Would you like to get a work permit that allows you to work in any European Union country? Well, now you can thanks to the EU blue card. And in this article we will explain everything you need to know about this residence authorization and how to get it step by step in Spain.


What is the EU blue card?


The blue card is a temporary residence and work authorization that will allow you to live and work in any country from the European Union. It was designed to attract qualified talent to Europe and it offers many advantages thanks to that.

It is the ideal permit for doctors, researchers and computer scientists who want or need to travel throughout Europe.

Thus, this card is very similar to the permit as a highly qualified worker. In fact, the applicant for the blue card must be considered a skilled worker as well.

Then, what is the difference then between both permits? Basically, the blue card is conditioned to the national employment situation. Something that is not a thing with a highly skilled visa. That is, the job must be either on the shortage list or not have enough Spanish applicants.

On the other hand, another important difference has to do with the processing of the card. In the case of the blue card, it will be the employer who initiates the process while the worker is still living in his or her country of origin.


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What are its main advantages?


Although the application can be somewhat complex, this permit also offers certain advantages. Which ones specifically?

As we said, this work authorization allows you to work everywhere in Europe. So it is a great option for all those people who do not want to limit themselves to live in Spain in the long run (or in any other country inside the European area).

Once obtained, the holder will have at her disposal a valid residence card for 1 to 4 years, depending on the country in which she will be working.

Finally, it should be noted that the blue card offers free movement inside EU countries. That is, after the applicant has lived 18 months with the card in one of the member states of the European Union, they can freely move without additional procedures throughout the European territory.


Who can get this special type of work visa?


The blue card is for those foreign workers who are not residents in Spain and who will start working in a qualified job that requires specific accreditation.

That is, we are talking about non-EU citizens who meet the same requirements to get a regular work permit. But, in addition to meeting all the requirements, the applicant must demonstrate that she has the qualifications and experience necessary to develop her new job.

How is that demonstrated? Basically in two different ways:

  • Through the accreditation of a minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the same sector of activity in which the job offer is categorized. That is, you must have worked during those required years in that same field.
  • Show higher education qualifications for a minimum of 3 years. These qualifications must provide the necessary knowledge to pursue a high-level training profession or to be able to participate in a research program.

It is very important that the applicant is not in an irregular situation in Spain. You must remain in your home country while the employer begins the process.

The applicant can hold a prior work authorization, or be hired from the country of origin. Both options are valid here.


How to get the EU blue card in Spain step by step


Let’s now see the legal application procedure that you must follow to get the blue card in Spain.

This process is divided into three different parts:

  • Start of the application by the employer in Spain.
  • Visa application by the worker in her country of origin.
  • Entrance to Spain and obtaining the residence card.

We will now see each of them in detail, but first we will begin by defining some of the general requirements that you will have to meet for a successful application:


General requirements


Before beginning the legal application procedure, it will be important to meet the following requirements to ensure that everything turns out as expected:

  • It will be essential that the worker who plans to start working in Spain is not in an irregular situation in this territory. In addition, you cannot have the entry prohibited in the country.
  • The worker must lack criminal records. More information on how to get your police check here.
  • It is very important that the worker can be considered a skilled worker. This means complying with the conditions we have mentioned in the previous sections (having higher education and a minimum of 5 years experience in the sector).
  • The national situation of unemployment in the country must make the hiring possible. This will be true as long as the job is within the list of difficult coverage positions, if the vacancy has not been filled by any national worker, or if we are talking about any case included in article number 40 of the Organic Law 4/2000.
  • It is essential that the employment contract is at least for one year and offers a gross annual salary 1.5 times higher than the average of the profession to be developed.

Step 1: The company or employer starts the application procedure in Spain


As we said, it will be the company itself that starts the blue card application process. The employer must submit the application for the residence and work authorization at one of the following places:

  • At the UGE (Large Companies Unit).
  • At the General Directorate of Immigration, as long as the company has more than 500 workers and has offices in more than 1 region.
  • At the Foreigners Office that corresponds according to the region in which the company is located.

The documents that the employer or company representative must provide for the application are the following:

  • NIF (company tax identification number).
  • Identification document from the legal representative of the company that initiates the process.
  • Application model EX-05, which can be downloaded here.
  • The employment contract offered to the foreigner (signed by both parties), which must meet the conditions mentioned in the previous section. This means that it conforms to the National Occupations Catalog.
  • Document proving that the company is up to date with its tax obligations. That is, it has no outstanding payments with the Tax Agency or with Social Security.
  • A detailed profile regarding the position to be developed by the foreign worker, as well as a descriptive report of it.
  • Proof that the company has sufficient means (whether economic, material and personal) to deal with the worker hiring, and that she will be able to perform the activity without problems. That is, the company must demonstrate economic solvency.
  • Workers CV plus accreditation that she has sufficient academic qualifications.
  • Copy of the (complete) passport from the worker.
  • Payment of the corresponding fee.

The resolution can be received within a 45-day period, either positive or denied. If after that period no response is obtained, it is assumed that the request has been denied due to administrative silence.

At that time the company must register the worker on social security.

*All foreign documents must be translated into Spanish and properly legalized.

Step 2: The worker applies for a visa in her country of origin


Once the employer has provided all the documentation mentioned above and got a favorable resolution, it will be the worker’s turn. She should head to the Spanish consulate located in her home country in order to request her visa.

In that visit you must provide the following documentation:

  • Original passport (with validity)
  • 2 photos
  • The visa application file printed and filled out. You can get this document here.
  • The favorable resolution obtained by the employer in Spain.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Payment of the corresponding fee.
  • Criminal records for the past 5 years.

Once the documentation is submitted, the work visa will be processed. The estimated time at this stage is 72 hours. With this visa, which will be stamped on the passport, the worker can now travel and enter Spain legally.


Step 3: The worker enters Spain and gets her residence card


Finally, after entering Spain, the worker must obtain her residence card (the physical document, called TIE), on which her NIE number will be printed.

To get this card you must simply get an appointment with the nearest police station, and provide the following documents:

  • Model EX17, the one required to request the foreigner’s identity card.
  • Passport and copy of it.
  • Work visa with the stamp that was placed once entering Spain.
  • Again, the favorable resolution of the residence and work authorization got by the employer.
  • Census (document called “empadronamiento” in Spanish)
  • Document proving the registration in social security.
  • TIE fee payment.
  • 3 photos.

After 20-30 days after the request, finally, the foreigner will have his residence card, the EU blue card.


Start the blue card application process in Spain


So far everything you need to know about the European Union blue card and how to get it in Spain.

Maybe you think there is a lot of documentation and that the process is somewhat complex. And it is certainly true.

That is why, if you have any questions or want our international lawyers in Barcelona to help you out, we are at your complete disposal.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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