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March 05, 2024 | News March 2024 | Relaxation of EU Blue Card Eligibility Criteria

The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic has submitted to the interdepartmental comment procedure a draft amendment to the Act on Residence of Foreigners, under which, among other things, the conditions for obtaining a Blue Card by third-country nationals should be relaxed.

The draft amendment simplifies some of the conditions for the admission of highly qualified employees to the territory of the Slovak Republic. For example, it introduces the recognition of professional qualifications as a criterion for issuing a Blue Card, thereby making it possible for employees even without a university degree (an educational qualification) to obtain a Blue Card based on their professional experience in the field of information and communications technologies.

A university education of first degree (a Bachelor’s degree) will be sufficient for the performance of a highly-qualified job. For selected jobs in the field of information and communications technologies, higher professional skills, demonstrated by at least three years of professional experience in a highly qualified job, will be sufficient.

Further, the draft amendment reduces the salary threshold for monthly income of a highly qualified employee, which must be met in order to obtain a Blue Card, from 1.5 times to 1.2 times the average monthly salary of an employee in the economy of the Slovak Republic. It also introduces an exception to this salary threshold for third-country nationals who completed university education no more than three years before applying for a Blue Card.

The draft amendment also facilitates easier mobility for Blue Card holders and their family members within the territory of all EU Member States.

Finally, the amendment should extend the period for which Blue Cards are issued, from four to five years.

If adopted, the amendment would enter into force on July 1, 2024.