2024 couldn’t have a better start for all foreigners residing in Spain, or those who hope to do so soon.
Why? Well, at the end of 2023, the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migration held a press conference to announce that within the first half (6 months) of 2024, there would be new reforms in immigration regulations.
This news is important and definitely something to keep an eye on, as it will mean new advantages and many benefits for foreigners in Spanish territory.
What exactly will this reform consist of? Will the requirements for the different residence authorizations change? Will we have a mass regularization?
Keep reading and discover the answer to all these questions and more.
Understanding the context and the previous reform
The different reforms in the immigration regulations that we have had in recent years have undoubtedly been highly positive.
New advantages, new procedures, and greater opportunities to move to Spanish territory.
For example, we can look back to the end of 2022, where there was also a reform in immigration regulations.
This led to improvements for arraigo procedures, the student visa, and the work permit. For example, the introduction of a new arraigo option, more working hours for foreign students, and an easier work permit modification process.
Despite the improvements brought about by it, there are still many unaddressed issues from the 2022 reform. The new 2024 reform aims to tie the loose ends together and make a simpler, more concrete foundation for immigration in Spain.
Below we will see exactly what this year’s changes imply in terms of migration.
But before that we must clarify an important point.
The new reform will affect the immigration regulations, not the immigration law. Therefore, what is being modified is not the law itself, but rather the immigration rules or guidelines that develop the principles of immigration law.
The two main objectives of this reform
The press conference in which Elma Saiz, Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, announced the new reform, brought about an influx of positivity for the community of foreigners, but, at the same time, a sea of doubts.
Well, we still do not know the exact details of this 2024 reform, since its development will be established throughout the first 6 months of 2024.
However, we do know that there are two main objectives.
The first is to further improve, increase, and protect the rights of foreigners in the country. The second is to simplify and make the entire immigration process more efficient by reducing unnecessary processes.
Let’s look at them in more detail.
Currently, there are quite a lot of Spanish residence permits to choose from. Some of which have very similar requirements or processes, resulting in overlaps, redundancies, and inefficiencies.
This leads to longer waiting periods and more difficulty obtaining one’s residence permit. Thus, authorities propose a simplification and reduction of the types of residence authorizations to make things easier for everyone.
This could also imply the repeal of a number of articles under the regulation. As the reform intends to create better ways or options to move to Spain with ease and to make the requirements more flexible, so that less people fall into irregular situations.
This would be in line with the European Directive for the creation of the single permit, which aims to unify the process of obtaining residence permits by eliminating bureaucratic obstacles and redundancies.
Protecting the rights of foreigners
With this reform, not only should the situation of foreigners in Spain be improved, but it is also intended to modify the directive that regulates long-term residence.
Improving the rights of long-term residents and their families.
It remains to be seen how this change will materialize, and what other improvements to the rights of foreigners in Spain will be implemented.
But whatever the result, the proposed direction is totally favorable for the foreign community.
Mass regularization in 2024?
Whenever we talk about immigration reform, the concept of regularization becomes popular again.
This is because in the past, all reforms have been accompanied by regularizations that have taken different forms.
Thus, one possibility is that with the new reform in the regulations of 2024 we will have a mass regularization of foreigners.
This would mean that foreigners in an irregular situation who have been in the country for some time would have an extraordinary procedure to obtain their legal residence (probably if they find an employment contract first).
We still do not know if they will carry out a mass regularization under this reform and how the authorities will implement it.
Although it is true that a regularization proposal entered Congress a few months ago and will be voted on soon, we do not have any confirmation, and everything is speculation for now.
As we have more news about the 2024 reform, we will continue to keep you informed with the most complete information.
Keep checking this blog to see how the new reform will affect and improve your life as a foreigner in Spain!
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