The EU Blue Card will allow highly skilled migrants (and their families) to live and work in the European Union for an initial period of two years. At the moment the scheme is only live in a handful of countries, including Bulgaria.
Beyond the initial 2 year approval term migrants will be able to extend the visa so long as they satisfy certain criteria. Those granted a Blue Card will be able to move between member states for the purpose of work (so long as certain criteria has been met) and may work towards permanent residence. The proposals for the visa presented by the European Commission offer a ‘one track route’ for highly skilled migrants to gain access to the EU labour market.
If you are a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Medical or Financial Services professional from a Non EEA Country and you are interested in Consulting in the EEA please get in contact to find out how we can help.
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Why does the EU need a Blue Card?
The aim of the Blue Card is to give EU companies the ability to easily recruit highly skilled workers with niche skills which are difficult to find in the European Union. At present many companies have difficulty finding suitable workers to fill specialist positions within the Healthcare, Engineering & Information Technology Sectors. By creating a unified system (free from internal inta-country administration and red tape) the hope is that the EU can become more attractive to highly skilled workers at a time when many are looking to eastern markets for new opportunities.
Recently the Chief Advisor to the EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Maria Senius, said that “If we are going to realise our goals in the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU needs to remain open and competitive in the labour market, and we need to create more legal ways for migrants to come to Europe. We are not making these proposals only to be nice to Indian or American businessmen. It is in our interest that companies operating in Europe can have access to the right people with the right skills at the right moment.”
The EU Blue Card and Bulgaria
On the 1st June 2011 Bulgaria started accepting applications for the new European Union Blue Card from highly skilled workers from outside of the European Union. This is seen as the first step along the path to an EU wide Blue Card.
Many UK Nationals are unaware of the Blue Card proposals due to the fact that the United Kingdom is not included in the scheme, along with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark. However the effects of the legislation may be felt here as many highly skilled professionals (especially those working in Information Technology) regularly take on contacts in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. With an influx of highly skilled workers from outside of the European Union opportunities may be diluted.
At the moment Bulgaria is experiencing a severe shortage of highly skilled workers. Citizens of countries such as Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Croatia, and Moldavia may soon find it easier to work in Bulgaria, and in other Countries in the EU.
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