The Mobility Partnerships between the European Union and third countries have a negative image as they are often viewed as a tool of migration control rather than a flexible instrument to enhance mobility. Yet so far scholars have predominantly investigated the asymmetric negotiation of Mobility Partnerships as well as their limited consequences for migrant rights in EU Member States. What is often overlooked is that these partnerships can also influence the development of the legal and policy frameworks of third countries in ways that go beyond what is foreseen at the time of the negotiation of the instruments. This article combines a comparative legal analysis of the development of the legal frameworks in Morocco and Cape Verde with an empirical study of the implementation of Mobility Partnerships’ projects in relation to national migration strategies. The analysis demonstrates that Mobility Partnerships, despite their non-binding nature, have legal and policy relevance for these third countries with regard to the regulation of migration, asylum, human trafficking and even labour law.