It Takes Cubans an Average of Two Years To Obtain Residence in Spain

Archive image of a group of migrants waiting for their turn to request information at an Immigration office in Madrid. (EFE/Juanjo Martín)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 11 August 2023 — Cubans occupy eighth place on the list of irregular migrants who have been granted residence after arriving in Spain in the last twelve months. Since June 2022, when the country relaxed its immigration regulations, the number of people who obtained their papers increased by 98.5%.

The Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration told the EFE agency that, on average, irregular migrants on Spanish territory take two years and eight months to obtain legal status. However, the institution clarified, the time range varies according to the nationality of the applicants.

“According to the figures, as of June 30, Bolivians require an average of three and a half years to obtain residence, while Cubans manage to obtain it in less than two years,” he says.

María Goñi, a lawyer specializing in immigration cases, explained to EFE that the reform of Spanish immigration laws has benefited many foreigners, since it has softened the requirements imposed by the country to grant residence.

There are currently four ways to gain residence: social, which requires three years of residence and economic solvency; labor, which can be applied for after two years of residence if it is proven that in that period the applicant worked six months; training, for those who decide to study after two years of stay in the country; and family, for those who have direct relatives who are Spanish citizens.

This last way is the most common among migrants from Cuba, as well as those from Brazil and Argentina. In the last year, the category modified its requirements so that applicants are not required to demonstrate economic solvency. After the update, applications increased by 190% compared to the same period in 2022.

In addition, by this way, the Spanish State authorizes migrants to reside and work legally in the country for five years.

The number of Spanish nationalities granted has also experienced an increase that could be reflected, according to Goñi, in the “number of people who can potentially nationalize a foreign relative.”

Another way that has undergone changes is the social one, which previously required the presentation of a one-year full-time employment contract, which it is now possible to request if you have an employment contract of 20 hours a week (if you are in charge of a minor) or 30 hours if you receive the interprofessional minimum wage (1,080 euros).

Nor is it a requirement – as it was before – to report to the employer if the working time was fulfilled when the applicant didn’t have a work permit. According to the ministry, this measure was updated to encourage migrants to obtain their papers.

Training, however, has not been a popular way among migrants, who often leave their country of origin in the hope of getting a job but without the funds to invest in their education.

In the case of asylum seekers, if they are rejected as refugees and have worked, can opt for the job path to residence.

Statistics offered by the Spanish Government reveal that 46% of migrants discharged from Social Security are women – mostly Latin Americans – who work as domestics.

The ministry said that it does not have precise numbers for those who reside in Spain without papers, since it is more difficult to know the number of people who enter by air and decide not to return at the end of their visa than those who arrive by sea and land, where there is greater border control.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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