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EU Blue Card in Spain

An EU Blue Card is a work permit that allows highly-qualified candidates to live and work in an EU country for up to four years.

If you would like to learn more about how to apply for an EU Blue Card to work in Spain or another EU country, give the legal team at IAS a call on +44 (0)333 4149244 or contact us via our website.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Spain Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Spain visa or permit, IAS Spain immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Expert support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are accredited by the IBA in Madrid and Seville.

    Regardless of what your Spain immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    What is EU Blue Card in Spain?

    The EU Blue Card scheme is intended to make the EU an attractive place to live and work for well-educated workers and experienced professionals from outside the bloc.

    Spain is currently one of 25 EU member states that allow non-EU nationals to apply for a Blue Card.

    The country hands out EU Blue Cards according to the needs of its economy.

    If the employer can show there is a lack of qualified candidates for a role in the country, it can advertise to have someone from outside the EU fill the position.

    A Blue Card holder is eligible to receive social security benefits and can be joined by close family members.

    Who is Eligible to Apply for an EU Blue Card in Spain?

    If you would like to apply for an EU Blue Card in Spain, you must be a permanent resident of a non-EU country and meet the following criteria:

    • You must be able to show that you have been awarded a higher professional qualification – typically a three-year bachelor’s degree or postgraduate qualification from a recognised educational establishment.
    • If you don’t have the academic credentials listed above, you may also be eligible to apply for a Blue Card if you can show you have a minimum of five years of professional experience in a relevant field.
    • You must work as a salaried employee for a company established in Spain. The EU Blue Card scheme does not apply to self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs.
    • Your occupation must fall into group one or two of Spain’s National Classification of Occupations (CNO-11). Group one includes managers and directors. Group two covers scientific and intellectual technicians and professionals.
    • Your annual gross salary must be at least 1.5 times the average national salary or 1.2 times the average if there is a scarcity of workers in a particular sector.
    • You must have a contract of employment or binding job offer in an EU country that is valid for at least one year.
    • You must have valid travel documents.
    • You have no criminal record and have the documentation to prove this.
    • You must take out health insurance that covers you and the family members that will be joining you in Spain.

    What Rights Does an EU Blue Card Confer on the Holder?

    As an overseas worker in Spain, you will enjoy the following rights with an EU Blue Card:

    • You are entitled to equal work rights and salary conditions as those enjoyed by Spanish nationals.
    • You are free to move throughout the EU bloc countries.
    • You are eligible to receive social security rights, including access to education and health services.
    • You can have close family members join you in Spain.
    • Once you have resided in Spain for a period of 33 months, you may apply for permanent residency. If you possess a B1 Spanish language qualification, this period is reduced to 21 months.
    • You may return to your home country or another non-EU state for a maximum of 12 months.

    How Do You Apply for an EU Blue Card in Spain?

    The First Step

    The process of applying for an EU Blue Card in Spain must be initiated by the employer. The employer’s application form can be downloaded here.

    An employer who wishes to fill a vacancy with a non-resident worker must submit an application for a Blue Card to one of the following bodies:

    • The Foreign Office in Spain.
    • The UGE (Large Companies unit).
    • The General Directorate of Immigration if the company has more than 500 employees and has work locations in more than one Spanish province.

    The Next Step

    Once the work and residence permits have been granted by the authorities to the employer, you can then start the application process in person for a visa at the diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of residence.

    You must do this within one month of the employer receiving notice that it has been granted a work permit from the authorities in Spain.


    If your application is successful, you will be issued with an EU Blue Card that is valid for a period of 12 months.

    You must enter Spain within three months of the visa being issued and enrol yourself promptly in the Spanish Social Security system.

    You must also apply in person for a Spanish ID card at the local immigration office or a police station.

    If you fail to enrol yourself in the Social Security system before the deadline set by the authorities, you will be forced to leave Spain.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on EU Blue Card in Spain.

    What Documents Does the Employer Need to Provide?

    The Spanish employer that is sponsoring the EU Blue Card applicant must provide the following information to the relevant authorities:

    • A completed EU Blue Card application form. The form can be downloaded here.
    • A tax identification number (NIF) must be provided if the employer is an incorporated business. If the employer is an individual, it need not provide a Tax ID Number if it consents to have its details checked via the country’s Identity Verification system.
    • The employment contract and job description of the role that has been offered to the candidate.
    • Proof that any outstanding debts and payments to third parties have been settled.
    • The full CV of the non-EU national.
    • A certificate from the Public Employment Service showing that there is a lack of qualified candidates in the country to fill the position.
    • Evidence that the salary of the job exceeds the national average in Spain by 1.5 or 1.2 times for professions in which there is known to be a shortage.
    • Evidence the application fee has been paid.

    What Documents Does the Applicant Need?

    The individual applying for an EU Blue Card in Spain must provide the following documents to the relevant authorities:

    • A completed D visa application form.
    • A valid passport.
    • Two passport photographs that comply with ICAO guidelines.
    • An up-to-date CV.
    • The employment contract signed by the employer.
    • Recognised qualifications from an educational establishment and proof of other professional competencies.
    • Proof of health insurance or medical certificate .
    • Proof that the applicant poses no threat or risk to the country’s national security.
    • Evidence that the application fee has been paid.

    EU Blue Card Cost and Processing Time


    The EU Blue Card costs €418.  To renew or replace an EU Blue Card costs €112.

    Processing Time

    In general, the maximum processing time that member states have to issue applicants with an EU blue card is 90 days.

    National law in Spain stipulates that the maximum processing time for issuing a Blue Card is 45 days.

    Does a Blue Card Holder Have to Remain in Spain?

    As an EU blue card holder, you and your family members can enter and re-enter Spain as you wish.

    You are also free to travel through the member states of the EU, but they cannot work there without the necessary permission.

    After 18 months of residence in Spain, you may also apply for a visa to live and work in another EU member state.

    You are allowed to start work in another EU country before a decision to grant the visa has been taken and family members can join you immediately as long as you continue to meet the EU Blue Card criteria.

    A Blue Card holder can apply to work anywhere within the EU, irrespective of the national unemployment rate in the country.

    For assistance with EU Blue Card in Spain, get in touch with us today.

    How Do I Renew an EU Blue Card?

    The application period for renewal is 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date of the Blue Card.

    Should the card expire, you will still be eligible to renew the card within 90 days of its expiration, but you are liable to be fined for failing to file the renewal before the date of expiration.

    You must also apply for a new ID card within a month of receiving your renewed Blue Card.

    How Can IAS Help With an EU Blue Card Application?

    The EU Blue Card scheme is a convenient way for highly-qualified non-EU nationals to live and work in Europe.

    If you’re looking to obtain an EU Blue Card or simply want to learn more about the application process, IAS is here to help.

    We are an experienced team of immigration lawyers with expertise in all aspects of EU immigration law. We have the skills and know-how to help and assist you at every stage of your application for a Blue Card.

    The EU Blue Card scheme is just one way highly-skilled migrant workers can apply to live and work in the EU. Member states also often provide other routes for non-EU nationals to live and work in their countries.

    To learn more about the EU Blue Card or the other ways you can work in the EU, give a member of our team a call on +44 (0)333 4149244 or contact us via our website.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    No. Only individuals from non-EU/EEA are eligible to apply for an EU Blue Card.

    Not normally. In the first two years of receiving the EU Blue Card, you are typically obliged to remain in the position you originally applied for.

    In order to change your job within the first two years, you and your new employer must re-submit your Blue Card application via the relevant authorities.

    You can stay in Spain for three months to find another job.

    If you don’t find a job within that time, the EU Blue Card will no longer be valid and you will have to return to your home country.

    • A spouse or legal partner.
    • Any unmarried children (including adopted children).
    • Direct descendants over 18 years with disabilities.
    • Individuals over 18 years with disabilities and who are under the legal guardianship of the Blue Card holder.

    You must earn at least €40,077 if you plan to work in Spain as a technician and €54,142 if you wish to work as a manager or company director (correct as of 2022).

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