Europe is facing demographic changes with a rapidly aging population and low birth rates. To help address these challenges, the European Union has been encouraging legal migration to address labour shortages, fill skill gaps and boost economic growth.
The EU Blue Card is a work and residency permit that allows non-EU citizens to work and live in an EU country, provided they have a degree or equivalent qualification, and a job offer that meets a minimum salary threshold. Revised rules come into effect by the end of 2023, setting the period of the job offer to a minimum of six months and reducing the salary threshold to at least 100% of the average gross annual salary in the country of employment. The Blue Card is valid for up to four years and can be renewed.
For those who do not qualify for the EU Blue Card, the Single Permit is an option. It is a combined work and residency permit, issued for up to two years by the EU country where the non-EU citizen will work and live.The permit will no longer be tied to a specific employer, allowing workers to change jobs, facilitating labour matching and reducing the worker’s vulnerability to exploitation.
EU long-term resident status allows people from outside the EU to stay and work in the EU for an indefinite period. It was introduced in 2003 as a means of promoting legal migration and integration of non-EU citizens. Once the status has been granted, the worker involved can move and work freely within the EU.
These rules are also being revised. Parliament wants to reduce the residence requirement necessary to qualify from five years to three, as proposed by the Commission, and to include refugees and other groups facing barriers. The new rules would ensure they are treated the same as EU citizens in areas such as employment, education, and social benefits.
More information: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20230413STO79903/labour-migration-improving-legal-avenues-to-work-in-the-eu