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Work visas may prevent foreign student exodus

21 Nov 2012, 14:52

Published: 21 Nov 2012 14:52 GMT+01:00

Sweden lost more than half of its non-EU foreign students in the year following the 2011 introduction of tuition fees, according to the report.

Several other EU countries give students a window of opportunity to find work after graduation. The report recommends that Sweden look into the same option in order not to deprive the Swedish labour market of well-educated employees.

“If this reform is possible politically speaking, I don’t know,” Migration Board researcher Bernd Parusel told The Local.

"I can't issue a recommendation, just suggest they look into it."

The Migration Board also suggests that a student’s spouse be able to work in Sweden.

Some parts of the visa process have already been simplified for students.

“We’ve made it possible to fill in the residence permit application online,” Parusel said.

Allowing foreign students to apply for Swedish residence permits at any European Union country’s embassy or consulate could also be helpful, the report concluded, stressing the importance of closer cooperation within the EU to attract overseas students.

“In broad strokes, there are a lot of different rules across the EU countries,” Parusel told The Local.

The study will be officially presented at an EU conference on international students at the beginning of 2013.

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here.

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Your comments about this article

15:58 November 21, 2012 by Rogerenden
Sounds solid.

Other idea: Focus on the own young people. Or European ones.
16:05 November 21, 2012 by Grokh
this is of those things that is very ilogical in sweden, brings in uneducated people in a bad job market, but lets educated people go away. -_-
16:22 November 21, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Right now many MSc students delay submitting their thesis before finding a job. With the new approach, more will finish their studies in time.
17:10 November 21, 2012 by Freelife
Good move ..

However where are the jobs?

If plenty of jobs are available, then we don't need this. Since 'a thesis' can be an internship which can lead to an employment.

@Just_kidding, I agree.
18:13 November 21, 2012 by Samuel Nemalladinne
duhhh !!! They realised it now ?? Frankly the govt. should think about the returns of their investment on the education of Non-EU students !! It's a great brain-wealth !!

And the problem with the labor market in sweden is they have no trust on hiring people of non-EU origin. It's not because of the no trust in the quality of work. They are scared of the so many clauses in hiring a person outside EU i guess !
18:16 November 21, 2012 by Max Reaver

Already done. That is why non-EU foreign students have to be ripped off by expensive tuition fees now.


You are right. Nowadays most MSc students graduate late than those who graduate on time.
18:26 November 21, 2012 by Samuel Nemalladinne
They realised it now ?? Frankly the govt. should think about the returns of their investment on the education of Non-EU students !! It's a great brain-wealth !!
20:56 November 21, 2012 by cupidcub
Don't know long it might take to 'implement' this policy. Danish quick thinkers have already made 'Brain Drain' of high quality Swedish gradates from Sweden to Denmark implementing the green card scheme. Whereas Swedes are still wondering why financed so many non EU students for past decades. lol..
06:28 November 22, 2012 by prince T
That is true most foreign students do not come here anymore. @rogergren.

@rosegren. Your people are lazy. they only care abt bidrog and sex. Narrow minded like US. That is y the government needs workers elsewhere.

European people wil not come here. Because the salary and tax will be a problem. Scandinavian ppl will come though. Doctors and professionals from third worlld are cheaper to employ.

Most of the immigrants trained here are finding gainful employments in Norway and US. They are leaving the terrorists behind for u.

Sweden needs to integrate qualified immigrants. Soon we will become obsolete in the world ranking if we dont change. Ekeroth or Almquist will be PM then.
08:17 November 22, 2012 by RobinHood
Student or non-student, EU or non-EU; all people who have a skill useful to Sweden, should be offered a work visa.
08:43 November 22, 2012 by G Kin
Sweden has always had a self defeating immigration policy...

I know lots of international students who studied here and are now working in Canada, Denmark, US etc..They were never given a chance to work in Sweden. On the other hand thousands of barely schooled people are welcomed yearly from the middle east!.

Brilliant don't you think?!!!
09:55 November 22, 2012 by ZenMonk
People... its not like there are jobs here anyways or that Swedish employers, as someone has point out before are in keen on recognizing an recruiting foreign- born talent. Resolving the issue of work visas is just one part of the problem. First there needs to be a generalized demand for it (as a result of some shortage or a longer term strategy to replace aging talent that will soon be unavailable from the national pool due to other factors ) This then informs immigration reforms. This is what is happening on a generalized scale in countries like Canada, USA, etc. So far this, Sweden has kept such reforms narrow and based on identified immediate needs. Hence the IT sector has been opened up to foreign talent , with a lot coming from India et al, and reforms in work visa processes were implemented accordingly.
12:25 November 22, 2012 by axiom
@ # 12

Dont quite get your logic. The reforms with respect to work visas were not done for IT, anyone that gets a job in Sweden paying over 13000 doing whatever, wherever for however many hours can get a work permit, this is miles away from being narrow and identifying needs.

It was just pretty late when compared to neighbouring countries.

@ #11

Pretty true, Swedish migration policies have never been concerned about attracting highly skilled or educated people. There was just no route allowing them to settle here, in comparison to say many other EU countries.

My guess is that instead of broadening the tax base, revenue was comfortably earned by incredibly high taxation on those having some sort of income. Opportunities like the current work permit program is only 4 years old but even offer no transition opportunity for the many skilled students that leave every week. Such a small change would require no fundamental procedural changes except for the legislative initiative.

Students do the thesis delay tactic because thats the only card they have to play, a six month extension to find work, as long as the person can support himself, affects nothing.

Then again conversations like these usually crawl back down to "they want to take our social bidrag" etc.
08:13 March 5, 2013 by robban70226
Oh my dear Sweden

Like always A day late.. and adollar short....
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