Sweden takes another look at work permit rules

Sweden takes another look at work permit rules
How could the situation for foreign workers be improved? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
A government inquiry is set to re-examine the bureaucratic rules for foreign workers after months of debate.

This autumn has seen increased debate about the situation for foreign workers in Sweden, after several high-profile cases of people threatened with deportation over what has largely been perceived as administrative errors or an overzealous interpretation of work permit rules.

A petition to help rising star developer Tayyab Shabab stay in the country after he was told to leave has been signed by almost 10,000 people, including people in the startup and tech community such as Spotify founder Daniel Ek, TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher and The Local's CEO Paul Rapacioli.

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As The Local reported earlier this week, last autumn the Migration Agency changed its general procedure for approving renewed work permits after a court decision.

This means that when foreign workers apply for an extension to their permit, it will only be approved if all the conditions, even minor ones, under which the first one was granted have been met.

“It is not reasonable. There has to be some kind of overall assessment of these cases. If you want to change the procedure you need an legislative change where it states how the Migration Agency should interpret these rules,” Liberal MP Fredrik Malm told newswire TT.

A parliamentary committee on social insurance has now told the government to examine how work permit rules could be improved. The amendment will be added to an ongoing inquiry on foreign workers, the results of which are due to be presented in December.

The government inquiry's report on the amendment will be presented in spring 2017.

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