I am a dual citizen (UK / South Africa passports). I am interested in working in a EU country. Currently, until the UK has formally completed Brexit, the UK is still part of the EU, and I could work in the EU under my UK passport.

My concern is post-Brexit. I know that nobody is sure at the moment of what exactly will happen post-Brexit, and my question is not about that, but about the EU Blue card as a possible option post-Brexit.

My question: If I am already working in an participating EU country at the time, would I be able to apply for a Blue card? Also, I can't seem to find any age cut-off for the Blue card program (I am currently 42)

  • Completely unknown at this tiime. We will all just have to wait and see what kind of arrangements are made.
    – ouflak
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:12
  • I am not referring to what is happening post-Brexit. I am referring to whether one can apply for an EU blue card if already working and living in the EU?
    – Will777
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:16
  • It seems highly unlikely that an EU citizen can apply for a blue card. Therefore the only circumstances relevant to you will be the post-Brexit circumstances.
    – phoog
    Aug 21, 2017 at 13:13
  • @phoog The directive is entirely about “third-country nationals” so, yes, EU citizens are implicitly excluded from the scope. One question for the OP is what would happen if there is some sort of agreement granting free movement to British citizens for some time after the UK leaves.
    – Gala
    Aug 21, 2017 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


There is nothing stopping somebody already living in the EU from applying for an EU Blue card nor is there any age cut-off (I am thinking about students or people on regular work permit, possibly in another EU country, not EU citizens who are excluded from the scope of the directive). This sounds like the type of restrictions that apply to work-holiday visas but the EU Blue Card is a completely different type of programme. So if all else fails, you would almost certainly be able to fall back to that.

The main restriction in the whole system is probably the education requirement and salary threshold, which is quite high and certainly much more restrictive than the rules that currently apply to British citizens in the EU (where having a job, even part-time, is enough to guarantee your right to live in the country).

Note, however, that the EU Blue Card system only covers “third-country nationals” (the phrase is used throughout the directive). That could be relevant to you if British citizen end up being covered by some form of EU freedom of movement after Brexit, either permanently or during a transition period.

  • Australia's skilled migration system does place age restrictions on applicants, I was worried that the Blue card does something similar
    – Will777
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:55
  • Wouldn't being an EU citizen stop someone from applying for a blue card?
    – phoog
    Aug 21, 2017 at 13:19
  • @phoog Yes, it would, I was just responding to the concern that living in the EU would exclude you from the EU Blue Card system in general. Will add a note about that.
    – Gala
    Aug 21, 2017 at 13:21
  • phoog, when the UK exits the EU, and I am living in Europe at that time, I will not be an EU citizen. So, the exclusion would not apply surely?
    – Will777
    Aug 21, 2017 at 16:22
  • Gala, I read your edit - thanks. It looks like there are quite a few things to consider regarding the Blue card. I fit the education requirement, but without yet having found employment in the EU would not be able to comment about meeting the salary threshold.
    – Will777
    Aug 21, 2017 at 16:26

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