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European Commission adopts proposal for EU Blue Card scheme improvements

19 July 2016

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to improve the EU Blue Card scheme by relaxing existing eligibility provisions, improving intra-mobility rights of workers in the European Union and reducing processing times among others. In order to attract highly-skilled workers to the European Union (excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom), the European Commission has adopted a proposal to improve the EU Blue Card scheme. The new provisions must pass through the European Union’s standard decision making process before adoption by the European Parliament and the Council. The European Commission consulted business and expert groups to address several weaknesses within the scheme, such as restrictive admission conditions and limited provisions for mobility within the European Union. The adopted proposal, therefore, outlines the following key improvements: Relaxing existing EU Blue Card eligibility rules The proposal outlines the following relaxed conditions to open the scheme to more highly-skilled workers: Reducing the work contract or binding offer requirement to a six-month period from the current twelve months; Qualifying foreign workers without a higher degree for an EU Blue Card as long as they meet experience requirements; Reducing the minimum salary level to a maximum of 1.4 times the average national gross salary; and Reducing the salary threshold for workers in shortage occupations and recent graduates. Source

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