Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blue cards in Slovakia

Great news! Blue cards are now available in Slovakia.

Bratislava Skyline
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Photo by xlibber
The European Blue Card is a joke compared to the US Green Card, which it was designed to compete against, but it's a small, halting step forward in Europe's attempts to deal with their skilled labor shortage (after years of living in the UK, I still spell that as "labour"). However, Slovakia's implementation is nice because unlike some others, you need a university degree or five years of professional experience. I only have an Associate's Degree but with over a decade of experience, a book under my belt, many published articles and a speaker at numerous conferences world-wide, I still don't qualify for the Dutch Blue Card thanks to the AS degree only being a two-year program. Of course, with a French wife it really doesn't matter to me, but when you're trying to get to move abroad, issues like this become extremely important.

Slovakia's economy has been struggling with high unemployment, but overall the country seems like it's heading in the right direction. It's one of a number of emerging Eastern European nations which would-be expats should keep an eye on, particularly if you're looking at the long term.


  1. I had a similar experience applying for the "Skilled Migrant Visa" for New Zealand. Even with two Bachelors degrees (one in Bioinformatics) and about 10 years of programming experience I didn't qualify as an IT expert. In the end, I got the visa, but only by "luck of the draw".

  2. Don't even get me started on the Danish points system :(

    When I first moved to Denmark I didn't have a job, so despite being an EU citizen i had to prove I had "sufficient means" to get a "Certificate of EU residence status" (a Danish loophole to get around the EU freedom of movement rules).

    Sufficient means to get into Denmark turns out to be €10,000 in a bank account.