Work permits for highly qualified foreign professionals (EU blue card)
Non-EU foreigners who plan to carry out an activity that requires a higher education qualification may obtain a temporary residence and work permit for highly qualified professionals
Exceptionally, those workers who can prove a minimum of five years of professional experience related to the activity for which the permit is requested, at a level comparable to the above qualification, are also entitled to this permit.
What is meant by a higher education qualification?
Qualification resulting from higher education training that lasted at least 3 years and provides the degree of qualification necessary to practice a profession that demands a high level of training or to join an advanced research programme.
Employers who wish to contract a foreign worker non-resident in Spain must submit in person, or via their legal representative, the application for an initial permit (which can be downloaded at http://extranjeros.mtin.es) to the competent authorities in the province in which the activity is to take place.
Documentation to submit with the application
• Tax Identification Number and, if the company is a legal entity, a public deed granting legal representation to the individual filing the application.
• If the employer is an individual, presentation of a Tax ID Number will not be required if they agree to having their details checked via the Identity Verification System.
• Employment contract, on the official form according to the type of contract.
• Documents attesting the economic, material, and human resources available and necessary for the business project and the ability to meet the derived obligations.
• A copy of the foreigner’s full passport or valid travel document.
• Proof of adequate training and, if applicable, professional qualifications to practise the profession.
• Where appropriate, a certificate from the Public Employment Service stating the lack of unemployed to fill the position.
If the work and residence permit is granted, the foreigner must apply, in person (notwithstanding exceptions), for the visa at the diplomatic mission or consulate where they live, within a month of the employer being notified.
The following documents must be submitted with the visa application:
• A standard passport or travel document recognised as valid in Spain, and with a remaining validity period of at least 4 months.
• A certificate confirming that the applicant has no criminal record for acts that constitute a criminal offence under Spanish law, issued by competent authorities in the country of origin or countries of residence over the past 5 years.
• A medical certificate stating that the applicant does not suffer from any of the diseases listed in the International Health Regulations
• A copy of the employment contract, stamped by the Immigration Office.
The applicant must also pay the corresponding visa processing fee.
Once notified that the visa has been grated, the worker must collect it in person within a period of one month. If they fail to do so, you application will be considered relinquished and filed. Entering Spain
The worker must enter Spain within three months after obtaining the visa and be registered with the Spanish Social Security system.
Once registered in the Social Security system the worker must apply in person for a foreigner identity card at the immigration office or police station.
The foreigner will be obliged to leave Spain if not registered with the Social Security system by the end of the established deadline. Failure to do so constitute a serious offence as it will be considered an illegal stay in the country.
Can the permit be renewed?
Yes. The initial permit is granted for one year once the issuing requirements have been met. The application period for renewal is 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date, however applications will be accepted within the 90 days following the expiry though a fine might be imposed.
One the renewal application is granted the foreigner must apply for a new foreigner id card within a month.
When applying for a permit, you may also request a temporary for family reunification for those family members you wish to join you in Spain. The application can be made by the employer or by the foreigner.
The permit will be granted if the requirements established in the regulations in relation to family reunification are met.
Mobility within the European Union
Foreigners who have been holders of a EU blue card issued by another EU Member State for at least 18 months have the right to move to Spain and apply for a EU blue card in Spain.
The application can be submitted either by the employer or by the EU blue card holder in person before entering Spain or within a month after entering Spanish territory.
Applicants must submit all the documents proving the fulfilment of the requirements for an initial work and residence permit for highly qualified employment, except the visa.
If the permit is granted the EU blue card holder must register with the Social Security system an apply for a foreigners ID card within a month after being notified the decision.
The foreigner will be obliged to leave Spain if not registered
with the Social Security system by the end of the establis-
hed deadline. Failure to do so constitute a serious offence
as it will be considered an illegal stay in the country.
EU card holders are entitled to apply for residence permits
for those family members who want to join him in Spain if
the family was already constituted in the first member
state. The application can be filed either by the EU blue
card holder or by his employer.
This application can be filed together with the application of
the EU blue card holder, prior to entry in Spain or within a
month after entering Spanish territory with the following
• A copy of the full passport or valid travel document of
each member of the family.
• A copy of the residence permit in the previous Member
State, and proof of having resided there as members of
the EU blue card holder’s family.
• Evidence that the EU blue card holder can provide
adequate housing and has means as required for family
If the holder of the EU blue card wishes to reunite members
of his family, who are not part of the family already establis-
hed in the previous Member State of residence, they must
apply according to the procedure previously stated in the
“Family members” paragraph.
The guidelines contained in this document are purely informative