Listen to Today's Edition
The Spanish government passed a bill this week that will relax requirements for undocumented migrant laborers in an effort to bring thousands of workers into the labor force and shore up understaffed sectors such as hospitality and farming, the Associated Press reported.
The new measure aims to reform the existing immigration law which officials had criticized as “often slow and inadequate,” with high social and economic costs.
Under the new provisions, Spanish employers will face fewer difficulties in hiring workers, officials said.
For workers currently residing in Spain, the bill also eases the work permit requirements: Foreign workers residing in the country for at least two years can apply for temporary residence by participating in training programs for positions in high-demand industries.
Meanwhile, individuals who have worked without permission for at least six months and have resided in the country for more than two years can apply for work permits.
The government said that the changes will provide authorities with “better tools to tackle the challenges posed by migration.” It is estimated that roughly 500,000 people work in Spain’s underground economy.