By Agustín Sáez Gómez, October 28th, 2021.

EU Parliament and Council issue the Directive 2021/1883, which regulates new measures for Blue Card application, trying to attract international talent to European Union.

The Directive focuses on improving Highly Qualified Professional Permits in EU (Blue Card), harmonizing procedures around the whole European territory.

Key points

This Directive will replace the current regulation Blue Card regulations, trying to improve the old procedures and promote Highly Qualified Employments outside EU borders. Bearing that in mind, this directive includes measures with the following key points:

1º. Admission criteria more inclusive for candidates.

2º. Facilitates family reunifications and movements to EU territory.

3º. Easier and faster procedures to apply for Blue Cards.

4º. Although national laws regulating Highly Qualified permits will coexist with Blue Card system, this new regulation must be transposed into national laws by EU country members, and these laws must implement measures which ensures equity between national regulation of Highly Qualified permits and EU Blue Card.

5º. Equity between National Residence Permit and Blue cards Holders, avoiding any discrimination or difference between both foreigners in EU.

6º. Blue Card holders will be able to move to another EU country with a fast procedure.

7º. Available short and long term mobility between EU countries.

Spanish Labour Market: Probable Inconveniences

Although this Directive tries to gain some equity between Highly Qualified Professional Permits national laws, and Blue Card regulation, the truth is that we will probably face the same problems than happens with the current regulations: slower procedures and pretty much more bureaucracy. This application cannot be submitted by an authorized professional, but it must be done directly by the company electronically or in person before the immigration office.

Besides, acccording to the article 7.2.a) of this new directive, a Member State may reject an application for an EU Blue Card when the competent authorities of the Member State, after checking the labour market situation, for example where there is a high level of unemployment, conclude that the vacancy concerned may be filled from the national or Union workforce, or by third-country nationals who are lawfully resident in that Member State and already form part of its labour market by virtue of Union or national law, or by EU long-term residents who wish to move to that Member State for highly qualified employment. However, in the practice this requirement it is not demanded in Spain right now, but this could change with the new transposition, and because of new criteria.

A comparative with Spanish National Law offers a clear conclusion

Bearing the previous information in mind, we can help but wonder, will this be a real advance in EU Blue Cards regulation? We must take into account that our national law allows to get a highly qualified professional permit in a record time (20 working days), applying electronically by an authorized professional, without assessing Labour Market Situation, so the answer is no. Any company which wants to hire international talent in Spain will use our national law in preference to EU Blue Card regulation for sure.