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Migration in Spain: New Reform of the Immigration Law approved in Spain

We bring you good news! No matter if you are in Spain or plan to do it in the future, the new reform in the regulation of the Law of Foreigners in Spain is able to benefit you if you are a foreigner and want to have a legal job and your residence permit in the country. Do you want to find out everything that this new reform means for migration in Spain? Join us and find out!

What does the new reform of the Immigration Law consist of?

After the new reform was approved by the Council of Ministers at the end of July, the reform of the regulations of the Immigration Law will finally come into force, which will allow the incorporation of thousands of foreigners into the Spanish labor market.

The initiative proposed and promoted by the Minister of Migration, José Luis Escrivá, aims to facilitate the hiring of foreigners by employers. It also offers new alternatives so that immigrants who were already in Spain can regularize their status and have a stable job.

Among the objectives of this new reform is the priority of bringing to the surface and restoring the underground economy. Currently, there are thousands of foreigners in Spain who do not have papers and work clandestinely, also known as “working in the black economy”.

When you live in Spain in this way, you have no rights as a worker and, in addition, you are completely invisible to the labor market. On the other hand, the State is also harmed by this situation insofar as it loses money.

In this regard, the fundamental changes that have been made to the migration law in Spain are as follows:

  • Recruitment of foreigners at origin.

  • New developments regarding the work of non-EU students.

  • Establishment of a new regularization channel: the training-based settlement.

So far, Escrivá continues to avoid giving figures on the number of foreigners who would benefit from the reform, but it is estimated that its impact could reach tens of thousands of people.

Sources from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration are pleased that this reform has been approved, as it is an alternative to improve the Spanish migration model and to incentivize the underground economy that keeps the hiring and regularization models rigid and underutilized.

What will be the new measures to be taken regarding migration in Spain?

If you want to know which are the main measures implemented by the new reform of the Immigration Law, here are the details:

The manner in which the catalog of hard-to-fill occupations will be issued will be modified.

Before the reform was approved, the catalog of occupations that were difficult to cover was very limited and did not correspond to the needs of the market in specific situations.

Previously, this meant that you could only obtain an initial work permit as an employee by relying on the information on this list or through a complicated certificate of insufficient number of job seekers.

But, thanks to this reform, the professions in the catalog are broader, since the occupations that are difficult to cover have been expanded. And, with the new system, the catalog will be updated every 3 months and it will be done by geographical area: autonomous communities, provinces, etc.

As a result, the options for those who want to live in Spain will be easier to access.

Reduction of deadlines for hiring foreigners

The possibility of obtaining a work permit will now be much faster and simpler thanks to the reduction of deadlines. Job offers to prove insufficient applicants will only have to be published for 8 days for the public employment service to issue the certificate of insufficiency within 3 days.

From these 3 days onwards, the application for the official residence and work permit for foreigners can be submitted to the foreigners’ office. This means that a company that needs to fill a vacancy -as long as it is not included in the catalog of occupations of difficult coverage- and cannot fill it with people within the national territory, will be able to do it easily and quickly with foreigners from their country of origin.

Easier to obtain a self-employment permit

This measure, in particular, is intended to benefit self-employed workers in order to obtain their work permit. The objective is to reduce the requirements that any foreigner must meet in order to apply for his permit and carry out his activity as a self-employed professional in Spain.

In short, the financial means that previously had to be presented in the application to demonstrate that the project will have sufficient financial backing to be carried out will be reduced.

Foreigners on student visas may work longer hours

Until now, any foreigner holding a student visa could work a maximum of 20 hours per week while completing their studies or training.

Now, with the new reform, the range will increase from 20 to 30 hours per week, thus benefiting the student community to generate income more easily while pursuing their studies.

In addition, geographical limitations will be eliminated, which means that students will be able to work anywhere in Spain, as long as their studies are not affected in any way.

Student visa to work permit modification made easier

Another way in which the government intends to favor the hiring of foreign workers is to offer more facilities to obtain a work permit, speeding up the modification of the student visa to a residence and work permit.

Currently, in order to be able to modify the visa to a residence and work permit, the student must have spent at least 3 years with the student visa in use.

But, we know that in most cases the studies have a shorter duration, so the foreigner had to face complications in his plans to renew and keep renewing in order to fulfill the requirement.

Now, with the new approved reform, the 3-year term is eliminated together with the geographical limitation.

New roots for training

A new type of residence for exceptional causes will be created: the “arraigo para formación”.

This one-year permit (renewable for another 12 months) will be granted to all foreigners who have been continuously in an irregular situation in Spain for at least 2 years, and who decide to begin training or studies that will help them to obtain an official or regulated qualification.

After completing their studies, they will be able to modify their arraigo to a work permit as long as they find a job offer that offers at least the minimum interprofessional salary.

The need to apply for compatibility or a new work permit for employees or self-employed workers after renewal will be eliminated.

Those foreigners who managed to obtain an employee work permit and would like to start working as self-employed must make a modification or apply for a compatibility if they want to have the possibility to enjoy both modes at the same time.

The new regulation will eliminate this need, since once your work permit is renewed for the first time, you will be able to switch to self-employment or self-employment without having to formalize any additional legal procedures.


You may also be interested in: How to become self-employed in Spain if you are a foreigner?


What are the types of work permits?

Depending on the situation and the type of offer the immigrant has, there are different types of work permits that may allow him/her to live legally in Spain. These are:

  • Regular work permit: this must be requested from the country of origin. In this case, it is the employer, from Spain, who must start the legal process.

  • If you have a job offer as a highly qualified employee, you can start the process from Spain. This visa is granted to those who receive offers as managers or any other technical position that generates an income of more than 40,000 euros per year.

  • The European Union Blue Card. This, like the qualified professional visa, allows you to work throughout the European Union.


You may also be interested in: Industrial sectors in Spain: in which ones can a foreigner invest?


How does the new Immigration Law affect immigrant youth and students?

Thanks to the reform, the regulations that offer permanence to foreign students in Spain have been improved. Now, they will be allowed to combine their training with work, eliminating the restrictions they have to join the labor market after finishing their studies.

Thus, students are the main beneficiaries of the new law. They will be able to combine their work with their education, as long as the work does not require more than 30 hours per week and their studies are not affected.

In addition, as previously mentioned, the restriction that imposed a three-year stay in Spain in order to obtain a work permit will be eliminated.


You may also be interested in: Which are the safest autonomous communities in Spain?


Do you want to come to work in Spain as a self-employed or dependent worker? Thanks to the new reform you will find less obstacles than before, being able to create a new life for yourself in the Spanish territory.

Do you want to find out about migration in Spain and what are the requirements you must complete? In TAS Consulting we are experts in dealing with situations like yours, just contact us through our website or email and our professionals will gladly assist you.

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