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Key Points

  • The EU Blue Card program is going to change
  • More inclusive measures will be taken to attract highly qualified non-EU nationals


On October 7, 2021, the European Council adopted a new directive to establish entry and residence conditions for highly qualified non-EU nationals. Under these new rules, the EU aims to attract more qualified workers from outside the region, especially those working in sectors currently facing labor shortages.

These new rules aim to harmonize the conditions of entry for highly qualified workers by creating more uniform and inclusive admission criteria, simplifying procedures for recognized employers, and facilitating intra-EU mobility and family reunification. Additionally, the stated goal is to ensure a more equitable labor market for Blue Cardholders and their family members.

What’s Changed?

This new directive will replace Directive 2009/50, alternatively known as the EU Blue Card Directive. Under this new directive, changes were made to attract more highly qualified foreign nationals from countries outside the EU.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

This news may yield enhanced work authorization processes, particularly for recognized employers. The development may be welcome news for international mobility programs leveraging assignments for non-EU assignees in EU member states.

Looking Ahead

Continue to check the European Council’s website for future updates.

Sources: European Council, Council of the European Union

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