Against a backdrop of tightening migration criteria in France and Europe in general, the European Union has relaxed many of the conditions of its directive (CE) n° 2009/50/CE du 25 mai 2009 with the aim of making EU countries ever more attractive to highly qualified foreign nationals.
The new directive (UE) 2021/1883 du 20 octobre 2021 which will replace it from November 19, 2023, provides for a number of measures to make the initial text more flexible:
Duration of contract:
the criterion for the duration of the employment contract has been revised downwards, with a minimum duration of 6 months as opposed to 12 at present - art.5 point a)
Professional skills :
the directive relaxes the length of qualification required for status, taking into account professional experience of 3 years instead of the current 5 (point 27). Please note that this measure covers Managers and Specialists in Information and Communication Technologies only (point 10 and Annex 1).
this will continue to be set by each member state, but will now respect a range determined by the directive, i.e. between 1 and 1.6 x the average gross annual salary, instead of the current 1.5 (point 24). A lower salary threshold may be applied to third-country nationals working in occupations in short supply (art. 24), or who have obtained a higher education diploma within a maximum of three years prior to submitting their application for an EU Blue Card (point 27).
mobility to another member state will be possible after 12 months of legal residence in the first member state, compared with 18 at present (art.21). Applications for residence permits can be made from the first member state, or within one month of arrival in the second. The directive allows EU Blue Card holders to start working in the second member state no later than thirty days after the date of submission of the full application for a residence permit.
Long-term resident status:
the directive allows residence permits other than the EU Blue Card issued by different member states to be taken into account in the 5-year residence requirement (art.18). Applicants must, however, provide proof of two years' legal and uninterrupted residence under an EU Blue Card in the territory of the Member State in which they wish to apply for long-term EU resident status.
Member States have until November 18, 2023 to transpose the provisions of the new directive. The provisions of the Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d'asile (CESEDA) relating to the EU Blue Card will have to be amended accordingly by this date.
Our Immigration team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this legislative development.