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The EU Blue Card aims to serve EU’s purpose to attract, allocate and retain highly qualified immigrants from non-EU countries much needed for its economies. Back in October 2007 the European Commission adopted the Directive on the admission of highly-qualified migrants to the EU, the so called “Blue Card Plan” (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe October 2007). This was followed by the European Council’s decision endorsing the EU Blue Card in May 2009. Early this year another milestone has been reached and now jobseekers from non EU countries can register their applications on The EU Blue Card is supposed to be a single and clear procedure for immigration applications aiming to replace the existing various and sometimes confusing rules and regulations of member states. Any non-EU resident who is highly educated, i.e. holding an academic degree or professional certificate from recognised universities, colleges and other collegiate level institutions, vocational schools, trade schools and career colleges is eligible for applying. The eligibility criteria also include those who are highly skilled in a profession and can contribute with relevant on-the-job expertise.
Currently no member states issue the Blue Card, however, 24 are willing to accept it in the near future with an “opt out” for Ireland, Denmark and, least surprisingly, the United Kingdom. Hopefully the EU Blue Card will be a success story and will be able to enhance the match between real demand and relevant supply of highly-qualified labour. If it passes the test, it could be a relevant support tool for attracting the “best and brightest” non-EU residents.