Foreign workers outside the EU can now legally work in Spain

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foreign workers

MADRID – Employers from all sectors in Spain can now recruit foreign workers from outside the EU in their country of origin. This will be especially helpful when they are struggling to fill their vacancies.

The Spanish Ministry of Inclusion announced this at the end of last year. These changes were published in the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE) on December 30. This means that Spanish companies can now hire third-country nationals for temporary work in positions that are difficult to fill in the domestic or EU labour market.

A recent survey by the Bank of Spain shows that 27% of Spanish employers struggle to fill vacancies. Currently, employers in the agriculture, catering, and construction sectors face the largest shortages.

Temporary contracts for foreign workers

To be eligible for a so-called ‘contract of foreign origin’, these foreign workers must have a temporary contract of a maximum of one year and reside outside the EU or EEA.

Every year the regulations for hiring workers from non-EU countries are updated based on the national employment situation and the expected figures of jobs that could fall under this category.

Valuable tool for safe and orderly migration

The new, approved regulations for 2022 facilitate for the first time circular migration projects with third countries in sectors where there is a demand for labour. According to the Spanish Minister of Inclusion, José Luis Escrivá, these regulations are a valuable tool to promote safe and orderly migration.

The BOE bulletin also contains new rules regarding the conditions that foreign workers must meet. These include housing, health, and safety for temporary employees.

Circular Migration Programs

In 2021 Spain launched a pilot project on circular migration with Honduras. Consequently, 250 Honduran workers will participate in agricultural campaigns by 2022. In addition, there are also programs with Morocco, Colombia, and Ecuador. However, once the contract period has ended, employees must return to their country of origin.

From which countries?

The employers can search for foreign workers in countries with which Spain has agreements on migration flows. These are Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, Mauritania, Ukraine, and the Dominican Republic. Spanish companies can also hire workers from other countries which have connections with Spain in this area. These include Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Mexico, El Salvador, the Philippines, Honduras, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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