• Sweden edition
 
Gaming industry decries work permit wait times

Gaming industry decries work permit wait times

Published: 31 Aug 2012 08:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2012 08:16 GMT+02:00

In a letter to integration minister Erik Ullenhag, a representative from the Swedish Games Industry (Dataspelbranschen) warns that its member companies may lose their cutting edge due to work permit processing times which can average more than six months.

"The long processing times result in games companies losing out on people they'd like to employ," writes the industry association's spokesperson Per Strömbäck.

"The games industry finds itself facing tough international competition; should bureaucracy stand in the way of our ability to compete on better terms?"

Strömbäck points out that Swedish trade minister Ewa Björling considers computer games one of Sweden's "largest cultural exports" and that explosive growth has meant that companies must look outside of Sweden for talented programmers and graphic designers.

But the lengthy process of putting potential recruits' paperwork in order turns many off from moving to Sweden.

"Six months is an unreasonably long time to wait to move to a new country," Strömbäck writes.

He explains further that a new certification system introduced by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) to streamline the recruitment of foreign workers requires companies to hire at least 25 workers per year from other countries, which means many game producers can't take advantage of it.

As an alternative, Strömbäck proposes allowing the industry association to be certified.

"Of course, the best thing would be to reduce the processing time for work permits," he concluded.

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Your comments about this article

08:48 August 31, 2012 by robban70226
understood, Sweden have a different time scale than other industrialized countries,

What is it is Hours in other country is Days in Sweden

What is it is days in other country is weeks in Sweden

What is it is weeks in other country is months in Sweden

What is it is months in other country is years in Sweden

Too many Fika times?
09:21 August 31, 2012 by moizhaad
I don't understand what they are doing its a long time is not a just six months its can bee more then year .i think they don't need any more workers from out side of EU.
09:43 August 31, 2012 by smilingjack
my take on it is that sweden takes something simple and then swedes it up.ie makes it complex for no reason other then to draw attention to itself.

for example why special swedish miles? to try and be different for no reason then to try and stand out?

saab goes broke and is bailed out - just instal the gps in the new car and we'll be back on track. no way - swedes take a perfectly good product and make it more complex to the point where it is unusable. no surprise they were dumped like a hot rock after costs ballooned out of control.

no wonder 3/4 of your population have tattoos and "tribal" era rings to be "different". all a tad pretentious.
09:55 August 31, 2012 by DusterSix
Having worked in the Games Industry for 17 years and moved to Sweden 7 years ago, I can attest to the difficulty in getting permits for highly trained people to work here from outside the EU. The reason we hire people from outside of Sweden or the EU is simply because the supply of highly trained rendering engineers, low level coders, etc., is already tapped. If there is a Swede who fits the needs s/he is already employed and has 3 other companies trying to hire them away. With a population of 9M, there are only so many people in any particular skillset. The same is true for the EU, but there you also need to take into account someone willing to move and someone who is comfortable working in Swedish/English.

It is more expensive for us to hire someone from say the US to work here (relocation is a big part), but it is worth it when we cannot find someone from Sweden/EU.

Finally, these people all pay Swedish taxes, buy goods here, rent/buy homes. They are net contributors to the Swedish economy and are not taking jobs from Swedes, so I'm at a loss for why it takes so long. Maybe the other posters are correct and it's just a slow system.
10:07 August 31, 2012 by Nilspet
It is quite clear that migrationsverket does not have a deep understanding of IT industries, international competitions, university studies, research activities, etc ... Foreigners coming to Sweden in these categories face "unnecessarily" long wait times. In many EU countries, it takes 2-3 weeks to obtain a work permit (and that is not for ordinary jobs). It does not take more than 2-3 days "at most" to work on a work permit application or something like that.

It is bad for Sweden that an extremely important authority like migrationsverket works the way it works.
10:19 August 31, 2012 by Freelife
Well if you cannot bring them, send the jobs to time.

Outsourcing is cheap and productive and profitable and the employer need not care about the conditions of the employee.
10:28 August 31, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
If I was a computer programmer in the game industry... I would just fly here and claim asylum at the airport. Problem solved. Then you can BS your way into the system and you are set. Seems a hell of a lot easier than doing it the "old fashioned" way.
16:09 August 31, 2012 by IranianAtheist
The work permit application has to work with 3 types of applications with one set of rules:

1. Applications from serious industries who need highly competent individuals outside of EU.

2. Applications from unstable firms who import cheap labor for tasks such as berry picking. Everything is messy in this section and some workers get abused by employers.

3. Fake companies who charge a person seeking permanent residency and citizenship in Sweden under work permit laws and fake a position and salary for this person, while in fact the person is paying his own salary and a commission to this company, lawyer, or consultant. There are not much laws punishing people for this type of fraud, and often these people are awarded by a Swedish citizenship and a survival income after the fake employment ends.

The immigration laws have been made under pressure of big Swedish companies who did business internationally. At the moment there is no motivation from the government side to improve the laws and processes and provide adequate resources to migrationsverket. By the way, you can go to the migrationsverket office in Gothenburg and see with your eyes that they work only 8 hours a week.
17:45 August 31, 2012 by cupidcub
What ?? Say again ? Sweden needs Talented individuals from outside EU ? I thought some of you hate immigrants so much that you don't even care about their 'talent'.

Relax Swedes can't take the pressure anymore ? .. lol..
19:30 August 31, 2012 by moizhaad
What i think they need some hard worker to work in migrationverket from out side Eu .
08:43 September 1, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Just have them acquire Somalian citizenship before applying.
09:12 September 1, 2012 by Camlon
What? Six months! That is completely retarded.

Sweden just makes it harder and harder to immigrate as an qualified immigrant, and easier and easier if you are unqualified and from a third world country.

I have a feeling it is not going to turn well.
11:25 September 1, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
Sweden's half-ass EU membership speaks for itself,thankfully,they got the currency part right!

She won't own up to the fact that this is only a phisical island and no longer an industrial one.Sweden continues to price itself out of the market,Saab is only the most publicised example.Young,educated swedish graduates are leaving the cold,taking their (my)tax paid educations to other places where they can feel some love.It beats working for Posten with a PhD.

Sweden will eventually feel the heat for being so closed for business.

Look closely,everything here" is farmed out" from emergency services to transportation.She can't manage to do anything on her own anymore.

She's quickly headed to becoming a dead factory town,sad.
15:43 September 2, 2012 by Rogerenden
Try European specialists, they do exist,... or are they too expensive? :O
17:37 September 2, 2012 by rsmehdihasan
i can say Migrationverket is too much working with Asylums. may be they used to ...and please stop bringing * some fake people.make a review system.should have to take attentions to other sides as well
22:49 September 2, 2012 by Beavis
A few things have been left out... Firstly the reason why Swedish gaming companies cant find the right people comes more down to their HR. For some reason companies that have hired Swedes with uni backgrounds in HR seem to have some very narrow mindsets and are quite simply unable to hire the right people. The better game companies drop the Swedish language requirement for the hiring process (hence get the best people not the best Swedish speakers) and also get non Swedes or Swedes that lived abroqd in their HR dept. There are tons of qualified Poles and Romanians with great programming skills for example and only on very rare occasions should they ever need to go outsside the EU.

I attended an inerview a couple of yearrs back in a gaming company in Stockholm. They showed me a video of what the comapny did (of course Id already researched that before the interview) and asked if I had any questions.

I said sure, what would be an example of something I would do during a typical day- they had no idea, they were just HR and knew nothing about the job itself.

And of course the last option is these companies are just trying to hire on the cheap..
01:56 September 3, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Companies can not hire cheaper than the acceptable salaries approved by unions.
Today's headlines
National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

UPDATED: Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military seeks 'patience' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military seeks 'patience' in sub search

Sweden's military says it has no plans to downsize the search for a possible foreign submarine and is prepared to force any suspect weapon to the surface of the sea, "with armed force if necessary". READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden ready to use force to surface sub
Photo: TT

Sweden ready to use force to surface sub

Sweden's military says it has no plans to downsize the search for a possible foreign submarine and is prepared to force any suspect vessel to the surface of the sea, "with armed force if necessary". READ  

National
Chainsaw man destroys house in family feud
The man used a chainsaw to destroy most of the Lidköping home. Photo: Shutterstock

Chainsaw man destroys house in family feud

A man in central Sweden has gone on a rampage with a chainsaw after a family housing dispute took an unexpected turn. READ  

National
Man frames beggar with stolen tablet computer
The beggar was detained for almost 24 hours after the accusation. Photo: TT

Man frames beggar with stolen tablet computer

A man in southern Sweden has landed in hot water after he stole a tablet computer, gave it to a beggar, then reported her to the police. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'
Former navy officer Bosse Linden in Vaxholm. Photo: Maddy Savage

Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'

Stockholm's archipelago is the focus of the biggest military operation in Sweden since the Cold War. The Local is in the region's capital, Vaxholm, to see what residents make of the drama. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Sweden who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

European Union
Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group

The EU group that bound several Eurosceptic parties including the Sweden Democrats has been saved by an MEP from a far-right Polish group, just a week after it appeared to have crumbled, according to a UK press report. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm
Sweden's Armed Forces are out in force after reports of a foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: TT

Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm

The world has had its periscope on Sweden since the Swedish military launched an extensive hunt for what is rumoured to be a damaged Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Here is the timeline of events so far. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Sub hunt: Timeline
National
Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

992
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN