News & Insights

Key Changes to European Immigration

Several European countries have made changes to their immigration rules in recent months – Imelda Reddington examines these in more detail.


The Spanish Government have introduced immigration reforms, targeted at facilitating the employment of foreign nationals living in Spain and addressing labour shortages. Foreign nationals who have been living in Spain for at least two years, regardless of whether they have documentation evidencing their legal immigration, may enrol in training courses for jobs in high-demand sectors, such as agriculture. Once enrolled on the course, the foreign national may apply for permanent residence.

Furthermore, foreign national students studying in Spain may begin working in Spain as soon as they have completed their studies, rather than having to wait three years as was previously required. Foreign national students may also combine their studying with up to 30 hours of work a week.


The Irish Minister for Business, Employment and Retail has announced plans for a new law to modernise Ireland’s Employment Permit system. This will include the introduction of a Seasonal Employment Permit, allowing for short-term employment in relevant sectors, such as agriculture – similarly to the Seasonal Worker visa in the UK.

The new law will also allow for additional conditions to be attached to the granting of an employment permit, such as training or upskilling, and subcontractors will be able to access the employment permit system. Furthermore, salary requirements are set to be index-linked, ensuring that they remain in line with wage growth in Ireland. The bill is set to be published in Autumn of this year.


Changes have been made to the Dutch residence permit rules for highly skilled migrants. Effective from 22 July 2022 until 22 January 2023, highly skilled migrants who are not required to have a provisional residence permit (“MVV”) will be able to start work, even where their residence document is yet to be issued. However, their approval notification must mention this authorisation to work, and this will only be valid for up to 4 months.

In addition, highly skilled migrants who have been granted a residence permit extension, but who are yet to receive their new residence document, can continue to work using their expired residence document. However, this is contingent on the migrant making an appointment to collect the new residence document or have their biometric data taken as soon as possible, up to a maximum of 2 weeks after receiving the notification.


The French Government has increased the minimum wage by 2.01% in response to inflation. This has had a knock-on effect on the salary requirements for several French work visas, including:

  • Intra-Company Transferees (€1,678.95 / month)
  • Passeport Talent – Employees on Assignment (€3,022.11 / month)
  • Passeport Talent – Qualified Employees (€3,357.90 / month)

We have an extensive network of overseas immigration lawyers who can advise on the technical complexities of immigration globally, so please contact us at [email protected] for more details.