Spain is introducing an easier procedure for unaccompanied young migrants to obtain a permanent residence permit and a work permit.

Nearly 15,000 people are expected to benefit from the changes to the rules announced yesterday, the Associated Press reported.

Legislative changes published by the government have eased the requirements for obtaining documents and reduced the waiting period, removing barriers for 16-year-old migrants to live and work legally in Spain.

The government says its goal is to integrate migrants, who are sometimes abandoned by the authorities and marginalized by society.

In recent years, Spain has sought to cope with a large influx of migrants from Africa.

Since the beginning of the year, just over 30,000 migrants have arrived in the country, almost all by sea.

More than 500 migrants entered Spain illegally by sea

That's 37 percent more than in the same period last year, according to UN figures.

Under the new rules, unaccompanied migrant minors can obtain documents after a three-month stay in Spain instead of nine months, as has been the case so far.

Those who turn 18, or have done so in the last five years, only need to prove that they receive € 470 a month, for example from a social assistance program, in order to obtain a permanent residence and work permit.

Until now, they had to declare a higher income in order to obtain and retain their permanent residence permit, which did not automatically entitle them to a work permit.

NGOs have been pressuring the Spanish authorities to make such changes for years.


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