The Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council (CMIB) recently carried out a survey to gauge the scale of delays in the service handling administrative procedures relating to migrants’ foreigner status in Barcelona. The service is the responsibility of the state and can only be accessed via the e-headquarters for procedures for foreigners. It is essential for processes such as applying for or renewing the foreigner identity card (TIE), being able to access the procedure for international protection etc.
The survey was made available on the Decidim Barcelona website in seven languages (English, Arabic, Spanish, Catalan, French, Urdu and Chinese). Thanks to the dissemination and participation of organisations belonging to the CMIB and the different communities of migrants in the city, 1,208 people took part. The data collected highlights the serious problems faced by those participating.
Some of the most important data to be quantified thanks to the survey show the following:
- 63% of people haven’t managed to get an appointment.
- 80% of procedures reported were linked to the foreigner identification card.
- 34% of participants had a foreigner identity card which has expired.
- 62% have tried more than 50 times.
- 65% have had to pay third parties to conduct the procedure.
The direct consequence of not being able to get an appointment is not being able to conduct any procedure relating to foreigner status. This means people are unable to regulate their situations or renew permits previously granted, which in turn may force them into a situation of supervening irregularity.
At the same time, not being in possession of the foreigner identity card makes it impossible for migrants and asylum seekers to lead an autonomous and stable life. It makes it difficult or impossible to access asylum, a work or rent contract, a bank account, family reunification, social benefits, temporary lay-off benefits, driving licences and much more. In addition, the uncertainty generates stress and anxiety.
The situation could get worse at the end of this month, with the end of the extension granted for work and residency permits expiring from the moment the state of emergency was declared.
The full report from the survey is available here.