Information about the special European Union work and residence visa scheme for highly-skilled non-EU citizens called the EU Blue Card, including the requirements for, the benefits of, and how to apply for the EU Blue Card.
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The EU Blue Card is a special work and residence visa for highly-skilled and/or highly-educated workers who are not citizens of a European Union country. The idea of the EU Blue Card is to attract skilled and educated workers to Europe and compete with the United States, Canada, and Australia as a destination for ‘high potential’ migrant workers. The name itself – Blue Card – is a riff on the United States’ Green Card.
The Blue Card seeks to harmonize requirements for highly-skilled workers throughout the European Union (the idea is that this is to be in addition to, and not instead of, specific national programs) and provide greater mobility for highly-skilled workers within the European Union.
If you wish to make Spain your destination under the Blue Card scheme, you should first look at the quarterly list of Spain’s in-demand jobs called the Catálogo de ocupaciones de difícil cobertura compiled by the Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal (formerly known as INEM). If you find your profession or specialty listed, that is great news! You should have a decent chance at securing a Blue Card. Start looking for jobs in Spain right away.
Holders of the Blue Card will be able to enjoy:
You can sign up for the EU Blue Card Network.
Work Contract. The most important requirement for the EU Blue Card is a work contract or binding offer of employment from an employer in the European Union. The work contract must also stipulate a salary at least 1.5 times the average gross salary in that country.
Qualifications. The applicant must show sufficient proof of education or skills related to the job specified in the work contract. At a minimum this normally would include a related bachelor’s degree or equivalent, or at least five years of relevant professional experience.
Passport. You need to have a valid passport.
Health insurance. If the job will not be providing you with health insurance (as it will in most cases), then you will need to provide your own, along with proof of it.
Not be a threat to the EU. If you have the bubonic plague or you’re a bomb-happy terrorist, then it’s safe to say that Spain and the EU don’t want you to apply for a Blue Card. But everyone else is welcome to apply.
Once you have a job offer from a prospective employer in Spain, he will need to apply for Blue Card permission on your behalf while you are not physically present in Spain. To help the prospective employer apply, you will need to provide him with:
The prospective employer will be notified by the Spanish authorities whether the permission for a Blue Card has been granted or not. The prospective employer is then responsible for notifying you, the prospective employee.
If permission for a Blue Card has been granted, then within one month of the employer having been notified, you will need to apply for the Blue Card visa at the Spanish consulate nearest to where you live. You will need:
Within three months you will be notified whether the Blue Card visa has been granted or not. You will then have up to 30 days to pick it up and three months to enter Spain and start work.
The European Union helps those who are interested in the Blue Card scheme connect with European employers through the EU Blue Card Network. The idea of the network is that you can be contacted by European employers who need workers and are interested in your specific profile.
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