What are the new Spanish Blue Card requirements?
No Labour Market Tests
Spanish employers no longer have to conduct a labour market test before sponsoring employees for a Blue Card. Small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from this change as they can more easily hire non-EU nationals.
Lower threshold salary
Employees must earn at least 1 to 1.6 times the average gross annual salary to be eligible for a Spanish Blue Card. Previously the threshold salary was fixed at 1.5 times the gross annual salary.
Longer Blue Card validity and relaxed work contract requirements
Blue Cards are now issued with a validity of three years, up from one year. Spanish employers can also now sponsor a Blue Card for an employee based on a six-month work contract. Previously, the minimum work contract length required was one year.
Changes to experience/education criteria
To qualify for a Blue Card, potential employees must have a degree equal to Level 2 of the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education. In practice, this means they must have a four-year bachelor’s degree or above. Previously only a three-year degree was needed.
Alternatively, prospective Blue Card holders must have at least five years of work experience in their sector, though IT professionals need only three years of experience.
Easier movement within the EU
Employees with Blue Cards issued in other EU member states can now enter Spain for up to 90 days for work-related activities without a Spanish work permit.
Conversely, holders of Spanish Blue Cards who move to another EU state and obtain a new Blue Card in that EU member state will have their Spanish Blue Card cancelled.
These changes, published in the Official Spanish State Bulletin on 8 May, come in response to the amendments to the Blue Card Scheme that were announced by the EU in 2021. The updates aim to attract more highly skilled non-EU nationals to ease labour shortages in critical sectors. EU members have been given until November 2023 to comply.
Need advice on relocating your non-EU employees to Spain? Discuss their immigration and moving requirements with us!