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How does the Blue Card affect you?

How does the Blue Card affect you?

2 min. 07.03.2012 From our online archive
Companies recruiting highly qualified staff from outside of the Grand Duchy were reminded of their duties to advertise all posts within the country first.

Companies recruiting highly qualified staff from outside of the Grand Duchy were reminded of their duties to advertise all posts within the country first.

The message was made clear by migration specialists speaking at a human resources information event organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg to raise awareness about recent changes to the law.

Since an EU directive was brought into effect in Luxembourg on February 3, 2012, third country nationals must now apply for a Blue Card in order to work in Luxembourg.

While changes to the application process are minimal, it is now crucial for employers to advertise vacant posts for highly qualified staff with the Adem before recruiting from abroad. If, after three weeks, they are unable to find a suitable candidate, they are then permitted to look beyond the borders of Luxembourg.

Tom Theves from the Ministry of Economy told guests at the event: “What's clear is that the tackling of the open vacancy is something we can't miss. It will definitely be something which, if you don't do it, will be a blocking point.”

A valid Blue Card permits third country nationals to work in Luxembourg for two years, as opposed to the three years permitted under the old system. Upon applying for the card, Luxembourg authorities are legally bound to reach a decision within three months, assuming there are no gaps in the file.

A key advantage to the reform is the freedom of movement within the European Union granted to card holders. Under the new law, valid Blue Card holders are permitted to work within any other EU country with their families, provided they have remained a minimum of 18 months in the first country and that they apply for a new Blue Card with the next host country within a month of moving there. As soon as the new Blue Card is approved, the worker is then permitted to begin work.

Vinciane Istace of Pricewaterhouse Coopers Luxembourg said: “European mobility is very important here. What's good about the Blue Card is what it does for families. It facilitates the grouping of families, which is a key argument when organising immigration at a highly skilled level.”

The event provided some useful tips for HR professionals when applying for the new Blue Card, in particular the common mistakes which can delay applications.

Among the key errors made by applicants were disparities between job descriptions which companies advertised at the Adem and which appeared in the final contract, as well as incomplete fields on the form, unrealistic business plans for self-employed candidates, lack of translations (French, German and English are accepted) and failure to submit further details when requested, an issue which further delays the process beyond the normal three-month cap.

Companies should also be clear when marking the name of the employer on the form, particularly when it concerns a firm with several subsidiaries. Laurent Solazi, of the Ministry of Economy, said: “It is not the job of the Adem or immigration to check that the two companies are linked.”