visa otherwise, as the EU Blue Card does not require any special “IND sponsorship status” from the employer. This means it can be the only option for newly incorporated companies to employ the services of non-EU talent.

As a (prospective) EU Blue Card holder you can bring your partner and children to the Netherlands. They are able to obtain a family member residence permit at the IND. If you are not married to your partner, you need to prove there is a durable relationship. The partner can (of course) be of the same gender as yourself. Both the partner and the children are free to work or study in whichever capacity they choose within the Netherlands. This is actually a broader work permit than the one granted to you, because the EU Blue Card requires you to stay employed at your current employer.

The EU Blue Card is an EU-wide initiative (as the name would suggest). If you already have an EU Blue Card from another EU country, you cannot automatically apply that in the Netherlands. You would still need to follow the exact same process as outlined in this article. A pre-existing EU Blue Card does provide some additional rights: you can apply for naturalization after 3 years (not the normal 5) and you don’t have to obtain an MVV before your enter the Netherlands.

In this article we explain how to get it in a few simple steps, and add some useful tips in the process.

Step 1 : Preparation

Your first step is outlining everything you need to obtain the EU Blue Card in the Netherlands. Here’s what you should be looking out for:

  • Your salary must be sufficiently high. That means a minimum of € 6,245 per month (2024). Unlike the HSM visa, the Blue Card has only one minimum that applies to all applicants.

  • Your employment contract is for a period of at least 12 months.

  • You have a Bsc equivalent higher education degree. Non-Dutch degrees need to be evaluated by the Dutch international education agency IDW at a small charge (€ 150). This valuation can take a long time, so please make sure you start with this first.

  • The job description in your employment contract must match the skills you obtained via your diploma.

  • In the 5 years prior to the application, your employer may not have been fined for violating Article 2 of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act, or for failing to pay the necessary income tax, employee insurance premiums or national insurance contributions.

  • You may not pose a threat to public policy, security or health. Overstaying a previous visa does not count towards this criterium.

  • You need to perform “actual, substantial activities” under your employment. That means you cannot get away with bogus employment at a friend’s Dutch company, getting salary for doing nothing, and getting a Blue Card along the way.

  • As part of your Municipality registration later on, you need an original certified birth certificate from your home town.

Step 2: Line things up with the Dutch immigration authorities (IND)

You are well advised to prepare your file and make the required appointment with the IND before you immigrate to the Netherlands. We can take care of this process for you, and make sure your documents are all correct and in order. Make an appointment with us to get everything started before you move. This way we can file your application before you arrive.

We then file your application so that once you arrive you will immediately receive the EU Blue Card confirmation letter from the Immigration Services (IND) which you need for your BSN number.

Step 3 : Look into your MVV situation

Before you actually migrate to the Netherlands, you need to make sure you obtain a temporary residence permit (MVV) to secure your entrance to the Netherlands as part of your immigration. You need to fix this before you move. This is required for all non-EU nationalities, except for residents of the following countries:

  • Australia

  • Canada

  • Japan

  • Monaco

  • New Zealand

  • Vatican City

  • United States

  • South Korea

Step 4 : Migrate to the Netherlands

Once everything is in place, you can move to the Netherlands. At this point everything is lined up for a successful acquisition of your EU Blue Card, if you let us handle it of course.

Step 5 : Go to your appointment at the IND

Once you arrive in the Netherlands, you need to make 2 appointments at the IND. One meeting is for your biometrics (i.e. fingerprints). The other meeting is to pick up your residence endorsement sticker. The residence endorsement sticker already provides you the right to work and reside in the Netherlands straight away, so this one's very important. Please show up here and bring your valid passport. In the mean time you will receive your IND invoice of € 380 (2024). Please settle that one as soon as you can. If you bring along family members, the same applies to them.

Step 6 : Get your BSN Number

Once you have your residence endorsement sticker in your passport, proceed to make an appointment at your Dutch Municipality (“Gemeente”) of residence in order to obtain your Dutch citizenship number, or BSN number. Please take the following documents with you:

  • your valid passport.

  • your original certified birth certificate, for yourself and any joining family members.

  • the EU Blue Card application confirmation letter you received via mail from the IND.

  • rental agreement or a statement of consent from the main resident at the address you’re going to stay at in the Netherlands.

  • If you bring along a partner under the EU Blue Card, bring along one of the following:
    - As an unmarried couple, please obtain a declaration of unmarried status from your local municipality. Make sure it comes apostilled.
    - As a married couple, please obtain an original and apostilled marriage certificate.

Within a few days after this appointment the Municipality will issue you your BSN number.


With a complete file you can expect the EU Blue Card verdict to land in 2 months. In the mean time you are free to live and work in the Netherlands as though you already have the EU Blue Card visa. The most time consuming part of the process is the diploma valuation at the IDW. This can easily take 1-2 months, totally out of anyone's control. Please make sure you start with that part as soon as you are able.