1. Improvements for foreign students

One of the objectives of the reform of the immigration regulations is to encourage students to remain in Spain, therefore increasing their chances of getting a job

During their study stay, students have the right to both study and work in Spain, as employed or as self-employed, as long as a series of requirements are met.

  • That the studies are relevant and transferable to the job
  • Working hours may not exceed 30 hours per week
  • The student is in higher education
  • The student Is studying/ training for the following certificates:
  • Regulated training to obtain a job
  • Certificate of professionalism
  • Certificate of technical aptitude
  • Certificate of professional qualification of a specific job

In the case that the students do not fulfil these requirements, they must continue to apply for the authorisation that will allow them to work in Spam

The last significant new development for students is that the requirement that students had to reside in Spain for a period of three years in order to obtain a work permit has been removed, and it is now possible to apply for a permit allowing the student’s family members to reside with the student at the same time.

2. Improvements in regard to family reunification and arraigo


One of the most notable improvements in family reunification is the reduction in the amount of financial means that the foreigner must prove to be able to reunite with their family.

In addition, this residence permit makes it possible to obtain both self-employment and employment


Arraigo laboral

The reform has created the possibility of obtaining an ‘arraigo laboral’, when it can be proven that the person has been residing continuously in Spain for at least two years.

Furthermore, in order to obtain this type of arraigo, a series of requirements must be met

  • No criminal record either in the country of origin or the country/countries of residence within 5 years
  • Proof of one or more periods of employments of at least 6 months
  • The applicant must be in a situation of irregularity in Spain, if he/she is in a regular situation in Spain, he/she will not be able to apply for this type of permit, as was possible before the reform.
  • It must be proven that the applicant has worked or contributed at least 15 hours per week within 1 year, or that he/she has worked 30 hours per week for 6 months.

Without a doubt, the most prominent development in the reform concerning the arriago laboral has been in the area of the self employed, as self employed workers will now be able to apply for this type of arriago as long as they meet the following requirements

  • They have resided in Spain for a period of 2 years
  • If they can prove that they have been working for a continuous 6 month period

Arraigo social

After the reform, it is no longer the duration of the contract that is taken into account, but the type of salary to be obtained, which cannot be less than the SMI (minimum interprofessional salary)

In order to be able to apply for arraigo social, the following requirements must be met

  • The foreigner must not be a citizen of the EU. The EEE (European economic area), Switzerland or a family member of these countries
  • Must not have a criminal record in Spain, their country of origin or the country/countries in which he/she has resided in the last 5 years
  • The person interested in obtaining an arraigo social must have resided in Spain for a minimum period of 3 years. In regard to this, one must be careful with absences in Spain, as these cannot exceed 120 days.
  • Both public and private documents are accepted to prove this requirement.
  •  An employment contract signed by both the employee and the employer must be obtained, which must state at least the minimum wage or the salary established in the applicable collective agreement. Furthermore, the employment contract may not state a working week of less than 30 hours.
  •  With regard to the previous requirement, there is a nuance to be highlighted, which is that the employment contract may state a duration of no less than 20 hours in the case of workers who are in charge of minors or people who are dependent on them.

Likewise, the reform has admitted that the applicant may hold several employment contracts for the same or different activities, whether working for the same company or for several companies.

  • The foreign applicant must have family ties with other persons who are foreigners and resident in Spain.
  • In the case of not having such ties, the foreigner may provide a report in which he/she can prove that he/she is socially integrated. This report must be issued by the Autonomous Community where the foreigner is domiciled.

This report must have the following content:

– Registration.

– Financial means.

– Links with family members residing in Spain.

– Proof of integration attempts and efforts.

This report will be issued and notified within a maximum period of 30 days from the date the application is submitted to the applicant.

  • The applicant must not be prohibited from entering Spain or be a person who can be refused entry in countries where Spain has an agreement in this respect.

Arraigo por formación

This new legal concept has been created to grant a residence permit for a period of 12 months to foreigners who have been residing in Spain for at least 2 years without interruption when the applicant is going to undertake regulated training in order to gain access to employment.


This type of residence permit can be applied for if it can be proved that you have been working irregularly for 6 months.

This type of authorisation requires the following requirements:

  • Not to have a criminal record in Spain or in the country/countries where he/she has been residing for the last 5 years, in respect of offences covered by the Spanish legal system.
  • The applicant cannot be a person who can be rejected by countries that have an agreement signed with Spain in this respect.
  • He/she has not returned to his/her country of origin within the established period for doing so.
  • Pay the fee for the processing of this authorisation.


There are 3 major improvements compared to regular migration. These are as follows:

– The requirements for persons from third countries who are self-employed have been reduced.

– There has been an improvement in the formalities for hiring in the country of origin.

– The aim is to improve administrative management.

– Regarding the renewal of the authorisation for residence and work as an employee, it will be for 4 years, except in the case of long-term authorisations.

This authorisation covers the possibility of working anywhere in Spain.

– Creation of the figure of a family member of a Spanish citizen who wants to keep his or her family unit in Spanish territory.