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Blue Card: Easier access to the EU for skilled foreign employees

Updated: Jan 16

Bulgaria, as an EU member state, actively participates in the EU Blue Card program, which provides a valuable avenue for highly skilled non-EU nationals to live and work in the country and the wider European Union.

The EU Blue Card program in Bulgaria offers a streamlined pathway for highly skilled non-EU nationals to contribute their expertise and talents to the country. Meeting the eligibility criteria, securing a qualifying job offer, and navigating the application process are essential steps to obtaining this valuable permit.

The current article we will explore who is eligible to apply for the EU Blue Card in Bulgaria, outlining the specific conditions, terms, requirements under Bulgarian and European law, and the application process.

Eligibility Criteria for EU Blue Card in Bulgaria

To apply for the EU Blue Card in Bulgaria, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria:

✓ Qualifications: Hold a higher education degree, such as a bachelor's or equivalent, from a recognized institution. It should be note that with amendments taking effect from the start of 2023, determined that for specific professions (like IT and software specialists), having a university degree lasting at least three years is no longer mandatory to hold the position. Instead, priority is placed on professional expertise, knowledge, and skills, which can also be attained through shorter courses at private institutions.

✓ Job Offer: Secure a concrete job offer or employment contract in Bulgaria that matches their qualifications. The job must be highly skilled in nature.

✓ Minimum Salary: The gross salary outlined in the foreign employee's contract must be a minimum of 1.5 times greater than the average salary in the Republic of Bulgaria, as per the most recent data published by the National Statistical Institute for the preceding 12 months before the employment contract's commencement. The employment contract's duration should not be less than six months.

Application Process

Applying for an EU Blue Card in Bulgaria involves several steps:

1. Job Search: Find a job offer in Bulgaria that meets the requirements for the EU Blue Card, ensuring that your qualifications align with the job's skill level.

2. Employer's Support: Your prospective employer plays a pivotal role by providing a job offer and assisting with the application process. They may need to provide documentation regarding the job offer, such as the employment contract.

3. Prepare Documentation: Gather the necessary documents, including:

➢ Educational certificates

➢ Employment contract

➢ Proof of health insurance

➢ Proof of accommodation in Bulgaria.

➢ Proof that the position is include in the List of regulated professions in the Republic of Bulgaria

➢ Criminal record certificate issued by the country of which the foreigner is a citizen or by the country of his habitual residence

➢ Justification for access to the foreigner's labor market, in which the employer indicates the facts and circumstances necessitating the hiring of a foreigner - worker

➢ Statement from the employer certifying that the legal requirements for employment are me

4. Application Submission: Regarding the amendments to the law from 01.06.2021, the application should be submitted directly to the Directorate of Migration.

It should be noted that the documents are submitted by the employer or a person authorised by the employer. It is possible for the workers to submit the Blue Card documents on their own only if they have already been issued a permit for long-term residence in Bulgaria.

The application typically includes forms, supporting documents, and proof of payment for processing fees.

5. Review and Approval: Bulgarian authorities will review your application to ensure you meet all eligibility criteria. The processing time may vary but usually takes several months.

6. Residence Permit: Upon approval, you will receive the EU Blue Card, which serves as both a residence and work permit in Bulgaria. The card typically has a validity period of one year and can be renewed as long as you meet the requirements.

Rights and Benefits of EU Blue Card Holders in Bulgaria

EU Blue Card holders in Bulgaria enjoy several rights and benefits, including:

✓ Residence and Work

✓ Family Reunification

✓ Travel

✓ Permanent Residency

EU Blue Card program offers a multitude of benefits for both employers and employees alike.

For employers, it provides access to a pool of highly skilled and qualified professionals from around the world, helping companies fill crucial skill gaps and drive innovation. This program simplifies the recruitment process, making it easier for employers to attract top talent to their organizations.

For employees, the EU Blue Card opens doors to exciting career opportunities within the European Union, allowing them to work in a diverse and dynamic environment. It offers job security, excellent working conditions, and the chance to build a successful career in the EU. Furthermore, the EU Blue Card supports family reunification, enabling loved ones to join and share in the experience.

For those interested in applying for an EU Blue Card in Bulgaria, it is advisable to seek professional guidance to ensure compliance with specific Bulgarian and EU requirements. Pishtalova Law Company, can provide invaluable assistance in the application process, helping skilled professionals make a successful transition to the Bulgarian job market and the EU at large.

Contact Pishtalova Law Company today for comprehensive legal support in securing the EU Blue Card, and let us guide you towards a brighter future filled with opportunities in the European Union. Your success is our priority, and we look forward to assisting you every step of the way.

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