European Blue Card
The European Blue Card (Carte Bleue Européenne – CBE) is a new status which replaces the Senior Executive status (Cadre de Haut Niveau – CDHN) and presents more flexibility for both the employer and the employee.
– Foreign nationals from non-European countries
Categories not eligible:
– EU nationals or nationals of States belonging to the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)
– Nationals of the Swiss Confederation
– Algerian nationals covered by the Franco-Algerian agreement of 27 December, 1968.
To qualify for the CBE, the applicant – a highly qualified worker – must have:
– An annual fixed gross salary of at least €52,752 (as of November 2013)
– Educational level of at least 3 years university level studies or at least 5 years of comparable professional experience
– A French contract (the employee must be paid in France and both the employee and employer must pay French social security charges)
– The contract must be for a minimum of one year but is preferably indefinite (CDI)
The features of the CBE status:
– There is no requirement that the worker already work for the employer in another country. This can be a new hire
– The employment situation is not enforceable – there is not a requirement to justify a search to fill the post in the French labour market
– If the employment contract is indefinite (CDI), the card will be valid for three years and renewable
– There is no obligation to leave France and the employee can renew the CBE card with the same employer or another employer if the conditions are similar (salary and skills required)
– After 5 years of residence in France, the employee is eligible to file a request for a ten-year card or for French nationality
– The employee’s family can be included in the authorization procedure (“accompanying family”)
– The spouse of the employee has the automatic right to work in France
Facilitating mobility within the EU:
– If the highly qualified worker has benefited from a “European Blue Card” issued by another Member State for more than 18 months, he/she may apply for a European Blue Card in the month following his/her entry into French territory (without obtaining a long-term visa), if he/she has come to take up a highly qualified employment position in France. He/she should, nevertheless, meet the same basic conditions necessary for obtaining a European Blue Card for the first time.
– Highly Qualified Workers holding a “European Blue Card” issued by another Member State within the Schengen area who wish to enter France for a stay of no more than three months are not required to have a short-stay visa
– If the employee leaves France to work in another European country, the formalities to obtain work authorization in that country are simplified