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October 24, 2008
EU “blue card” visa to attract skilled migrants

German documentation to obtain a residence permit.

On Wednesday, European Union officials agreed to develop a “blue card” visa to attract skilled migrant workers from Africa and Asia. Currently, skilled workers make up only 1.7 percent of migrants in the EU.

The card is expected to go into effect in 2010 and will be given to workers who have already obtained a job contract in an EU state.

An Irish blogger at the “Irish National Unity” blog hopes that an increase of skilled migrants will coincide with a decrease in unskilled migrants.

Peter Ngatia writes at the African Medical and Research Foundation Web site that the blue card may pose a threat to African governments already facing a shortage of skilled health workers. He worries that the implementation may cause further brain drain in Africa.

A Spanish-language blogger at “PaQueSepas” writes about the advantages of the blue card, including “immunity” from currency fluctuations and the ability to bring one’s family with them.

The “EU Blue Card News and Views” blog writes that the blue card may threaten the U.S. supply of skilled workers, particularly given the shorter application process.

The “European Union Blue Card” blog outlines differences between the EU blue card and U.S. green card.

Photos courtesy of Flickr user Farruska under a Creative Commons license.

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