As of 1 August, 2013 Sweden will be a part of the EU Blue Card Program and it will become 24th European country to participate in this immigration scheme. The EU Blue Card is a work permit for the European Union, its name is based on the US Green Card program but ist concept is different. The EU Blue Card is not a permanent visa.
It is designed to attract highly-qualified immigrants to work and live in every EU country. After Sweden joined the program the only EU countries that are still not involved are Ireland, the UK and Denmark.
While it is an EU-wide system, each country is allowed to set its own different qualification criteria for its own national Blue Card. However, every country must comply with the Blue Card scheme’s central principles. These are:
It will provide work and salary conditions equal to citizens
It will allow free movement within the Schengen area
It will allow ‘favourable conditions for family reunification’
It is envisioned as a gateway to gaining permanent resident status.
In all countries, Blue Card applicants must have at least a Bachelor Degree, must come from outside the European Union and must possess a valid EU Work Permit. The blue card is valid for two years unless the holder loses his/her job before the two years are up. Then the validity of the card ceases as the employment ends.
Sweden will allow the holders of Blue Cards from other countries to enter Sweden without a visa providing they have held their Blue Card for at least 18 months. This means that you will be able to enter Sweden without a visa and then apply for a Swedish Blue Card if you receive an offer of employment in Sweden and meet all the other qualification criteria