European Parliament approves EU Blue Card reform

EU blue card

New requirements for applicants and employers to facilitate immigration of skilled workers.

The reform of the EU Blue card – the work permit which allows extra-EU highly skilled employees to work in the European Union – was approved on September 15 by the European Parliament.

The EU Blue card

The EU Blue card was adopted in 2009 with a set of rules that established the entry requirements for non-European highly skilled workers. According to the original rules, applicants had to provide evidence of a 12-months job offer and of a minimum annual income in line with EU standards.

However, this scheme has failed in attracting many skilled workers. The new reform is aimed to attract more extra EU employees, fostering legal immigration.

The new requirements for the EU blue card

The reform has updated the previous requirements and has introduced new benefits for applicants. Applicants may now provide a 6-months job offer and evidence of a relevant previous working experience or professional qualification. The income requirements have also been lowered and may now be between 100% and 160% of the average annual income of the member state in which the applicant is going to work.

The new Blue Card also encourages a higher level of mobility across the EU. Workers may move to another state after spending 12 months in the state that issued the blue card and beneficiaries of international protection may apply for the Blue Card in a different state from that which granted the international protection. Blue Cards holders will also have access to simplified family reunifications processes.

Reform finalization

After the Parliament approval, the reform will have to be approved by the European Council and afterword it will be published in the Official Journal. Over the next two years, each Member state will adapt its national laws to the reform.

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