Streamlining EU Blue Card issuance under Bulgarian law

On 25.01.2023 in the Bulgarian State Gazette were promulgated amendments to the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (FRBA) and the Labour Migration and Labour Mobility Act (LMLMA). The amendments are aimed at significantly streamlining EU Blue Card issuance for highly qualified employees.
As first point, the changes to the LMLMA provide for a wider definition of high professional qualification. Therefore, the procedure for obtaining EU Blue Card can be applied not only for employees with university degrees, but also for employees whose professional qualification has been certified by an official authority. In that regard, there are two options: if the specific job is included in a list, prepared by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, and the acquired knowledge and skills are at a level, comparable with university degree, then there is no requirement for the duration of the professional experience; if the job does not meet these requirements, the professional experience of the employee must be at least 5 years. In addition, the minimum duration of the employment contract is reduced from 12 to 6 months. These two groups of changes for sure will lead to streamlining EU Blue Card issuance.
In the FRBA more changes are included, which allow the maximum duration of the Blue Card as a residence permit to be 5 years instead of 4. There is also an option to file the documents via electronic means, after the migration authorities provide the technical means for that.
For a first time a simplified procedure for changing the employment is provided – after 12 months of residence the employee can do that via a declaration to the Migration Directorate. Until expiry of these 12 months, the procedure for obtaining an EU Blue Card has to be repeated. The amendments also provide an option for the employee to work remotely, as well as to be sent to another EU member state for performance of specific tasks for up to 90 days within every 180 day period.
Additionally, the amendments provide for a number of other measures streamlining EU Blue Card issuance – the terms for action on behalf of the administration are reduced and the requirements for some documents are simplified. For instance, it is now possible to present a criminal record check from the country of residence of the foreigner, instead from the country of origin.
These amendments should lead to streamlining EU Blue Card issuance, but this would depend also on the application of the new rules by the Migration Directorate.