European governments adjust their minimum salary thresholds annually based on local and national economic statistics, among other factors. While changes to national minimum salary thresholds do not always impact high-skilled labor, they may be used as a basis for calculating salary requirements for high-skilled work permit categories. At the beginning of each new year, many EU countries make specific adjustments to salaries for EU Blue Cards, intracompany transfers and other work permit categories.

In January 2019, the following EU countries rolled out salary-minimum adjustments:

Austria: Austria increased the salary minimums for EU Blue Cards and Red-White-Red Cards in 2019. EU Blue Card applicants and holders must now earn at least €4,447. For Red-White-Red Cards, applicants who are older than 30 must earn at least €3,132, applicants younger than 30 must earn at least €2,610 and graduates of Austrian universities must earn at least €2,349.

Bulgaria: The minimum salary has increased to 560 lev (about US$325 or €286) as of Jan. 1. In Bulgaria, the EU Blue Card minimum salary is not connected to the national minimum salary, but must be 1.5 times higher the average gross salary according to the official data available for the last 12 months preceding the signing of the employment contract. For ICT permits, the salary must exceed that of local employees’ salaries.

Czech Republic: The minimum salary level has increased to 13,350 korunas (about US$593 or €522) as of Jan. 1. Regarding the salary minimums for EU Blue Cards and ICT permits, the previous rules are unchanged. Therefore, the salary for the employee card cannot be less than the national minimum wage and the salary for the Blue Card must be at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary (354,048 korunas per year for 2019).

Denmark: The minimum salary for foreign nationals working in Denmark under the Pay Limit Scheme has increased to 35,583 kroner (about US$5,414 or €3,629) per month (exclusive of employer benefits). The government has also announced amendments to the Positive List and released new government fees for the year. Further information on this year’s changes may be found here.

Finland: As of Jan. 1, the minimum gross monthly salary for new and renewal work residence permit applications is €1,211 (unless a collective agreement exists, in which case the salary should correspond with the collective agreement). The minimum gross monthly salary for EU Blue Card applications has also increased to €4,732 as of Jan. 1. While the salary threshold for Special Expert residence permits will remain the same, €3,000 per month, authorities have confirmed that per diems and other similar nontaxable reimbursements of expenses can no longer form a part of the income/salary requirement as of Jan. 7. This also applies to EU Blue Card applications. Read more here.

France: France increased its monthly minimum salary to €1,521.22 per month for 2019. For the Passport Talent category the new monthly minimum salary is €2,738.20 for employees on assignment and €3,042.44 for salarié qualifié. Find more details on the specific categories here.

Poland: Poland has increased minimum salary requirements for workers on local employment contracts, posted workers and ICT mobility permit holders. Authorities have also put in place new minimum income thresholds for residence permits. Foreign workers on local employment contracts must earn at least 2,250 złoty (about US$596 or €524) per month. Posted workers and ICT mobility permit holders must be paid according to the applicable regional salary minimum. Residency permit holders must be supported by an income of at least 528 zloty per month. Read more here.

Portugal: Portugal’s monthly minimum wage for foreign workers for 2019 has increased from €580 to €600. The minimum monthly wage for highly skilled workers, including EU Blue Card holders among others, has increased to €1,307.28. Read more here.

Romania:   As of the end of 2018, minimum salary requirements for foreigners are based on job type and education level, and not the national minimum salary. The minimum salaries required for foreigners in 2019 are currently as follows:

  • 2,080 leu (about US$495) for employees hired on jobs which require a high-school degree
  • 2,350 leu for employees hired on jobs which require a university degree and one plus year of seniority
  • 3,000 leu for employees hired in the construction industry
  • 8,324 leu for high-skilled workers (adjustments anticipated for February)
Adjustments to Salary Minimums (Monthly) for 2019
EU Countries National Minimum (Low-Skilled Work) EU Blue Card High-Skilled Work Permits (vary by country)
Austria Not applicable. €4,447 Red-White-Red Card

Applicants older than 30: €3,132


Applicants younger than 30: €2,610


Graduates of Austrian universities: €2,349


Bulgaria 560 lev (about US$325 or€286) No adjustments announced. Work Permit- Local Hire and Assignment

Salary cannot be less than the national minimum wage.

Czech Republic 13,350 koruna (about US$593 or€522) No adjustments announced.


No additional adjustments announced at time of publishing.
Denmark Not applicable. No adjustments announced. Pay Limit Scheme

35,583 kroner per month (about US$5,414 or€3,629)

Finland €1,211 €4,732


No additional changes announced.
France €1,521.22 No adjustments announced. Employee on Assignment



Salarié qualifié


Poland 2,250 złoty (about US$596 or €524) Adjustment-s anticipated in February. Minimum salaries for high-skilled workers vary regionally – find a breakdown here.
Portugal €600 €1,307.28 €1,307.28
Romania 2,080 leu (about US$495 or €437) No adjustments announced. Adjustments anticipated in February.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should account for the changes to salary thresholds when budgeting for 2019.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.