Reform of the Foreigners’ Regulation

On July 26, 2022, the Spanish Government published in the Official State Gazette Royal Decree 629/2022, of July 26, 2022, amending the Regulation of Organic Law 4/2000. This legislative reform, the purpose of which is to address in an agile manner the growing imbalances in the Spanish labor market associated with the labor shortage, as well as to respond to pre-existing situations not resolved by the regulations, entered into force on August 16, 2022. The main novelties brought about by the amendment to the Alien Regulation are the following:


  • The requirement to stay for a period of 3 years to be able to hire a student and obtain a residence and work authorization as an employee or self-employed person is eliminated.
  • The activity must be compatible with the completion of the studies and will have a maximum duration of 30 hours per week.
  • It is not necessary to apply for a residence and work permit to work as a student, i.e., with the residence permit the student can enter the labor market directly. However, you will not be able to continue the activity if your stay expires, therefore, it is also necessary to be regularly in the State to be able to exercise said activity.
  • The authorization of stay will allow working if the studies carried out are “higher studies, of a regulated training for the employment or aimed at obtaining a certificate of professionalism, or a training leading to obtaining of the certification of technical aptitude or professional qualification necessary for the exercise of a specific occupation”.

Family reunification

  • The economic requirements to regroup minor descendants and dependent relatives are reduced. The period of hiring is not considered as much as the economic requirements and the perspective of continuity at work.

Determination of national employment status

  • Taking into account that it was almost impossible to hire in origin, an attempt has been made to solve this problem by expanding the catalog of occupations that are difficult to cover, which must be published every 3 months, and to speed up the processing of job offers managed by the public employment service and to obtain the certificate of insufficiency of applicants (8 days to publish the offer and 3 days to issue the certificate in question).

Renewal of residence and work permits

  • The renewal of residence and work permits is facilitated since the interested party must prove that he/she has worked for at least 3 months, that he/she has a new work contract, that he/she is actively looking for a job, among others.
  • Renewal is for 4 years instead of 2, as was previously the case, and allows for self-employment and/or employment.


  • Employment ties: to prove that you have been working irregularly for a minimum period of 6 months.
  • The most important thing is the creation of a new figure of “arraigo” or “ties” for those who have been living irregularly living in Spain for a minimum period of 2 years. They will be able to obtain a residence permit for a period of one year if they do regulated training, but it will not allow them to work. They will be able to work after finishing their professional studies, once they find a job offer. The initial authorization can be renewed for another 12 months.

Electronic visa application

  • Possibility to apply for the visa electronically. This option will be viable as long as the consulate in question has enabled this option.

Creation of the Alien Processing Unit

  • The creation of this unit is intended to expedite the resolution of the different authorizations processed by the immigration offices.

For applications filed before entry into force, the regulations in force at the time of the application or the current regulations will be considered if they are more beneficial to the interested party or if the interested party so requests.

Therefore, the new measures approved by the Government facilitate access to the labor market for students, citizens in irregular situations, and foreigners who receive an offer to work in Spain while abroad. In addition, to speed up the procedures, the duration of the renewed residence authorization is increased to four years and online platforms are created to process visa and residence permit applications on a massive scale.

Zahra Maaroufi Tayebi

Head of Legal