EU Blue Card Directive: what is it? - | Hudson McKenzie

EU Blue Card Directive: what is it?

June 24, 2021 | Immigration, Travel, UK Government

The EU Blue Card Directive is an EU-wide work permit that allows highly-skilled non-EU nationals to live and work within the member states in the EU. The only member states which are not included in this Directive are Denmark and Ireland.


Currently, the salary threshold requirement is that foreign nationals working in the EU must be earning at least 1.5 times the national average gross salary. Employment contracts also have to cover a minimum period of 12-months to be eligible for the Blue Card. However, recently, the European Council and European Parliament have proposed changes to the Blue Card to make it more accessible for non-EU skilled workers.

Proposed changes to the EU Blue Card Directive


New policies have been proposed to make for a more attractive immigration scheme and include the following notable changes:


  • The salary threshold is suggested to change to be 1- 1.6 times higher than the national average gross salary and individual member states can introduce lower thresholds for recent graduates and shortage occupations.
  • The minimum employment duration is being proposed to lower from 12-months to 6-months. 
  • Individuals who hold the EU Blue Card can use the time they spend in EU member states working towards long term residency. 
  • At the moment, EU Blue Card holders can apply for a second card in another member state after 18-months of residing in the first EU country. However, it is proposed that this should change to after 12-months.


Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.


The information provided does not amount to legal advice.