The new EU Blue Card scheme: facilitating international labour mobility

import_contacts Guide

Mª Eugenia Blasco Rodellar

Find out everything you need to know about the new EU Card regulations

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Following the transposition of EU regulations, Spain has recently adopted a number of significant changes to the rules related to the EU Blue Card, a tool designed to facilitate the labour mobility of highly qualified workers within the European Union (EU). These changes respond to the need to boost the attraction of talent and promote competitiveness in the European labour market.

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is a residence and work permit for highly qualified non-EU workers who wish to exercise their profession in an EU member state (with the exception of Denmark and Ireland).

In Spain, the body in charge of processing this type of permit is the Unidad de Grandes Empresas (UGE).

Main changes in the new rules

The new EU Blue Card regulation, which came into force on 10 May 2023, introduces several significant changes:

  • Simplified procedures: the procedures for applying for and issuing the Blue Card have also been simplified, reducing the bureaucratic burden and making it more accessible to obtain the EU Blue Card, both for highly qualified professionals wishing to work in the EU and for employers wishing to recruit foreign talent.
  • National employment status: it is no longer necessary to prove that the national employment status allows the EU Blue Card applicant to be recruited.
  • Intra-EU labour mobility: EU Blue Card holders will be able to change employer and country of residence within the EU more easily, providing greater flexibility in their careers.

In the case of Spain, holders of an EU card granted in any other member state may work in Spain without being required to obtain special authorisation for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days.

In case the worker wants to move for a period longer than 90 days, he/she must apply for a new permit in Spain (within one month of entry) provided that:

  • You have been resident in another Member State for at least 12 months.
  • You have resided in several Member States for at least 6 months in each.

The new EU Blue Card regulation represents an important step towards promoting international labour mobility in the European Union, which is positioning itself as an attractive destination for high-level professionals. These changes reinforce the vision of a united and competitive Europe in the global labour market.

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