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International Law

Marco Mazzeschi on the Status of Implementation of the Blue Card Directive

 by Marco Mazzeschi


The EU directive 2009/50 of May 29, 2009 (the so called "Blue Card Directive") was approved to improve the EU's ability to attract highly qualified workers from third countries.The aim was not only to enhance EU competitiveness in the global market but also to limit the flow of brain drain, for example non-EU students who have completed their university and could be attracted to stay in the EU.

The aim of the Directive was to facilitate the entry of foreign workers into the EU market, harmonize the conditions for their entry and movement throughout the EU, improve the legal status of the workers already admitted in the EU and grant to the workers' families the right to enter and work.

Research has shown that in some countries (Italy, France, Spain), the Directive has been positively accepted and widely used by hiring companies, while in other countries (Germany, Belgium, Holland) the Directive is not widely used by local companies. The reason for this seems to be that other existing possibilities for procuring legal residence for highly-skilled workers appear to be more favorable than the use of the Blue Card Permit.

Conditions for the issuance of Blue Card permits

The main requirements to obtain a Blue Card permit, according to article 5 of the Directive are: (i) a work contract or binding job offer with a salary of at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary paid in the respective Member State (Member States may lower the salary threshold to 1.2 for certain professions where there is a particular need for third-country workers); (ii) for regulated professions, documents establishing that the worker meets the legal requirements of the country; (iii) for unregulated professions, documents establishing the relevant higher professional qualifications. Higher professional qualifications can be attested by a higher education qualification (i.e. diploma attesting the completion of a post-secondary higher education program of at least three years) or by having at least five years of professional experience at a level comparable to higher education qualifications and which is relevant in the position offered in the job contract. [footnotes omitted]

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 Mario Mazzeschi has more than 20 years experience in business and corporate immigration and he is considered one of the leading immigrations lawyers in Italy. He is the founder of Mazzeschi Srl, a boutique firm specializing in corporate immigration and citizenship law. The firm has offices in Rome, Milan and Florence and with a team of 5 lawyers and 12 paralegals, is the largest corporate immigration firm in Italy. The firm is an official partner of Invitalia Business Network (Invitalia is the government agency for the promotion of inward investments).

Mr. Mazzeschi is a graduate of the University of Siena (1985). He obtained a post-graduate diploma in Administrative Law at the Academy of Public Administration (1995), and took summer courses on international law at The Hague Academy of International Law (1984). Mr. Mazzeschi is admitted to the Bar of Milan, is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the International Bar Association. He is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars and has written several articles and contributions relating to immigration issues.

international law