2024 Immigration News and Changes in Spain

2024 Immigration News and Changes in Spain

It looks like 2024 is going to be a year of significant developments in immigration matters in Spain. From changes in the requirements for obtaining certain residence permits to the introduction of new permits, and the elimination of others.

In this article, we explore all these changes in detail.

So, if you want to know what awaits you as a foreigner in Spain (whether you’re already in the country or planning to be soon) for this year, keep reading!

Without further ado, below, you will find the list of the main developments that you MUST be aware of as a foreigner in migration matters.

As you will see, many of these changes are about to come into effect and will represent a significant shift in how you should navigate immigration legislation.

So, don’t miss out on any details!

An increase in the minimum interprofessional wage

This year, Spain’s minimum interprofessional wage has increased from €1,080 to €1,134.

While this marks a social advancement and is excellent news for foreigners earning the minimum wage, it also raises the financial requirements for all residence permits that use the minimum interprofessional wage as a reference.

For example, to successfully apply for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, one must now demonstrate an annual salary of €31,752, equivalent to €2,646 per month.

Moreover, for residence permits requiring a job offer, the offer must specify a minimum salary.

In other words, the requirements for obtaining social integration (without personal means), transitioning from a student visa to a work permit, or obtaining the green card or card for Europeans have now increased.

New reforms in immigration regulations

The end of 2023 brought a significant announcement: the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migration revealed plans for a new immigration reform within the first six months of 2024.

Although the end of 2022 saw notable enhancements in arraigo procedures, the student visa, and work permits, lingering issues have called for the 2024 reform.

It’s essential to clarify that the reform pertains to immigration regulations, not the law itself.

This nuance emphasizes adjustments to guidelines that shape immigration law principles.

The two main objectives of the immigration regulation reform

The two main objectives of the 2024 reform, announced by Minister Elma Sáiz, are, on one hand, to improve and safeguard the rights of foreigners in the country, and on the other, to simplify and optimize the migration process by reducing unnecessary procedures.

The current array of Spanish residence permits poses challenges due to overlaps and redundancies, resulting in prolonged waiting periods and difficulties obtaining permits.

To address this, authorities propose simplifying and reducing the types of residence authorization, aligning with the European Directive for a single permit.

The reform also seeks to improve the directive governing long-term residence, enhancing the rights of long-term residents and their families.

While the specifics remain unclear, the proposed direction is favorable for the foreign community.

We will be providing regular updates on our blog regarding all developments related to this reform and how they will precisely impact immigration procedures.

So, make sure to follow us on our website and social media!

New Question Manual for the CCSE Citizenship Exam

Passing the CCSE exam is necessary to obtain Spanish citizenship. Managed by the Cervantes Institute, the CCSE is an exam on the culture and society of Spain. Passing it is not excessively complicated, as there is a manual with 300 official exam questions. This set of questions is updated every year, and we already have the 2024 manual with all of them published and updated, where 25% of the questions are new. The questions in this manual are the ones you will encounter in the official 2024 CCSE exam.

Digitalization of Europe’s travel and entry process

Generally, the European Council is trying to move towards a more digitalized system in terms of immigration.

One of their most recent announcements is the new European Entry-Exit System (EES) to be implemented in all countries within the Schengen Area.

This digital system will replace human border control at airports with a self-service kiosk that will check and record the traveller’s data.

All non-EU citizens will have to register through this system upon entry. And this is true whether or not you’re required a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

The ESS will replace the stamp in your passport with a digital stamp in its IT system. This will save time, increase security, and detect those who have broken the 90-day rule.

Many countries in the Schengen Area have already implemented this system at their border crossings. Spain plans to do this in 2024, aiming to install over 1,500 self-service kiosks across the country.

The possibility of mass regularization

As previously mentioned, 2024 brings significant updates in immigration regulations.

In the past, such reforms often included mass regularization, and that’s why there’s already talk about the possibility of having one this year.

This becomes more plausible as a regularization proposal was introduced in Congress a few months ago and is set for a vote soon.

While nothing is confirmed, and everything remains speculative, it would undoubtedly be welcome news for many foreigners.

Mass regularization implies that individuals in an irregular situation, having been in the country for a considerable period, could undergo an exceptional procedure to secure their legal residence, likely contingent on obtaining an employment contract.

Transfer of immigration powers in Cataluña

This point is particularly crucial for foreigners located in Cataluña. This Autonomous Community has a peculiarity regarding its competencies compared to others.

Unlike regions like Madrid or the Valencian Community, Cataluña has control over the renewals of initial residence and work permits and arraigo.

With the new legislative term, the government of Pedro Sánchez is currently negotiating with the Catalan Government for a further transfer of competencies.

This could mean that, for foreigners moving to the Catalan region, the Generalitat would oversee each application, potentially experiencing differences in requirements and the application process.

The Generalitat would then have its own criteria for the admission and expulsion of foreigners in its region.

However, all of this is purely speculative, and nothing has been confirmed yet.

As we have seen, overall, the year 2024 ushers in significant changes in Spain’s immigration policies. From an increased minimum wage affecting residence permits to broader regulatory reforms, the landscape is evolving.

As always, our lawyers are ready to guide you through uncertainty, so never hesitate to contact us!

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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2024 Immigration News and Changes in Spain