Sweden’s National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) claims that the number of fake work permits is increasing, causing a headache for police.
“That’s the information from the police authorities, what we call the intelligence, and the perception is that it’s a growing problem,”explained Sören Clerton of the Rikskriminalpolisen to Sveriges Radio (SR).
“There is a clear abuse here of what should be prosecuted.”
In late 2008, new legislation for non-EU workers came into effect in Sweden, making it easier for these to seek work here.
At the same time, the rule change has made it easier for black market traders to provide fake documentation for jobs that didn’t exist.
These false work permits constitute what Clerton refers to as a “considerable number” of the 15,000 job permits given in Sweden each year.
“We’re seeing examples of previously known people smugglers who have begun using this method, and we have information that it’s for up to 250,000 kronor – which can be the price of getting a legal work permit for Sweden,” he told the broadcaster.
To counter the problem, the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) implemented new laws in January this year in which an employer must show that they are able to pay a prospective employee for at least two years’ salary.
“It has led to more applications being rejected, because the offered employment has not proved to be serious,” Nina Johansson of the Board told the broadcaster.
However, Clerton explains that the problem is not being taken seriously enough, adding that he has never seen a case of someone being punished for their involvement in the scam.