Agreement reached on new EU rules for highly skilled migrant workers under revised Blue Card Directive

18 May 2021

The European Parliament and European Council have reached political agreement on a proposal for new rules for the entry and residence of highly skilled workers from outside the EU under the revised Blue Card Directive. The revised Directive was originally proposed in 2016.

The new scheme aims to attract new skills and talent by introducing more efficient rules for attracting highly skilled workers to the EU.

Changes include more flexible requirements to qualify for an EU Blue Card, new rules to facilitate the recognition of professional skills for occupations in the information and communications technologies sector, greater flexibility to change position or employer, eligibility for highly skilled beneficiaries of international protection to apply for an EU Blue Card, ability for family members of EU Blue Card holders to accompany them and access the EU labour market, as well as greater intra-EU mobility for EU Blue Card holders and their family members.

Once adopted, this Directive will replace the existing EU Blue Card Directive (2009/50/EC). The Commission welcomed the development as an important part of the EU’s overall migration policy, that aims to attract skills and talent and providing legal pathways to the EU, as highlighted in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The European Parliament and the Council will still need to adopt the EU Blue Card Directive to formally confirm the agreement.

Note: Ireland does not participate in the current EU Blue Card Directive (Directive 2009/50/EC on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment).

For more information, see:

Proposal for a revised Blue Card Directive

Blue Card web page