<strong>Maddalen Yarza</strong>
Maddalen Yarza, Oficial de Políticas Sociales de Niñez
8,464 kms from home
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<strong>Karim and Yves</strong>
Karim and Yves
5,708 kms from home
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<strong>Rafa and Alice</strong>
Rafa and Alice
653 kms from home
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Obed, Asistente de adultos mayores
8,464 kms from home
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Migration to Spain has always existed, but it was not until 1990 that it has become an important demographic and economic phenomenon. Spain has 5,294,710 foreigners living in the country (data MEYSS March 2012) which represent more than 12 per cent of the total population. Among these figures, 2,563,803 foreigners belong to the Communitary Regime (from European Union Countries), and 2,730,907 foreigners come from countries outside the EU (General Regime), this represents a 0.83 per cent more than the previous quarter.

Immigration in Spain is not homogeneous but is dominated by the precedence of regions with a similar culture; such is the case of the European Union, Latin America and North Africa. The countries of origin of most migrants are Romania, Morocco, Ecuador and Colombia, followed by residents from Great Britain, Italy, Bulgaria, China and Bolivia.

The main autonomous communities of destination are Cataluña, Madrid and Andalucía (mostly Barcelona, Madrid and the Mediterranean coast).

Taking into consideration the age of foreigners living in Spain, more than 55 per cent are between 25 and 44 years old, which is the working-age population.

The economic crisis has seriously affected Spain; the country has an unemployment rate of 24.63 per cent (EPA 2T 2012,) one of the highest among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. This rate has affected productive sectors such as services and construction which employ migrants, resulting in a high unemployment rate among them.

The actual economic and social situation in Spain establishes then its migration focus on voluntary assisted return and reintegration programmes for those in social exclusion situations.

Migration and Development


  • Ministry of Employment and Social Security
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
  • Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation(AECID)
  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Catalan Development Cooperation Agency (ACCD)
  • "La Caixa" Foundation
  • Community of Madrid. Council of Social Affairs.
  • Andalucía Government- Junta de Andalucía.

IOM Spain works with other IOM missions on migration and development to strengthen the positive potential of migrants in the development of countries of origin and destination, as well as to strengthen the institutions through expert and qualified human resources.

IOM Spain is working on a pilot project on Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) in Morocco, which tries to analyze the investment possibilities in the country as well as enhances the investment of the Diaspora in co-development projects in the North of Morocco.

Main Projects

  • MIDA Cataluña – Región Tingitana
  • Training and Grants for Employability of Unaccompanied Minors and Young Children




Regulating Migration


  • Ministry of Employment and Social Security
  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Community of Madrid
  • Andalucia Government- Junta de Andalucía.
  • European Commission

IOM Madrid runs two voluntary return programmes:

  • Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) for migrants who are in social and economic exclusion situations residing in Spain
  • AVR for migrants who are in social and economic exclusion situations residing in Catalonia

In 2012, IOM Spain is implementing different Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programmes (AVRR):

  • In collaboration with the Chilean Government and IOM Chile in order to support families reintegration in labour market.
  • AVRR programmes in Colombia, Bolivia and Paraguay including  capacity-building activities and business set-ups in countries of origin.

Under these programmes IOM Spain arranges documentation, flights and onward transportation to the final destination, transit assistance if needed and also delivers Reintegration Assistance.

As support to the Voluntary Return Programmes, IOM Spain has a program for Information, Guidance and Support to Voluntary Return of Immigrants residing in the Community of Madrid and in the Community of Andalucia with two components:

  • Group meetings for voluntary return seekers and for social workers.
  • Counseling to potential entrepreneurs (capacity building on creation of small business)

Recently, a VREN programme (Creation of Voluntary Return European Network), has been retained for funding from the European Commission.

IOM Spain is also involved in the fight against trafficking, and is part of the Spanish Network Against Trafficking.


  • PREVIE: Assisted Voluntary Return from Spain
  • PREVICAT: Assisted Voluntary Return from Catalonia
  • Voluntary Return and Reintegration Assistance for Colombian Nationals
  • Voluntary Return and Reintegration Assistance for Bolivian Nationals
  • Voluntary Return and Reintegration Assistance for Paraguayan Nationals
  • Voluntary Return and Reintegration Assistance for Young Moroccans Residing in the Community of Andalucia.
  • Information, Guidance and Support to Voluntary Return of Immigrants Residing in the Community of Madrid.
  • Information, Guidance and Support to Voluntary Return of Immigrants Residing in the Community of Andalucia.
  • Creation of Voluntary Return European Network (VREN)

Labour and Facilitated Migration


  • European Commission
  • IOM

IOM Spain has participated in capacity building programmes regarding trafficking, circular migration and temporary agreements through conferences and study tours from other countries, as requested by other IOM offices which financed them.

IOM Spain is also part of a European project financed by the EC in nine European countries, aiming at reinforcing the two-way process of integration by shaping the integration strategies of third country nationals and of the host societies.


  • Study Tour on Migration Management from People's Republic of China –            “Capacity Building for Migration Management of People's Republic of China authorities”.
  • Independent Network of Labour Migration and Integration Experts (LINET)
  • European Local Authorities Cooperation for Integration (ELCI)

Migration Policy and Research


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spain
  • Persan Foundation
  • European Union

IOM Spain works closely with other IOM offices in transnational research projects funded by the European Union and other donors, as well as in the development of seminars and conferences to foster and disseminate information and good practices on different migration fields such as trafficking, migration and financial products for migrants.


  • Education and Integration of Migrant Children Residing in the Community of Andalucia.
  • Study : International Mobility of Highly Skilled Workers: Analysis of Policies strategies in Spain.
  • Report: The Impact of Global Economic Crisis on Migrants and Migration Policy in Spain.
  • Various transnational research projects

Last updated:
Main text: September 2012
Facts and figures: April 2012

Population (2015):46.1 million
Area:505,988 km sq
Languages :Spanish (Castilian), Catalan and its variant Valencian, Gallego (Galician), Euskera (Basque)
Currency:Euro (EUR)
GDP per Capita PPP (2014):USD 33,763
HDI Rank (2014):26 of 188
Remittances (2014 estimate):USD 10,990 million
Net Migration Rate (2015-2020):0.9 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2015):12.7%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2015):51.2%
Population under 15 (2015):14.9%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2014):not available

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Fernando el Católico, 10 - 1º B
28015 Madrid

Tel: +34 9 159 43 670
Fax: +34 9 159 43 283
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.spain.iom.int