Sweden to fix rules that lead to deportations over admin slips

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Sweden to fix rules that lead to deportations over admin slips
Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson has announced has announced proposed changes to the rules. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Swedish government has proposed a change to the country's migration laws that will mean immigrant workers are no longer deported for administrative errors made by their previous employers.


The law change, which is expected to come into force from December 2017, is a response to the "Kafkaesque" situation some companies currently find themselves in, according to Sweden's Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson:

"If it's a small unintentional mistake there has to be the possibility to fix the error".

There have been several high profile cases in the last year of immigrant workers being handed deportation decisions by Sweden over technical errors made by previous employers.

One example is Tayyab Shabab, a developer described as a "world class talent" who despite having a steady job, had an application for a work permit extension rejected by the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) because they discovered a previous employer forgot to take out occupational pension insurance for him.

He is now taking his case to the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen), the highest migration court in Sweden, after Stockholm's Migration Court judged that he should be deported in accordance with Migrationsverket's original decision.

READ ALSO: Star developer loses fight against deportation from Sweden

The mistakes are often only detected when someone applies for a work permit extension and the agency looks into their records. The law change will allow Migrationsverket to decide not to revoke residence permits in such cases.

Today's strict rules are designed to prevent employers from exploiting migrant workers by giving them poorer working conditions than promised. Deputy Finance Minister Per Bolund thinks the new change will not make it any easier to exploit workers as it only applies to employers who correct the errors before Migrationsverket has filed a complaint about them.

"The risk is very, very small. I believe that there's a pretty broad understanding that the rules are unnecessarily rigid," he noted.

The government also wants to make the rules more flexible in cases where an employer was not able to fix the mistake before Migrationsverket notified them about it, but a law change in that regard is to be investigated first.

And they will soon also propose an additional law change for sanctions against employers who deliberately broke rules.

READ ALSO: Foreign workers to form human chain to stop deportation


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