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Understanding the EU Blue Card for Highly Skilled Employment in Spain

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At Employing In Spain, we recognize the significance of regulatory updates for international companies with employees in Spain. The EU Blue Card, also known as the Tarjeta Azul, is a crucial aspect of immigration and residency regulations for highly skilled third-country nationals seeking employment in the European Union.

In this article, we will explore the recent changes brought about by the new EU Blue Card Directive, discuss the specific requirements for obtaining the EU Blue Card, and provide expert guidance for companies in need of labor and immigration assistance in Spain.

Introduction to the EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a work permit designed to attract highly skilled employees from non-EU countries.

It allows them to reside and work in the European Union, including Spain, under specific conditions.

This initiative aims to facilitate economic growth, innovation, and talent acquisition within the EU.

Key Updates in the New EU Blue Card Directive

The recently implemented EU Blue Card Directive introduces several important changes that companies and highly skilled employees should be aware of. These updates include:

1. Contract Duration:

• The new directive reduces the required duration of employment contracts from 12 months to 6 months.
• This adjustment provides more flexibility for both employers and employees.

2. Residence Transition Time:

• Previously, individuals had to spend 18 months in their initial EU member state before obtaining a residence permit for another member state.
• The new directive reduces this transition period to 12 months, enabling faster mobility within the European Union.

3. Increased Job Mobility:

• Under the new directive, EU Blue Card holders can work in other EU member states for up to 90 days without obtaining an additional work permit.
• This change encourages mobility and allows professionals to pursue short-term assignments or projects in different countries.

4. Adjusted Salary Threshold:

• The directive revises the salary threshold for applicants.
• The minimum salary requirement now ranges from at least 100% to no more than 160% of the gross annual average salary in the member state of employment.
• Previously, the threshold was a minimum of 150% without an upper limit.

5. Recognition of Professional Experience:

• The new directive emphasizes the recognition of professional experience as an alternative to higher education qualifications.
• Applicants working in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can substitute a diploma with three years of relevant work experience within the last seven years.

6. Self-Employment Opportunities:

• EU Blue Card holders are now permitted to engage in self-employment in addition to their primary profession.
• This expanded flexibility allows individuals to pursue entrepreneurial ventures while utilizing their skills and expertise.

7. Exclusion of Ireland and Denmark:

• It is important to note that Ireland and Denmark are not bound by the new EU Blue Card Directive, as they did not adopt the previous version either.

Requirements for Obtaining the EU Blue Card

a) Qualifications: The applicant must possess the qualification specified in Article 71.2(a) of Law 14/2013.

For regulated professions, the applicant must provide evidence of homologation according to the sector-specific regulations for practicing regulated professions.

b) Valid Employment Contract: The applicant must present a valid employment contract or a firm job offer of high qualification for a period of at least 6 months, ensuring continuous activity throughout the EU Blue Card’s validity.

c) Salary Conditions: The conditions set in the employment contract must comply with the prevailing regulations and applicable collective agreements.

The specified gross annual salary in the contract should not be lower than a reference salary threshold, which will be defined by regulations after consultation with social partners in accordance with current legislation.

The reference salary threshold should be at least 1.0 times and up to 1.6 times the gross annual average salary.


At Employing In Spain, we understand the significance of keeping up with the latest immigration regulations and employment requirements for international companies operating in Spain.

The new EU Blue Card Directive brings important changes, including reduced contract duration, increased job mobility, adjusted salary thresholds, and recognition of professional experience.

These updates aim to facilitate the recruitment of highly skilled professionals from non-EU countries and promote economic growth.

If your company requires expert guidance and assistance in navigating labor and immigration matters in Spain, do not hesitate to contact us at Employing In Spain.

Our dedicated professionals are here to help you achieve your employment goals and ensure compliance with the latest regulations.


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