Star developer to leave Sweden for Berlin after growing tired of deportation fight

Lee Roden
Lee Roden - [email protected]
Star developer to leave Sweden for Berlin after growing tired of deportation fight
Tayyab Shabab (left) has his work permit application rejected by Migrationsverket over an admin slip. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT & Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT

A star developer who had a work permit application rejected because of an error made by a previous employer has decided to leave Sweden after losing hope in his fight to stay in the country.


Pakistani developer Tayyab Shabab had his permit application rejected by the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) last year because a previous employer forgot to take out occupational pension insurance for him. The fight to prevent his deportation was backed by big names in the tech world like Spotify founder Daniel Ek, provoked an online petition signed by more than 10,000 people and sparked debate about how fair Sweden's rules in the area are.

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After losing his case in the Stockholm Migration Court in May, Shabab appealed to the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen), but he has now decided to take his talents elsewhere after growing weary.

"I have decided to move to Germany from Sweden. I took this decision because I still see no hope of getting this problem fixed for me," Shabab told The Local.

He will however see his appeal through:

"I just had a meeting with my lawyer Fredrik and he suggested that I should keep my case here open and not take it back right away. So I won't be withdrawing my case here for now".

Shabab, who is described as a "world class talent" in his field, had a steady job as a developer in Sweden and has lived in the country since 2013, when he moved to study a Masters in computer sciences before going on to work in the tech industry.

His previous employer made an admin error while trying to take out occupational pension insurance for him, but despite the company offering to correct the mistake by paying the necessary insurance in retrospect, Migrationsverket said he could not be granted a new visa.

The developer said he still has a positive opinion of Sweden, but thinks its rules in the area need to change.

"It didn't change my opinion about Sweden. I still think the people are very nice here. However it is the rules which need to be changed. I think the government does not look interested in fixing the issues."

In May the Swedish government announced that it wants to change the country's migration laws so that small mistakes can be fixed if they are noticed by an employer before Migrationsverket. It will also investigate a further law change that would make rules more flexible in cases where an employer was not able to fix the mistake before Migrationsverket notified them about it.

READ ALSO: Sweden to fix rules that lead to deportations over admin slips

But Shabab said he is not optimistic about anything significant happening:

"Until now I have seen nothing change. It looks like this issue is not a priority for the government or maybe they are just delaying it on purpose".

Instead, he is now looking forward to a new life in Germany, where the signs so far are that things will be easier.

"I am moving to Berlin and a software company that works with artificial intelligence solutions. It's a very good company and Berlin is also a nice city. It was very easy to get a permit for Germany. I got the decision within just one week and the process was very smooth," he concluded.


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