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Black market in Swedish work permits 'booming'

Published: 09 Dec 2011 10:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2011 10:37 GMT+01:00

According to Sveriges Radio (SR) the illegal trade in Swedish work permits today is booming.

Those who want to come to Sweden to work pay up to 100,000 kronor ($14,729) for travel expenses and a valid work permit.

The money is then shared by recruiters, Swedish employers and legal firms, handling the applications.

One lawyer claimed to have been approached by at least ten or fifteen people who said they had been promised work permits but never received them.

The money, they said, had gone to the lawyer's superiors.

"In most cases they said they'd paid 50,000 or even 100,000 kronor,” the lawyer, told SR.

And most of the jobs only exists on paper. Those who have been granted a work permit will show up in the books of a company, without ever actually working there.

However, in order for the tax authorities not to notice anything untoward, the person is forced to pay their alleged employers their tax out of their own pocket.

In order to be able to do that they have to find work somewhere else, often cash-in-hand.

Alejandro Firpo at the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), said that the agency is aware of this practice and is working closely with police to try to combat it.

“What makes it extra hard is that when people are ready to pay instead of being paid, they are also willing to pay these fees for the tax agency. So when the police or someone else tip us off, we conduct checks. And these look good. It looks as if the person has been working and paid tax to the tax agency. Which leaves authorities like us quite unable to do anything,“ Firpo told SR.

The rules were changed in 2008, making it possible for non-European citizens to get a temporary work and residence permit in Sweden, if they can show that they have secured a job within the country.

If one works in Sweden for four years, that person is then eligible for a permanent residence permit.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:20 December 9, 2011 by occassional
Oh but maybe they don't know...Migrationsverket is now offering a new web-based application service for their convenience.

How can naive la-di-da, flower power thinking even hope of controlling or outsmarting streetwise scheming and canny herein so-called Non-Europeans. How?

I mean, which carbon neutral committee member said " Sven, let's relax the rules liksom. The people wanting to come here will play by them. They usually do."
11:23 December 9, 2011 by Iraniboy
Once again, it is not rocket science to see who is paying who by checking Bank accounts and checking if a company is actually working on something or it is only on a paper. Migrationsverket is just nagging about the laws to hide their incompetence. Many countries around the world issue work permit but they can recognize a fake job application from from real job why not Migrationsverket?!
19:33 December 9, 2011 by BritVik
Unfortunately. Iraniboy, Migrationsverket does not have, nor can it get, access to bank accounts in foreign countries. Furthermore, the fake permits of today are very often of a standard that makes them better than the originals, and therefore nigh on impossible to detect, especially when, a is not infrequently the case, the actual stamps have been stolen from the authority concerned.

Not long ago a a fraudulent mastermind was exposed in the UK. He was shown to have made a fortune, the money then hidden in numerous accounts many of which were offshore, and his ability to falsify was aided by the numerous stamps he had acquired - or stolen - from the authorities there. Rest assured that the authorities are aware of pretty well all that is happening, but they are often powerless to control or stop it due often to contra-productive legislation.
08:05 December 10, 2011 by Marc the Texan
They're just doing the jobs that lazy Swedes won't do.
16:23 December 10, 2011 by Commoner
Yes, the news is very much true. Some Pakis are even doing the job less than the aforesaid amount of 100 grands. And more funny part is that workpermit is being issued for the jobs where they can hire the local people also. So, even nepotism is also one of the reasons behind these workpermits. That apart, the govt. should make it a rule that these new startup companies have atleast one year of tax returns before they can apply for workpermit for a new employee.
12:05 December 11, 2011 by Acta
I know one of my friend who works under a cleaning company. Sometimes he has to clean extremely dirty places that a Swedish worker even think of. Another of my friend works in a restaurant in such a work load that two Swedish workers might have required. The fact is, most of the Swedish companies are running smoothly because of the combination of Swedish and non-Swedish workers.
17:22 December 11, 2011 by Just_Kidding
To solve this problem, Swedish parliament has decided to change the law; so only the reputable companies with a good record would be able to bring in foreign employees. It is unlikely for a serious business to endanger its reputation and legality by issuing fake employments. However, for some strange reason, they have decided to wait util Jan 2012 to enforce this law, instead of applying it immediately.

Atheist Iranian
16:18 December 12, 2011 by roaringchicken92
Does anyone else wonder why, if a person can afford to pay 100,000 kronor for a work permit, does this person need to come to Sweden to make money?
13:11 December 14, 2011 by Uriel9
#8 roaringchicken92 Exactly what i was thinking, a GOOD paying job in thailand gives you about 2000 kronor per month, how the hell do you save up 100 000 to pay for work permit here where you probably get a job paying 10 000 per month. It's not even worth it.
19:51 January 4, 2012 by justiceforall
if someone pays himself 100,000 sek to come to sweden do anyone have any problems? Is he underage? he knows himself what and why he is paying. Brother married sister and invited here to come to sweden, The assylumseekers those get failed to receive permits they pay more than 150,000 sek to a contract marriage for getting settlement, many workers inside sweden are still under pressure regarding their job, workingconditions, salaries and manythings, so what is the problem? It does not happen anything without reason. In workpermit case both party have problems, not only employers.

A newcommer guess that Europe is cash or money tree, and they dream manythings, they fall in conspiracy in many cases and their mates provide them wrong suggestions and they try to fool the authority saying that they have been oppressed, not got jobs, bla, bla,bla. I have to say that an employer also has many faults in this case.
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