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The Official State Gazette (BOE) published on May 8, 2023 the transposition of Directive (EU) 2021/1883 on the migration of highly qualified persons, which highlights:

  • Law 11/2023, of May 8, on “transposition of European Union Directives on (…) migration of highly qualified persons”.

This law transposes Directive (EU) 2021/1883 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2021 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment, and repealing Council Directive 2009/50/EC, article 31 of which sets November 18, 2023 as the deadline for transposition.


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential role played by migrants in a generalized context of border closures. It also brought with it the digital and ecological transitions, which has its impact on the composition of the labor market, both in terms of skills, competencies and knowledge demanded to fill new jobs, and in terms of substitution and transformation, with new occupations requiring a high degree of specialization.


In this way, and in view of what happened at the time during COVID-19, it was observed that a safe and agile labor migration, free of bottlenecks and long (and sometimes unnecessary) bureaucratic procedures, contributes to cover current and future needs of both the Spanish and European labor markets.


Thus, and within the context of the pandemic, it was observed that the already repealed Directive 2009/50/EC had little effectiveness as a legal means of attracting talent to the European Union: unequal transpositions in the different EU countries, in some cases excessively rigid, lack of updated and in some cases, insufficient information on the EU Blue Card to potential highly qualified candidates and employers.


Among the new features of Directive (EU) 2021/1883 of 20 October 2021 are the establishment of more inclusive admission criteria for EU Blue Card holders, the facilitation of mobility and family reunification within the European Union, simplified procedures for recognized employers, the granting of a higher level of access to the labor market, and the extension of the scope of application to non-EU family members of EU citizens and beneficiaries of international protection.


On the other hand, the main advances of the transposition in the national framework include:

  • The extension of the subjective framework for the granting of the EU Blue Card to graduates of higher vocational training (previously it was only granted exclusively to persons with university degrees).
  • The elimination of size and turnover requirements for employers, extending its scope to small and medium-sized companies.
  • The extension of the validity of all residence authorizations regulated by law to three years, renewable for two more.

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