The EU Blue Card route was devised in 2009 to attract skilled and qualified workers from non-EU/EEA countries. The scheme grants them the right to reside and work in an EU country. Applicants must prove they have higher professional qualifications, including a recognized university degree and an employment offer. Out of all EU members only Denmark and Irelandnot are not participating.

Welcoming the new 2021 year, the European Union Member States have announced the new minimum salaries required from EU employers to pay to third-country citizens. The threshold salaries have increased to ensure a salary above the average in the EU country where applicants are applying. The relevant EU authorities have asked employers to comply with new rules when hiring non-EU citizens through the Blue Card Scheme.

The new salary requirements impact individuals who are applying for the first time or the renewal of their EU Blue Card from January 1. It is clarified that the changes apply only to applications submitted after January 1, 2021, as well as to pending applications filed before the end of 2020 with a starting date in the contract on or after January 1, 2021. The minimum salary requirements do not apply to individuals who received an EU Blue Card prior to January 1, 2021.

As follows, Germany has increased the salary thresholds for both first-time applications and for renewals. Now the employers can offer a third-country employee from €55,200 to €56,800 annual salary for non-shortage occupations and from €43,056 to €44,304 annual salary for shortage occupations.

The Netherlands has also published the new salary thresholds, which have also marked an increase from a monthly salary of €5,403 to €5,567.