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The EU Commission has adopted a proposal to improve the EU Blue Card immigration route to attract skilled foreign workers. The proposal, which excludes Denmark and the U.K., must pass through the EU standard process before it is adopted by EU Parliament, and finally, EU Council.

Several business and specialist groups have been consulted and solicited for their feedback on the current EU Blue Card process functionality. Key improvements proposed include:

1. Intra-mobility improvements and further rights:

  • Ability to change employers and execute self-employment activities while working with the sponsoring employer
  • Eligibility for EU long-term residence permit after three consecutive years staying in the Member state
  • Submission of dependents’ applications immediately after the main application, with access to the labor market test and allowable business activities up to 90 days within 180 days in another Schengen state

2. Several process enhancements:

  • Streamlined process for eligible sponsoring employers
  • Compulsory standard validity for 24 months (unless specified differently in the work permit)
  • Enablement of in-country applications and reduction of processing time up to 60 days

3. Moderating existing eligibility rules:

  • Work contract or job offer validity reduced from 12 months to six months
  • Further reductions in the salary thresholds for shortage occupations, recent graduates, and generally, to salary level to a maximum of 1.4 times national gross salary. Work experience to be counted in cases where formal education is missing

This summary was prepared using information obtained from The European Commission.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact the Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA, Vladimir Dziak:

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