EU Will Lure Skilled Migrants With 'Blue Card'

Universal visa will mimic US Green Card, fill projected shortages
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2007 9:46 AM CDT
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, right, and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso during a news conference at 10 Downing street, London, Thursday Oct. 11, 2007. The British government...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Facing a projected shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030, the European Union unveiled its own version of the US Green Card yesterday in hopes of attracting skilled migrants. The Blue Card will grant workers full employment, social security, and health care benefits, as well as permanent residency after five years of employment. Britain will likely sit the program out, reports the Times of London.

“At the moment, most highly skilled workers go to Canada, the United States, and Australia. Why? Because we have 27 different and conflicting procedures in the EU," said EU chief Jose Manuel Barroso, whereas Europe suffers from higher illegal immigration. If approved by EU members, the program would go into effect in 2009, reports Time.