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Foreign students may get six months to find work

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Foreign students may get six months to find work
15:10 CET+01:00
Foreign students who have completed their university studies in Sweden would get an additional six months to find employment, according to a new proposal.

The proposal, one of several being prepared by a government commission on migration issues, would make it easier foreign university students in Sweden to find jobs that would allow them to stay in the country.

The proposal is expected to be formally presented to the government in the near future.

In 2009, 40,000 foreign students were enrolled at Swedish universities but during the same year only 500 foreign graduates were able to stay on in Sweden after finishing their degrees, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The head of the committee, Mikaela Valtersson of the Green Party, believes that part of the problem are Sweden's harsh rules for student visas.

“Today they get a temporary residence permit which basically runs out as soon as they finish. We propose that the students should be allowed to stay on longer,” she told SR.

The new proposal would give students an extra six months after graduating in order to establish themselves on the labour market.

Houssam Toufaili graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in 2010 and went straight into a job.

However, he is one of only three out of the 65 foreign students of his graduating class still in Sweden today.

“I was a special case in that I didn't need to look for work, but others were not so lucky,” Toufaili told the Local.

To be allowed an extra six months on your visa to look for work here would make a big difference to these students, according to Toufaili.

“Not only would it would give students time to concentrate on their studies instead of trying to find a job during the last few months before graduating, but it would also benefit employers getting Swedish educated professionals who want to stay in Sweden,” said Toufaili.

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