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The Slovak Republic endorses the EU Blue Card

On 21 October 2011, the Slovak Parliament adopted a new Act on Residence of Foreigners in the Slovak Republic, transposing the provisions of the EU Blue Card Directive (Council Directive 2009/50/EC) into the country’s legislation. The new law, which will enter into force on 1 January 2012, intends to facilitate the mobility of highly skilled people from third countries, including mobile students, academics and researchers, into the Slovak Republic, the country with one of the strictest immigration policies in the EU. Specifically, the new law aims to ease visa and administration procedures for highly qualified individuals, who can apply for the EU work permit based on the acceptance from an employer in the country. Some of the novelties in the procedures include 

  • the introduction of a new type of residence permit, Blue Card, for the purpose of research and development activity (this is based on a hosting agreement between the academic or research organisation and the researcher, with special provisions applying for third country nationals already possessing long-term residence status in other EU member states); 
  • waiver of administration fees for students, teachers and researchers applying for residence permits, and the possibility of applying for the residence permit within Slovak territory if one is already legally present in the country; 
  • faster administration procedures for family members of successful applicants, a possibility to study during a stay in Slovakia regardless of the type of the residence permit, and required information provided in English by the responsible ministries of the Slovak Republic.

Adopted in 2009, the Blue Card Directive had to be transposed into national law by all EU member states (with the exception of Denmark, Ireland and the UK) no later than 19 June 2011. However, six countries—Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Sweden—failed to meet this deadline. Meanwhile, this scheme is viewed as an attractive package for highly qualified migrants, as holders of the Blue Card can benefit from access to competitive employment positions in the member state, move to another EU member state, acquire long-term resident status and reunify with their families.

European Commission Migration Information Centre