15 Feb, 2023 @ 16:30
1 min read

Spain’s government planning to offer temporary residency to illegal migrants who take vocational training 

pitman training

THE SPANISH government is planning on granting temporary residence permits to illegal migrants in the country if they sign up for vocational training, which is known in Spain as Formación Profesional (FP). 

That’s according to a draft of a Royal Decree, which develops another law covering FP that was approved a year ago by the Spanish parliament. 

The new text is yet to be finalised and must still be developed and debated by lawmakers and interested parties, such as the education community. 

Candidates for these courses will have to pass a series of requirements, including knowledge of the Spanish language and prior skills in their chosen field. 

The plan from the government – a coalition of the Socialist Party and leftist Unidas Podemos – was first revealed by Spanish daily El Mundo, while sources from the Education Ministry have confirmed the details to news agency Europa Press. 

While there are no official figures, it is estimated that some 500,000 migrants are living in Spain in an irregular situation. 

The aim of the new plan, ministry sources said, is ‘to open the door to FP’ to this foreign population ‘and for them to have access to this kind of training’. 

The draft text of the planned legislation states that ‘citizens from countries that do not belong to the European Union’ who have been in Spain for an uninterrupted two-year period ‘will be granted authorisation’ to sign up for these courses.

‘Authorisation for residency will be contingent upon the passing of the corresponding training and the presentation of a work contract,’ it continues. 

Ministry sources explained that this means, in practice, that a residency permit will be issued to migrants while they take these courses, and then afterwards once they have secured a job. 

What’s more, there will be an option for foreign workers to accredit their skills, something that previously was only available to Spanish citizens. 

The Education Ministry sources added that the idea is to offer shorter training courses, of between 600 and 800 hours, that are designed to facilitate migrants with swift access to the job market. 

The same sources made clear that there would be no age limit for applicants, and that the FP system is aimed at the entire population.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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