Spain’s government are going to provide the work permit for migrant children

La Moncloa is looking for ways to improve the situation of young people aged 16 and 17.

The Secretary of State for Migration will notify an instruction to the Government, that minors who arrive alone in Spain will obtain a work authorisation between the ages of 17 and 18.

The Government will send the direct order on Monday, which newspapers will have access to, of the delegations that will be put in place to try to improve the situation of young migrants that arrive in Spain.

The objective is that these minors will be protected and will have the same access to the labour market, under the same conditions as the Spaniards. This initiative comes as a response to the main requests from organisations that work with this group.

The instruction will dictate that the granting of the residence permit “will enable employment activity of someone who will reach the age of 16, without the need of any other administrative procedure.” This criterion was already contemplated in the law and its regulations, but it was not met.

It is intended to make the criteria for applying, more flexible and to equate unaccompanied foreign minors to other young residents: Spaniards and foreigners with families over 16 years of age who wish to work, only need the consent of parents or guardians.

This new instruction, according to ministry sources, aims to mitigate the effects of another order that the Government sent three weeks ago, to apply the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, which hardens the criteria for young immigrants who reach the age of majority, to renew their residence.

Although the Administrations criteria was “flexibility to avoid irregularity,” two judgements of the Supreme Court cleared any doubts about the requirements.

The rulings force the subject of those who want to renew their non-profit residence (without the right to work) to a series of demands that are almost impossible to meet. If, in order to obtain their first permit, they must show that they have 537 euros each month, to renew it the following year they must prove income of 2,151 euros per month. That figure is much higher than the average salary in Spain, which is around 1,600 euros per month. It also cannot come from public or private aid.

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Samantha Day


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