Given the large number of temporary layoffs in Spain during recent days, many foreigners are asking themselves the same question. Their residency card is about to expire, and as they have suffered an ERTE, don’t know if they will be able to renew it.
So is it possible? Can you renew your residence and work authorization even if you have been fired? In this article you will find all the answers.
A few weeks after the coronavirus entered Spain, the government declared a state of alarm.
Its purpose? To stop the spread of the virus as much as possible. With this, many companies have been forced to close down.
And that has had (and still has) important consequences. If a business is unable to operate, it does not generate any income. And without revenue it cannot meet its fixed costs, including its staff or employees.
Thus, most of these companies are feeling the need to lay off workers in order to survive.
That is why we find many foreigners in the country who have a residence and work card whose renewal depends directly on having a job.
So how does this dismissal affect renewals? Are they still possible?
In order to answer this question, we must first understand what kind of dismissals are taking place.
What is an ERTE?
An ERTE or temporary employment regulation file is a dismissal in which the job is suspended during a certain period of time due to major forces.
We are talking about a labor measure facilitated by the government through a Royal Decree-Law.
With the current situation of the Covid-19, and seeing that so many companies were forced to reduce costs in any possible way, the Spanish Government created this economic measure available to all employers to alleviate the economic effects of the health crisis.
Almost 3 million workers have already been affected by this measure; Andalusia being the region with the most cases.
Without any doubt, among all of them there are many foreign citizens with a residence permit. Many immigrants are being affected by this crisis.
What is a temporary lay off all about?
During your temporary layoff, you’ll find yourself unemployed.
You will receive a government grant equivalent to 75% of what you have been paid up to now.
Even people who are not entitled to receive this unemployment benefit because they haven’t worked the minimum required amount of time will be able to get it.
The government has confirmed that as an extraordinary measure, all those who suffer an ERTE, regardless of the time worked, will be able to receive this unemployment compensation.
Is it the same as a general dismissal (ERE)?
No. An ERTE is not like a general lay off. We find an important distinction: an ERTE, which is a temporary dismissal (basically until the state of alarm lasts); and an ERE, a definitive lay off.
Understanding this will be fundamental to know if the renewal of your residence card is affected or not.
In the case of an ERTE, your employment relationship with the company or employer you had does not end, it is simply suspended for a certain period of time.
How will an ERTE affect your work permit renewal?
Let’s imagine the case of a foreigner whose work permit expires in April, during the state of alarm. Unfortunately, because of the current situation, the company he works for is unable to cover all his current costs and is forced to lay him off. That is to say, he goes through an ERTE.
Will he be able to renew his card?
Well, the reality is that the answer does not depend on the ERTE. As we have said, a temporary layoff does not end the employment relationship; it is still valid.
Therefore, you can renew your residence and work authorization without any problem.
From a legal point of view, it is as if the foreign citizen is still registered and paying social security contributions.
Therefore, the contractual relationship with the company, even if he does not work during these days, is valid.
The requirement that really matters when renewing your residency
Thus, with an ERTE it is perfectly possible to renew your work permit.
However, there is another requirement that can prevent and invalidate the renewal, and it has nothing to do with the temporary layoff.
We are talking about the length of time that the cardholder has been working during the last year. If it is less than 6 months, the renewal will not be possible. In the case of more than 183 days, there will be no problem.
So for an immigration perspective, the ERTE will not affect you in any way.
The only thing you have to take into account is the amount of time you have been employed during the last 12 months.
Then, how can I renew my residence permit during the alarm state?
However, we will give you a brief summary here.
Basically, you need to take into account that even though the foreigner’s offices are closed to the public, you are still obliged to renew your card if it expires.
As the general rule states, you must renew it between 60 days before and 90 days after its expiry date. We recommend that you do so as early as possible to avoid problems with the administration.
And you must do it online.
There are many immigration procedures that can be done via the internet, and renewing your card is one of them.
You simply need to be in possession of a digital certificate and use the common electronic register or the Mercurio Platform.
You just need to upload all the scanned renewal documents and submit them.
How to submit your renewal if you don't have a digital certificate?
You still don’t have a digital certificate? Then contact one of our lawyers to file the renewal for you.
We’ll do everything fast for you so you there is no need to worry about anything.