The financial crisis has resulted in thousands of non-EU immigrants losing their jobs and, as a consequence, becoming illegal. A proper job and contribution to the Social Security system are prerequisites for obtaining renewal of residency permits.
Between March and June 2010, 130,000 non-EU foreigners could not find a job or contribute to the Social Security system and, therefore, faced deportation.
The requirements for foreign, non-EU, residents are strict and takes no account of a change of status, from legal to illegal, due to such things as the economic situation.
The Government is now planning changes to the Aliens Regulations to allow for speedier renewal of residency permits and a more flexible approach in general.
Foreigner who have been legally working in Spain but now find themselves unemployed will not be deported if their partner is gainfully employed. In addition, a residency permit will be issued after two years in Spain, not three as it is currently.
The proposed changes are still only at the draft stage and the final text is expected to be ready by the end of this year.