“We are losing key people in the business right now, individuals who are very difficult to replace. They are having their work permits revoked because of technicalities and being forced to leave Sweden. This is ridiculous, and is a significant risk to our operations in Sweden,” the Swedish giant wrote in a letter to the ministry, Di Digital reports.
Sweden’s migration rules have been criticized for not being flexible enough in recent months following a number of high profile cases where tech talents were threatened with deportation due to technicalities.
One example is Tayyab Shabab, a developer from Pakistan described as “world class”, who had his application for a work permit extension rejected despite having a steady job in Sweden because a previous employer forgot to take out occupational pension insurance for him.
In its letter to the Ministry of Justice, Spotify was blunt in its criticism of Sweden's migration laws and the Swedish Migration Agency's interpretation of it. Spotify and other companies risk not being able to recruit the best foreign expertise in the future as a result, the company argues.
The music giant even sent a special playlist to the Ministry of Justice, starting with Abba’s “S.O.S”. When pieced together, the names of the songs on the playlist form a hidden message:
“S.O.S, Please, Stop The Madness, Change The Rules, So We Can Stay Alive, Our Business, Depends On, Smart People, Who, Come Over Here, We Need Brain, Power, Thank You, Keep Up the good Work.”