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Working in the black in Spain

 
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jabrda



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Working in the black in Spain Reply with quote

A little background: I got my TEFL certification a year ago in Prague, and have been working in Prague since then. However, due to some complications with Czech bureaucracy and some misinformation by my school, my Shengen visa expired. So, I now either have to leave the Shengen Zone for 90 days (which will put me back here looking for a job in early November... bad time Sad ) or try to work in the black. I've decided I'm done with Prague.

I had originally intended to work legally in Spain around this time of year, but that doesn't seem feasible right now. How feasible is it to work off the grid? Do many schools care? Are privates that easy to find? Would it be easier in a big city, like Madrid, or some smaller city, like Granada? I speak maybe B1 level spanish, btw.

I've done some research on this site and others, and found very little information on this, and its mostly either dated or contradictory. Any help would be greatly appreciated Smile
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9791
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schengen visa? May I ask what nationality you are? In any case, I'd be very, very careful about overstaying in the Schengen zone. The penalties upon being found out can be quite severe.

Other posters on the ground in Spain can give you more concrete info about work there, but your legal difficulties will still be fairly scary.

Best of luck in any case.
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Grimace420



Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 83
Location: Madriz

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so you want to work in Spain illegally. That's great.

Here's a little rundown on what happens to (mostly South American, African or Asian) illegal immigrants in Spain. Well, in Madrid anyway.

They'll be going on their merry way to their illegal jobs one day when suddenly several members of the police force who were hidden and watching out for unsuspecting prey approach them. "Buenos días. Su identificación por favor."

If they provide details about their nationality and identity, they'll probably be released within a few hours but now with a "orden de expulsión" against them in the works. That means they're liable to be kicked out at any moment.

If they keep quiet, they get a free stay in this lovely hotel until they either give their details or the police obtain them from a third party.

By staying in Spain for more than 90 days and working, you are in the exact same illegal situation. You are basically a third class citizen. That means you can't go to the doctor for free, something most Spaniards take for granted. Any insurance policy you had could likely refuse to cover you on the grounds that you're not in a place legally. A landlord could rip you off in many different ways. Anyone willing to risk astronomical fines by employing you could very easily rip you off, either by paying you very little or simply not paying you at the end of the year for example. Forget travelling to other countries while you're here, especially those outside the Schengen zone. I've been threatened with arrest by the border control before when I was crossing from Spain to Morocco for carrying an expired ID card and I was here legally, so don't think it couldn't happen to you. If you move around Madrid or other cities, you will see the immigration controls I described above and you are as liable as anyone else to be asked for your "papeles."

Yeah, you can live and work here illegally. Subsisting is what I'd call it. Have fun.
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimace,

Great post and I agree 100%. I can tell you my story.

I was here from 2003 - 2006 without papers and I survived, but I was never stopped. I stayed away from metro stops where I knew police would do random checks. The academy where I worked would send us to places where we could just walk in and there was no security checks. Even they knew how to work the system.

Times are changing friends. Now that we are in a "crisis" here in Spain, a lot more checks are going on everywhere, especially in Lavapiés which has a lot of immigrants, as well as at metro stops on Line 6 down south where there is a heavy immigrant population. I have another example. I saw at the metro stop Puerta del Ángel (line 6 - in the south) that the police were stopping people. I took out my studet visa, ready for them to check it, and I was told that I was fine because they were looking only for Latin American women, not men that night.

I am reading more and more about police stopping immigrants and checking for papers. My student visa has expired, but I have a "resguardo" which shows that it is in the process of being renewed and I have to carry that copy with me always in case they do stop me.

Do I regret being here without papers for 3 and a half years? NO. But I do realize that times were different then and those years helped me to get the contacts that I have now.

There is an academy that is able to get you a student visa, but you would probably have to go back to where you are from to start the process. You can work legally on a student visa in some situations, so it's worth gving it a look into. The academy is called "TtMadrid" and they also sign you up for Spanish courses and that's how they are able to give their graduates of their TEFFL course work and a student visa.

You sould be able to get privates without any problem, but don't think that you will be able to survive off of privates because many of them cancel and you will be without that money, unless you make them pay up front for the entire moth or institute a cancellation policy.

We certainly can't tell you what to do and it's up to you to take the decision, but at the end of the day, please consider what you are walking into and don't go in blindly. We are not trying to deter you, but rather give you food for thought.

Suerte,

Shawn
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9646
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was here from 2003 - 2006 without papers and I survived,


Added complication for OP: Shawn's experience was also before Schengen zone laws went into effect in Jan 2009. The penalties were lower and the risk of being caught also less back then.

To be honest, I don't know how the OP (who is presumably from outside the Eurozone, otherwise Schengen isn't an issue) would even GET from Prague to Spain without being caught.

There are passport checks (not always, but often) on international trains and busses, and flying is obviously out. Gonna rent a car? They'll want to see your passport............and are likely to check it closely.

Quote:
I had originally intended to work legally in Spain around this time of year

If you needed a work visa for the Czech Rep, you would not be able to get one for Spain. We assume you are from outside the EU or the 90 day rule would not apply to you. Spain and other Western European countries, unlke the Czech Rep, Poland, Slovakia, do NOT issue work visas to non-EU member citizens. Employers can't get you a legal visa even if they want to - it's a national law.

Basically, OP, your best bet by far is to leave the zone for the 90 days, with your fingers crossed and holding your breath that the airport officials will not 'bust' you for overstaying - in that case you'll be banned from entering the EU for up to 10 years (I've never heard of anyone being banned for more than 5 - 10 is the max penalty).

Then come back somewhere you are eligible for a legal working visa - not Spain (or Italy, or France, etc).

You could try Germany; it's a hassle but feasible to get work permits - but they will DEFINITELY check your passport and it would NOT be worth a try under your current status.


Last edited by spiral78 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Spain and other Western European countries, unlke the Czech Rep, Poland, Slovakia, do NOT issue work visas to non-EU member citizens. Employers can't get you a legal visa even if they want to - it's a national law.


Those days are long gone. The closest thing that allows non-EU citizens to work is a student visa and there are quite a few academies exploiting, in a good way, that particular area to get non-EU citizens here to work. There's always a way to get around laws here in Spain. Thanks to the biligual program opening up in public schools in Spain, non-EU citizens can now have a foot in the door to do an internship in schools. This is how I was able to come back here legally. I started doing it in 2007 and have not looked back.

I, personally, have only been turned down for three jobs because the 2 universities and the 1 academy did not know how to work with anyone on a student visa, and instead of them doing research on the issue, they did the easiest thing for them, which is to say NO. In the end, it was their loss, not mine.

The pics that Grimace have placed in his post are true and many times, police just look the other way when they see me, but it doesn't mean that they won't stop me as a Black man because I could be Dominican or Cuban. We have to remember that they target a particular group of people as well because I have noticed that they do not stop Spaniards and ask for their identification, but they claim that they are stopping everyone. I have heard that story many times before.

A student visa will open up some doors, so look into the academy that I put in my previous post. I am working at a summer camp because I have a student visa and they know how to work with people who have that type of visa.

Suerte,

Shawn
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9646
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shawn, you're right - I should have qualified my response to recognize the student visa option. Will keep it in mind for future Very Happy
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiral,

No problem. I got that one covered, hehe.

Your response was great and sheds a lot of light on the issue as well.

Cheers,

Shawn
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Grimace420



Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 83
Location: Madriz

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean, Shawn. It's an uncomfortable situation with the selective controls for immigration that many Spanish people and human rights groups are against. It's true that the police are fully within their rights to ask people for their IDs, but there's no question that in practice they are also discriminatory.

During the building boom of around 02-07, I think illegal immigration was tolerated a lot more. Suddenly, with the economic crisis the government decided to crack down on illegals and it came to light in 2009 that there were bonuses being offered to police officers who met quotas for detentions of illegal immigrants and punishments for those who either refused or didn't catch enough. There was also a campaign for repatriation where the government was offering to pay for flights back home for those who volunteered to leave the country.

I have been waiting at bus stops in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods in Madrid when all of a sudden a police car has pulled up, the cops have stepped out and asked for everyone's ID but mine. It's kind of an uncomfortable situation.

So yeah, my recommendation to jabrda is to find a legal way to come to Spain. There are plenty for North Americans on student visas, but it probably won't be this year is all. You'll be here under much better conditions.
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimace,

Here is a surprising fact about the Language Assistant Program in Spain.

Quote:
As of May 2012 various regions have canceled the program for the following year. The regions that have currently canceled the language assistant program for 2012-2013 are:

·Catalunya
·Castilla la Mancha
·Canary Islands
·Valencia


So now these people are scrambling to find another region to go to be able to stay in Spain.

I was here for the "bulding boom" as well and everyone came over because work was to be had in the construction and hotel industry. No one seemed to care about immigrants then, but, now with the crisis, time to put an end to that.

I tell many people about the bilingual program because it is a way to be here legally and to find extra work. Now, the only question is, how long will it last before they scale back on the number of participants in the program? The JET program has reduces the number of people being accepted because it was getting to be too costly. Time will tell about the program in Spain.

Shawn
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jabrda



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice guys, you really answered my questions. I'll head elsewhere for the time being! Smile
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad that we could answer your questions. That's why we are here. Don't be a stranger.

Wishing you the best of luck,

Shawn
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