In 2024, Spain is facing a new process of mass regularization for foreigners in irregular situations. What is still a legislative initiative for now has sparked intense debate within the entire community and the active participation of various parliamentary groups.

In this article, we will explain all the latest updates and information we currently have about this regularization process. Will it really happen? If so, when? What requirements will need to be met to benefit from it?

Below, we will find all the answers.


The Current Situation 


The 2024 regularization began with a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP), which allows citizens to participate and promote the creation of laws.

Once this initiative received more than 500,000 signatures (including a large number from NGOs), it reached Congress where it was voted on by all political parties and parliamentary groups.

The result was very positive: approved with more than 300 votes in favor (and only 33 against, all from the political party Vox).

In the legislative process, once voted on in Congress, this popular legislative initiative enters a phase where it can receive modifications through amendments from the different parliamentary groups.

This is exactly what took place at the end of last week when the Vox group presented a total amendment to this popular legislative initiative seeking to regularize foreigners in an irregular situation in Spain.


Vox’s amendment


Through this amendment, Vox aims to make it more difficult for foreigners in an irregular situation to obtain a residence permit through regularization.

In fact, the Vox amendment goes a little further and addresses three different points.

Firstly, it establishes that foreigners who have entered Spain illegally and irregularly cannot obtain a residence permit.

Secondly, it proposes the expulsion of these foreigners if they have committed a crime.

Thirdly, it seeks to modify the penal code, to deprive Spaniards who are not Spanish by origin. That is, foreigners who have obtained nationality through residence, as long as they have committed a crime whose penalty is imprisonment for more than four years, or for one year in the case of repeat offenders.

Does this amendment mean that the regularization will not take place?


Despite the amendment presented by Vox, with more than 300 votes in favor, the initiative will continue. 

However, it is important to be aware of what is happening, and where this legislative process currently stands, as it is these amendments that can shape it and change the exact requirements and conditions.


Who will benefit from the mass regularization?


This regularization will benefit about 500,000 foreigners, mainly those who entered Spain before November 1, 2021.

We are talking about a mass regularization, but we do not know when or how it will be carried out.

The amendment presented by Vox could modify the Popular Legislative Initiative, especially regarding regularization, of which we do not yet have all the details.

Currently, we are in the phase of understanding the exact form that the process will take, and these amendments are the ones that could define it.

So even this November 2021 requirement could change, leading to a shorter time frame to consider. 

So, what do we know today?


What are the confirmed requirements?


Although we are not certain about the specific details of the upcoming regularization, we can look at previous mass regularizations, such as those in 2000, 2001 and 2005, to identify common patterns.

On those occasions, presenting an employment contract was a key requirement.

The ultimate goal of these regularizations is for foreigners to fill jobs that the Spanish economy cannot fill with the national market.


Will I be asked for an employment contract?


In line with what we have just mentioned, it is very likely that a job offer will be requested as an essential requirement.

In this context, it is important to clarify that, instead of a signed contract (which would not be possible without a residence permit) a job offer will be required.

This offer would serve as a commitment by the employer to hire the foreigner once his or her status has been regularized.

In short, the requirement for a job offer seems to be a probable element in the regularization process, facilitating the integration of foreigners into the Spanish labor market and meeting the country’s economic needs.


Criminal records


Another very likely requirement is a criminal record certificate.

This requirement is present in almost all immigration procedures for residence permits. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that this regularization will not be different.

Thus, presenting a criminal record certificate that demonstrates a lack of criminal records will probably be another essential requirement.


The difference between mass regularization and arraigo social


Many foreigners ask us this question.

If both regularization and arraigo social require a job offer, a criminal record, and at least three years of illegal residence in Spain, what is the difference between the two?

What is the point of regularization if we already have this residence figure due to exceptional circumstances?

To answer we must delve a little deeper. 

The arraigo social process is a considerably more tedious and complex immigration process, and it will continue to be so.

Mainly because not only these requirements are required. For example, a report on integration into Spanish society is necessary, which is obtained from the town hall.

This requirement is often tedious and long to comply with.

In addition, although we currently know that those who have been in Spain since November 2021 (3 years) will be able to benefit from regularization, it is very likely that if a job offer is required, this requirement will be more lax and less time will be required.

So, again, it would be a much more favorable option compared to arraigo social. 

In short, with this regularization, obtaining a residence permit would be much more agile and comfortable.

However, we still have to wait to find out the final details of the procedure and the definitive requirements.


Latest news on the 2024 mass regularization (stay informed)


The process of mass regularization of foreigners in Spain in 2024 represents an important milestone in the country’s immigration policy.

Although there are still uncertainties and debates about the final details and requirements, this initiative promises to facilitate the integration of thousands of people into Spanish society and economy.

We will remain attentive to new updates and details that are announced, and will continue to update this article with the latest information as it becomes available.

And, as always, our immigration lawyers are available to help you with all your immigration needs.


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