Current Spanish immigration regulations allow non-EU foreign workers to be hired, provided that they first have an administrative permit for temporary residence and work.
If the worker is not a resident in Spain, this permit can be obtained, among other channels, through a process known as Collective Management of Hiring in Countries of Origin (GECCO), which can be approved annually by the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Immigration (Article 39 of Organic Law 4/2000, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, and Article 167 and subsequent Articles in its Regulations, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011, of 20 April).
1 – What is the purpose of the collective management of hiring non-EU foreign workers in their country of origin?
To allow, taking into account the national employment situation, the planned hiring of workers who are not residents in Spain, who are selected in their countries of origin on the basis of generic job offers presented by employers.
The Spanish Ministry of Labour and Immigration will establish the situations in which it will also be possible to process individual job offers.
2 – What does it consist of?
• Steady jobs.
• Temporary jobs.
• Job-search visas.
The Ministerial Order regulates the hiring of foreign workers through steady job offers (with a minimum working period of one year), by establishing the number of positions and what occupations that may be filled by foreign workers.
It may also allow temporary jobs offers for undertaking seasonal or agricultural work, or works or service activities.
This type of offers is not limited by the number of positions to be filled but it does require the jobs to be initially processed by public employment services. Workers selected for temporary activities must return to their country on completion of their employment.
The Ministerial Order may also establish a certain number of job-search visas, which allow foreigners to move to Spain to look for work within a period of three months.
3 – What does hiring through collective management involve?
Generic offers presented via this process are preferentially targeted at countries with which Spain has agreements regarding the regulation and management of migration flows.
Employers who wish to hire in this way must submit their job offers, in person or via their legal representative (which, for this purpose, may be business organisations) to the Foreigners’ Office in the province where the work activity is to take place.
Subsequently, following the selection of workers in the country of origin chosen by the employer, the contracts will be signed and the necessary documents for the workers to enter Spain will be issued.
Depending on the characteristics of the job to be performed, training courses for short-listed or selected employees can be undertaken in Spain or in the countries of origin.
4 – Residence and work visas
To obtain a visa, within a maximum of two months of notification of the granting of a temporary residence and work permit for paid employment, the company, business organisation, or their approved representatives, must submit to the diplomatic mission or consulate, collectively, the neces- sary documentation for the selected workers.
Visas will be issued within a maximum of 5 days.
5 – Effects of the visa
The worker must be registered in the Social Security system within three months of entering Spain. This will validate the residence and work permit.
Within one month of registering with Social Security, workers must apply in person for a Foreigner’s Identification Card (TIE). However, workers who hold a temporary residence and work permit for seasonal and agricultural activities, regardless of their duration, or those whose residence and work permit has been granted for less than 6 months are exempt from this obligation.
6 – What are job-search visas?
There are two types of job-search visas:
• Visas for children or grandchildren of Spanish origin who are exempt from assessment of the national employment situation. Holders of these visas may seek employment in any occupation and any geographical area.
• Limited Job-search visas could be restricted to certain occupations and geographical areas. These visas are intended for those seeking employment in positions that are considered difficult to fill, and will be C approved when market conditions warrant their use.
Workers holding this type of visa must seek employment in the occupation and geographical area for which the visa was granted.
When an employer wishes to hire a foreign worker with a job-search visa they must submit an employment contract and a temporary residence and work permit application signed by both parties, at the Foreigners’ Office in the province where the work activity is to take place.
The procedure for selecting beneficiaries and submitting applications is dealt with in the Ministerial Order approving the collective management of hiring in countries of origin.
The guidelines contained in this document are purely informative