Pearl Law Group Global Immigration NewsFlash
While implementation dates and requirements will vary by country, the EU member countries will be rolling out the EU Blue Card system starting June and July of 2011. Modeled after the US Green Card, the Blue Card will allow qualifying nationals to work and reside in an EU member state and obtain long term residency. Denmark, Ireland and the UK are not participating in the program but all other EU countries will be introducing the Blue Card. After an initial 18 month period, the Blue Card holder will be allowed to move freely throughout the participating member countries to work and live with accompanying dependents. After five years of continuous residency in the EU as a Blue Card holder, the foreign national can they qualify for permanent residency.
The Czech version of the Blue Card was made available in January of 2011 and Bulgaria began accepting applications on June 1, 2011. Applicants must be highly skilled with matching qualifications and a valid job offer or contract but the requirements and procedures for the Blue Card program will vary by member states. It’s unclear yet how the Blue Card program will affect employers and the EU labor market.