What is the change? The salary threshold for EU Blue Card holders is scheduled to increase Jan. 1.

What does the change mean? The minimum gross annual salary for non-shortage occupations will increase to €73,998 (from €73,296 in 2017). For shortage occupations (which are mostly in the information technology field), the minimum salary will increase to €59,198 (from €58,636 in 2017).

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: EU Blue Cards.
  • Who is affected: Luxembourgian companies sponsoring non-EU nationals on EU Blue Cards.
  • Business impact: Businesses may see a slight increase in labor costs.
  • Next steps: Applicants for new and renewal EU Blue Cards starting Jan. 1 or later must meet the new salary levels.

Background: EU Blue Card applicants must have a post-secondary degree and at least five years of relevant professional experience. Companies employing EU Blue Card holders in 2018 will be required to pay the minimum gross salary of at least €73,998 unless the employee is working in an identified shortage occupation, in which case the salary minimum will be €59,198. The list of shortage occupations includes mathematicians, actuaries and statisticians; system analysts; software developers/web and multimedia developers/applications programmers; software and application developers; database designers and administrators/systems administrators; computer network professionals; and database and network professionals.

BAL Analysis: The new salary levels represent about a 1 percent increase over this year’s thresholds. Employers should be sure to account for the new salary levels when planning their 2018 budgets.