Agreement at last on the new
EU Blue Card


On the evening of 17 May 2021, the negotiators of the Portuguese Presidency and the European Parliament reached an agreement on a new Blue Card Directive.

The Blue Card regulates the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment and introduces an EU-wide permit for them. The new rules contain >> extensive facilitation on admission criteria, mobility, procedures, scope of application and family reunification.

In 2016, the Commission proposed a >> Revision of the directive of 2009. The political trilogues started the following year and initially failed. The reason was the dispute over the primacy of the European Blue Card over national immigration systems for highly skilled workers.

Progress began when the German Presidency re-launched the trilogue negotiations in the second half of 2020, and now the negotiations have been successfully concluded. Under the new rules, the Blue Card will complement, rather than replace, national immigration systems for highly skilled workers.

The preliminary political agreement still needs to be officially endorsed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. Member states will then have two years to transpose the rules into national law.