Find out everything you need to know about the EU Blue Card and all the requirements you will need to meet for a successful application, including the main differences with the other similar residencies that also allow you to work in the EU and other relevant legal information. Everything in this post!
The Blue Card is a residence and work permit that allows you to live and work legally throughout the European Union.
It is very similar to the highly qualified work permit, in that it was created to attract international talent and is designed for workers with advanced training and studies who will perform technical tasks at a company.
However, there are several differences, as we will now see: for example, obtaining a Blue Card is conditioned to the national unemployment situation of the country.
This European card can be applied either if you hold a residence card in Spain, or if you are in your country of origin and you are hired by a company in the EU (which constitutes the most common scenario).
This is an ideal option if the foreigner intends to work in another EU country other than Spain, since the other alternatives (the regular work permit as an employee, the highly qualified visa, the community card, or the long-term residence) do not allow you to directly carry out a professional activity abroad (without no extra procedure).
It is important to mention that the issuance of these cards is limited to an amount fixed by each country, something that varies each year.
Validity and length of this residency card
The legal validity of this residence card depends on the country where the foreigner is going to start living (and thus working).
Each EU member state has the power to define for how long the blue cards granted in its territory will be valid.
However, this duration will always be between 1 and 4 years.
For example, in the case of Spain, this validity is 12 months, while in countries such as France or Germany it rises to 48.
In addition to allowing you to work legally for the company with which you are applying, this special type of work authorization offers other equally important advantages.
For example, it allows direct family members to be included in the application (mainly spouse and children), who will be allowed to reside in the EU for the same period of time as the main applicant.
In addition, it also offers the possibility of free movement within the member states of the European Union.
What is the difference with the long-term EU card?
Many foreigners have doubts about the differences between the blue card and the EU long-term card.
While it is true that they are similar in their purpose (to allow the foreigner to work in any country within the European Union) there are important differences.
The main difference stems from the path prior to obtaining the card.
In the case of the long duration EU card, it can only be obtained by those foreigners who have been living in Spain for 5 years, who will then be able to start the application.
In the case of the blue card, the precious procedure is simpler, since it is not necessary to demonstrate any previous year of residency in Spain (as we have mentioned before, it must be requested from the country of origin).
In addition, in order to obtain the EU long-term residency, the foreigner himself will be the one to carry out the whole legal procedure, while for the blue card it is the employer or businessman who initiates the application.
Who can apply for the EU blue card?
Let’s see what are the requirements to be met in order to apply for this card.
The foreign worker who wants to obtain the EU Blue Card, must make sure to:
- Be a non-EU citizen
- Have no criminal record and not have the entry prohibited to Spain
- Have an employment contract in a highly qualified position
- Fulfill the same requirements to obtain the initial residence and work as an employee (which you can find here).
- Proof of higher education or training for a minimum of 3 years (which must be related to the tasks to be performed in the company), and of a sufficient level to be able to perform them successfully)
- If the prior requirement can’t be met, you can also demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of professional experience related to the activity for which the residence is granted.
Application:Where and how
The application for this residence card can be made at any of the following institutions:
- Foreigners Office in Spain
- At the UGE, the Large Companies Unit
- At the General Directorate of Immigration if the company has more than 500 workers and work centers in more than 1 province.
It is important to note that it will be the employer or company’s representative who initiates the application.
Once this application is approved, the worker in her country of origin will receive the visa stamped in her passport and with that, she will be able to travel and enter the country of destination, where she will finally get the physical card.
At the time of application, the employer must provide:
- Form Ex-05, duly completed and which you can download here
- The Company’s Tax Identification Number (NIF)
- Employment contract with the applicant, which must have a minimum salary of at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary of the EU country in which the foreigner wishes to work (this amount will vary according to the country in question).
- The certificate demonstrating that the company is up to date with payments to the Social Security and Tax Agency
- Description of the job profile to be developed in the company
- Passport and complete copy of the employee’s passport
- Full CV of the foreigner
- Accreditation of the qualifications and training required for the position
- Payment of the corresponding fee
This is all you need to know about the European Union Blue Card. If you have more doubts or you would like our team of immigration lawyers to advise you step by step, do not hesitate to contact us: