Legislative amendments will make all highly-skilled specialists eligible for a EU Blue Card in Bulgaria, said Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov on Tuesday. He was speaking after a roundtable on demographic policies and labour mobility, organized by the Labour Ministry and the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad.

The EU Blue Card is granted to highly-skilled specialists from third countries, working shortage occupations and until now has been issued mainly to IT specialists.

Experts from the Labour Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad worked on the amendments for four months.

The new amendments will scrap a list of occupations which make workers eligible for a Blue Card. Also, the Blue Card will be extended for a period of four years and the fees for its issuance will be decreased.

The procedure will be speeded up for third country workers who have been residing in the country for the past five years holding a work permit. Also a labour market test for employers will be scrapped.

A Blue Card will be issued in a total of 37 days.

Deputy Prime Minister Simeonov said that work is underway for speeding up the award procedure of Bulgarian citizenship too. He added that the procedure which drags on for two or three years will be shortened to six months.

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