Change in legal status of Bulgarian and Rumanian workers in Spain

Almost a million Bulgarians and Rumanians living in Spain will be able to work legally as self employed workers in Spain starting this month.

In December the moratorium on working in other EU member states that applied to Rumanian and Bulgarian immigrants which came into effect from 1st January 2007 when Bulgaria and Rumania became members of the EU was lifted in Spain.

This moratorium is a way of allowing other member states to have a period of transition for the free circulation of self employed workers. The period of transition could last up to seven years the first of which is two years long.
According to the latest figures provided by the Ministry for Work and Immigration there are 143,035 Bulgarians living in Spain out of which 130,000 are between 16 and 65 years old. Using figures provided by the Rumanian embassy in Spain the Spanish government has also calculated that there are around 715,750 Rumanians in Spain out of which 650,000 currently work.

According to the Rumanian embassy around 20% of Rumanian immigrants in Spain already work as self employed workers.

It also said that a lot of its citizens living in Spain have requested information on the possibility of returning to Rumania because of its growing economy.

This economic growth was the reason that the government of Spain decided not to renew the moratorium on working in the EU according to the Spanish deputy president, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.

The Spanish government hopes that large numbers of Rumanian and Bulgarian immigrants currently living in Spain will be interested in returning to their home countries. At present the governments of both Rumania and Bulgaria have publicity campaigns aimed at attracting its citizens who have emigrated to work in Spain to return.

Furthermore, as explained by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, the Spanish government will review its decision in six months time so that it can evaluate the impact of not renewing the moratorium on the Spanish labour market and if necessary apply new restrictions.