Spain is loosening immigration policies, rolling out the red carpet to welcome skilled workers from Latin America.
With nearly a quarter of its population aged above 65 years, Spain’s labor shortage is worsening with each passing day, while its social welfare system buckles under the growing rate of pensioners.
In response, the Spanish government recently passed a legislative bill, easing the task for thousands of domestic firms to fill vacancies.
Local reports suggest that there are more than a million job positions lying vacant in various economic sectors, including transport, construction and agriculture.
Under the amended immigration law, Spanish firms can offer a four-year work permit to temporary workers from foreign countries. Workers who return to their home country after four years can renew their visa to work in Spain for two more years.
For the past decade, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa have risked their lives to sneak into Europe. More than 50,000 undocumented immigrants have arrived in Spain since January 2021 alone, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
But most Spaniards don’t want to hire them. They prefer people from Latin American countries, who for the most part share language, religion and other key cultural identifiers with Spain.
Today, Latin Americans account for 2% of Spain’s population. Most of them are from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.