EU Blue Card: registration and distinction of first issue and change of status (2014)

This Ad Hoc Query concerns the effectiveness of the Blue Card Directive with regard to attracting highly skilled workers.


Ad-Hoc Query on holders of EU Blue Card: registration and distinction of first issue and change of status (pdf, 142 kB)


The Blue Card Directive, which regulates entry to the EU for highly skilled workers, was implemented in Germany on 1 August 2012. Whereas 29% of those who have been issued a Blue Card since then were new entrants, 71% were persons who had previously held a different residence permit in Germany.

In light of this, Germany is interested in experiences from other countries with regard to the question of whether the EU Blue Card has indeed reached its goal of acquiring new highly qualified workers or whether the holders of an EU Blue Card are just people who in their respective member country have already been employed on the basis of another residence document.

The following questions were asked:

1. Do Member States make a distinction in their registration offices and in their statistics whether holders of an EU Blue Card have been granted this document in the respective Member State as a first residence document or whether they have changed their status from another residence document to the EU Blue Card?

2. If there is in principle no such distinction or registration as described in item 1, is there a possibility to make a request on the basis of historised data in order to be able to make a statement regarding the numbers of first issues or change of status? And if this is possible, what are the percentages of these categories?

20 countries responded to the query (not including Norway). Many countries do not distinguish in their statistics between persons receiving a first and a subsequent permit, but in those countries that did, most Blue Cards had been issued to persons who had not previously had another immigration status, contrary to the experience from Germany.

Did you find what you were looking for?