Netherlands authorities implemented new EU Blue Card regulations to transpose the new Directive into national law.

Key Points:

  • The EU Blue Card Directive establishes the conditions of entry and residence of highly qualified non-EU nationals in 25 EU countries. The European Union issued a directive in 2021 to update the existing EU Blue Card scheme, and the Netherland’s new regulations are intended to implement the directive domestically.
  • The new legislation updates key provisions, including:
    • Foreign nationals with five years of professional experience in a relevant field may now qualify for an EU Blue Card; previously, all applicants required relevant academic experience. Information and communication technology (ICT) professionals with at least three years of relevant work experience in the last seven years are now eligible for the EU Blue Card, and do not require higher education qualifications.
    • Employment contracts may now last six months where previously there was a 12-month minimum duration requirement.
    • The minimum salary for an EU Blue Card has been updated to 5,331 euros (about US$5,707) gross per month. Previously, the minimum salary requirement was 6,245 euros and it has now been aligned with the national highly skilled migrant scheme.
    • The maximum validity of the EU Blue Card has been extended from four years to five years, which includes the duration of employment plus three months.

Additional Information: The new legislation from the Immigration and Naturalization Service also aims to relax rules for long-term mobility and residence, and unemployment through administrative policy changes among other changes. EU Blue Card holders can continue to work in the Netherlands for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a work permit but holders who have resided for at least 12 months in another EU Member State are now eligible to enter and work for longer than 90 days without a separate visa when they previously had to wait 18 months. Finally, Blue Card holders with at least two years of employment can be unemployed for up to six months without losing their status.

BAL Analysis: The government is implementing the requirements of Directive (EU) 2021/1883 to restructure and widen the migration possibilities with an EU Blue Card. They are also revising key policies and administrative practices in addition to the Directive to make it easier for skilled workers to live and work in the Netherlands.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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