By Uglobal Staff
The EU will soon become more attractive for highly skilled foreign workers after the EU Council and European Parliament agreed provisionally to provide better living and work conditions to those with the EU Blue Card.
The new rules would provide a host of incentives to foreign talent holding the EU blue card, including a significant reduction in the salary threshold, according to the European Council. Non-EU citizens with high qualifications or vocation experience would no longer be required to meet the high salary requirement of 1.5 times the national average gross salary; now even those between 1 and 1.6 times the national average would be eligible; in fact, the threshold for fresh graduates or those with skills in key sectors where there is shortage might have an even lesser salary threshold.
EU Blue Card holders might have improved rules coming
These they will not need to have a long-term contract with their employer as even a six-month long contract would be deemed sufficient. Currently, a non-EU citizen is required to have an at least a year long contract with an employer to become eligible for the Blue Card.
While the EU uses the term highly skilled workers and highly qualified workers interchangeably, the provisional deal specified that highly skilled workers from the Information and Communications Technology sector would be included among the eligible professions.
The qualified Blue Card candidates would also have greater intra-EU mobility under the new rules. They would no longer need to have an 18-month long period of residence in the first EU member state where they reside or find a job, instead 12-months would be deemed enough. They would also be allowed to change employers within the EU after completing a labor market test. Plus, as they move around EU states, such candidates would be allowed to accumulate their residence periods so that the procedures for their long-term residence statuses would be simplified and become more favorable.
Better conditions for Blue Card holders, the EU Council says
Blue card holders would not only be allowed to bring their spouses or partners, but they would also be eligible to work unrestricted throughout the EU.
The deal also allows member states to allow such candidates to become self-employed; some protection against periods of unemployment is also provided.
Portuguese Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita was quoted as saying that the main aim of the new rules was to maintain the EU as a top destination for global talent.
“The green and digital transformation of our economies will only succeed if we have a workforce with the necessary skills to lead it. Education and lifelong training will play a key part in this, but we must also make sure that we are equipped to compete in the global search for talent,” he said.
“The revised rules for the EU blue card provide an EU-level scheme that allows more flexibility, improved conditions and simplified mobility, placing the EU firmly among the top destinations for highly qualified workers,” Cabrita said.
The provisional deal is expected to be adopted and become law in the coming weeks.
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