A number of proposals have been put forward by the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in relation to the new EU Blue Card Directive. The aim of these amendments is to attract and retain highly skilled workers within the EU, whilst promoting mobility.
The major changes involve:
- All similar national schemes that are parallel to the EU Blue Card Directive will be abolished to create certainty.
- Qualifying criteria will include formal educational qualification as well as a valid employment contract or binding job offer for at least 9 months.
- The salary threshold should be between 1.0 and 1.4 times higher than the average gross annual salary in the member state concerned.
- The Blue Card should be valid for at least 36 months (renewable for 36 months). If the employment contract is shorter, its validity should mirror the length of the contract, plus an additional 3 months.
- After notifying the Commission, member states can conduct labour market tests only when there is a high level of unemployment in a given sector.
- A decision on approval of the application shall be notified within 30 days after submission.
- Short term mobility will be authorised on the basis of the Blue Card issued (business activities in one or several member states for up to 90 days in any 180 days period).
- Long term mobility can be authorised after 12 months of residence in the state that has issued the Blue Card.