Reception conditions for asylum seekers in Spain include the coverage of personal expenses for basic necessities and items for personal use, transportation, clothing for adults and children, educational activities, training in social and cultural skills, learning of hosting country language, vocational training and long life training, leisure and free time, child care and other complementary educational type, as well as aid to facilitate the autonomy of the beneficiaries and others of extraordinary nature.
Financial allowances and further details are decided on a yearly basis and published by the responsible Directorate-General for Immigration and Emigration of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, which is in charge of the general administration of the asylum reception system. These amounts are based on the available general budget for reception of the Directorate-General.
All asylum seekers hosted in the first phase of asylum temporary reception are given the amount of 51.60 € per month per person, plus 19.06 € per month per each minor in charge. In addition to this pocket money they receive on a monthly basis, other necessities are also covered after presenting a receipt of the expense when it regards: public transport, clothing, health related expenses, education and training related expenses, administration proceedings related expenses, translation and interpretation fees.
During the second phase of reception, asylum seekers are not provided with accommodation anymore, they live in private apartments and housing. They receive no pocket money, although expenses for the rent are covered by the asylum system. During the last phase, asylum applicants receive financial support for punctual things.
Financial assistance to asylum seekers could be considered as adequate or sufficient during the first phase, as it is aims to cover all basic needs. However, during the subsequent phases of reception, as remarked in the section on Criteria and Restrictions to Access Reception Conditions, conditions and financial support are not meant to be adequate, as they are conceived as extra assistance for supporting refugees’ gradual integration in the host society.
Main obstacles for asylum applicants are faced after passing the first phase, as the system foresees an initial degree of autonomy and self-maintenance which is hardly accomplishable in 6 months’ time, and almost impossible in the case of applicants who have difficulties in learning and speaking the Spanish language, and thus face greater barriers to access to employment.