New EU Blue Card Rules Implemented

Effective May 13, 2024, Finland introduced more relaxed EU Blue Card rules. Key changes include...
European Union Employment and HR
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Effective May 13, 2024, Finland introduced more relaxed EU Blue Card rules. Key changes include:

  • new professional experience eligibility pathways;
  • reduced mandatory employment contract durations; and
  • reduced minimum salary levels.

These reforms are part of Finland adhering to the requirements of the 2021 EU Blue Card Directive.

The situation

Effective May 13, 2024, Finland introduced more relaxed EU Blue Card rules.

A closer look


New professional experience pathway. Applicants are now eligible for an EU Blue Card if they have five years of professional experience in a relevant field, even if they do not have any relevant educational qualifications. Previously, applicants could only apply for an EU Blue Card if they had a three-year university qualification (this pathway remains available).

Employers can now hire highly skilled talent from a wider pool of applicants. This is particularly pertinent given current labor shortages in Finland.

Reduced job offer durations. Employment contracts now only need to be six months in duration (down from the previous 12-month minimum).

This change grants employers more flexibility in terms of crafting employment terms.

Lower minimum salary level. The minimum salary for an EU Blue Card is now the same as the minimum salary for the country's domestic Specialist Permit (EUR 3,638 gross per month in 2024). Previously, the EU Blue Card minimum salary was 1.5 times this amount.

This makes it easier for employers to be able to afford highly skilled foreign talent under the EU Blue Card pathway, effectively increasing their pool of available employees.


In 2021, the European Union issued a directive seeking to update the existing EU Blue Card scheme (which dated back to 2009). The EU Blue Card scheme has sought to establish an attractive EU-wide immigration option for highly skilled professionals. However, the 2009 iteration has suffered from fragmented and inconsistent transposition at the national levels, with many EU Member States offering more attractive skilled-labor immigration pathways under their own national, non-EU Blue Card systems.

Looking ahead

The deadline for national transposition of the revised EU Blue Card Directive was November 18, 2023, with many EU Member States domestically implementing the Directive after this deadline. Additionally, several EU Member States have not yet domestically implemented the Directive. It is expected that further instances of domestic implementation will occur across 2024. We will report on related developments.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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