Immigration reform becomes law next month
7 January 2005, MADRID-A major reform in the law governing how foreigners live in Spain will become law next month.
7 January 2005
MADRID-A major reform in the law governing how foreigners live in Spain will become law next month.
The revised Foreigners' Law will come into action on 7 February.
Under the changes, the Spanish government will offer legal status to immigrants who have contracts for six-months.
Immigrants can arrange legal status in Spain from outside the country.
They will also be allowed 'three months grace' while they apply for legal status once they are inside Spain.
The revised Foreigners Law will include clauses which mean immigrants who work in the agriculture or building sectors will only need a contract of just three months to be able to apply for legal status.
They could also have a series of short-term contracts which would also entitle them to apply for legal status.
Immigrants will have three months in which to present their application to the authorities.
Domestic workers will be able to apply to become legal workers if they can pay social security.
They need to demonstrate that they work for up to 30 hours a week and can get a six-month contract from their employers.
The Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero hopes the law change will combat the trade in human trafficking and allow the government to bring 'illegal immigrants' into the system.
This will allow the state to capitalise on taxes and unpaid social security payments which illegal immigrants do not pay.
But critics have said the system is not practical and many employers will be reluctant to provide contracts as it will cost them more.
Another part of the new law will mean that for the first time Spain will examine applicants' criminal antecedents.
This move follows a recent scandal in which an Ecuadoran arrested in connection with the murder of a university student in Lerida in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain, had been convicted of murdering six women in his own country.
Legal sources in Ecuador said Gilbert Antonio Chamba Jaramillo, who had been jailed for the rape and murder of six women, told their Spanish counterparts he had no previous convictions.
In fact, Chamba Jaramillo was the so-called "Monster of Machala" who served eight years in his own country after strangling six women.
He was arrested in December for the murder of Maria Isabel Bascuñana, a Spanish student.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news