France EU Blue Card For Canadians: Everything You Need To Know

The European Union (EU) Blue Card is a permit that allows qualifying Canadians to work and live in France.

If you are a business or employer in France looking to recruit overseas workers and want to find out more about the benefits of the EU Blue Card in France, contact our knowledgeable immigration team at Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our online chat.

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    EU Blue Card Overview

    The EU Blue Card allows 25 EU member states to recruit qualified and talented workers from outside the EU. It is an ideal way for companies to fill skill shortages and attract the world’s leading employees.

    Canadians can be issued with a Blue Card for 12 months and up to four years. It offers a great way to experience France, increase career perspectives, and allow businesses to benefit from an international workforce.

    Blue Card holders can also receive social security benefits and bring dependent family members to live with them in France, which provides a major draw for Canadians, especially those from the French-speaking regions.

    For further advice on whether employing staff with an EU Blue Card is a good option for your company, reach out to Total Law’s experts.

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      France EU Blue Card Eligibility Criteria And Requirements For Canadians

      It is advisable that any applicants ensure they meet the requirements of the EU Blue Card before applying, especially as application fees may be non-refundable even if an application is refused.

      The criteria for Canadians applying for the Blue Card are:

      • Have suitable qualifications such as a degree or an equivalent professional qualification. The qualification must be relevant to the role they will be employed to do in France
        • If the applicant does not have suitable qualifications, they may be eligible if they have at least five years of work-related experience
      • Have a job offer from a French employer that matches their qualifications and is highly skilled. The employment offer must be for a role lasting at least one year
      • The EU Blue Card France minimum salary should at least be 1.5 times the average annual wage. In 2024, this is 53,836,50 euros
      • Health insurance coverage for the applicant and any dependents
      • A clean criminal record

      EU Blue Card France Benefits

      There are many benefits for the business recruiting EU Blue Card holders and the Canadian citizens planning to come to France to work.

      If you operate a company with several offices throughout Europe, then the Blue Card holder has free movement throughout the EU member states so that they can provide their expertise across your business.

      Recruitment may also be easier as Canadians may be attracted by the EU Blue Card France permanent residence benefit. The card offers a permanent residency pathway in France and other European states. As well as the benefit of being able to access high-quality education and healthcare.

      Canadian employees may be worried that being an EU Blue Card holder means they may not be able to visit their home country while working in France. However, EU Blue Card holders can return to Canada without losing their entitlement to the Blue Card as long as they do not remain overseas for more than 12 consecutive months.

      How To Apply For The France EU Blue Card

      Overview

      If living in Canada at the time of application, then the card must be applied for via the nearest French Embassy or Consulate. At the same time as applying for the EU Blue Card, your future employee will need to apply for a Long-Term Visa (Visa de Long Sejour (VLS)) as part of their application to move to France.

      There are some exemptions to this requirement for a VLS if the applicant has already been living in France with a different residency permit or already has an EU Blue Card issued by one of the other EU member states.

      It is likely that the applicant will need to book and attend an interview at a French Embassy or Consulate to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints, and produce the necessary documentation to show they meet the Blue Card criteria.

      Documents Needed for France EU Blue Card

      One of the major parts of applying for a work permit or visa is demonstrating the applicant meets the strict criteria. This is done by supplying a range of paperwork to demonstrate how each requirement has been met.

      For the EU Blue Card, your worker must provide the following documents when applying:

      • A valid passport or other travel documents
      • Proof of a job offer in the form of an employment contract or letter from a French employer
      • Evidence of their education and work qualifications such as a degree certificate or other training certificates
      • Demonstrate their professional experience in the relevant field or their membership of professional bodies
      • Details of the salary or employment conditions for the job they will undertake in France
      • Valid health insurance policy note with coverage for themselves and any dependents
      • Completed application form
      • Two recent colour passport-sized photos
      • An up-to-date CV
      • Receipt of payment of the permit application fee

      At Total Law we can help check any potential employees have the correct documents in place. Submitting an application without the correct evidence is likely to lead to delays in processing and even possible rejection.

      Processing Time and Cost of a France EU Blue Card

      An EU Blue Card in France costs 269 euros. This fee is paid to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII) when the permit is issued. The applicant will also need to pay a stamp duty of 25 euros for a residence permit.

      In most cases, EU Blue Card France is issued within the maximum processing time of 90 days. However, you should not arrange travel for your new employee until the EU Blue Card and VLS have been approved, as they could be refused entry into the country.

      Can an EU Blue Card France Application Be Rejected?

      In some cases, it is possible for an EU Blue Card application to be denied, especially if there were mistakes made in the application.

      Reach out to Total Law to oversee all your immigration recruitment requirements. Our expert team can help ensure your workers’ applications are completed correctly and avoid the most common mistakes, such as not meeting the eligibility criteria, failing to demonstrate adequate qualifications or experience, or the role being unsuitable for a non-EU national.

      If an EU Blue Card application is refused it is possible to appeal against the decision, but this must be done within three weeks of the application being denied. Anyone planning an appeal of an immigration decision is advised to consult with a legal expert to ensure you are adequately prepared.

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      France EU Blue Card Validity Period & Extension Options

      Each EU Blue Card can be issued for up to four years and can be renewed. If the job contract being offered is for a shorter period then Blue Card will only initially be issued for the same length as the employment contract.

      It is important to account for EU Blue Card France processing time and ensure the holder renews the card in sufficient time. In most cases, EU Blue Cards can be renewed up to three months before they expire.

      Renewing an EU Blue Card requires the submission of paperwork to prove that the holder still meets the requirements of the permit and has been working in France. The cost of renewing or replacing a lost Blue Card in France is 269 euros.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      An EU Blue Card offers an opportunity for companies to recruit highly skilled workers from Canada and benefit from their expertise.

      As with all work permits, it is advisable to seek the support of an experienced legal team to ensure each application is handled correctly otherwise, you could risk losing valuable employees or delays in securing suitable staff.

      Total Law can help you at each stage of an employee’s application for an EU Blue Card or other French work permissions.

      To learn more about the EU Blue Card or the other ways to live and work in France, get in touch with us +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our chat option online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The single permit is a residence and work permit issued by an EU member state to non-EU nationals who intend to work in that country for more than 90 days. However, unlike the EU Blue Card, the single permit is not limited to highly skilled workers but can be issued for lower-skilled roles.

                It is possible to get permanent residency in France without a Blue Card, including family reunification or long-term residency. If you are looking to become a permanent resident in France, then reach out to Total Law for advice.