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Election Q&A: How do you want to make it easier for foreign talent to come to Sweden?

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Election Q&A: How do you want to make it easier for foreign talent to come to Sweden?
We asked the parties how they want to stop deportations of labour migrants. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/

The Local asked Sweden's eight parties to answer a number of questions relevant to internationals living and working in Sweden.


There have been several reports in the past year of foreign work permit holders being deported due to minor administrative errors, often beyond their control, an issue The Local has covered extensively. We asked the Swedish parties: How do you want to make it easier for international talent to come to and stay in Sweden?

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The Social Democrat Party

"We're seeing a great need for a good supply of talent. People with special skills today have the opportunity to work in Sweden. We believe that labour immigrants should be entitled to compensation in certain cases when a work permit is revoked. Labour immigrants should not be unfairly impacted when the employer makes a mistake. We want order in the labour market."

The Social Democrats are Sweden's biggest party and part of the centre-left coalition government. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Moderate Party

"We need to take a holistic approach to labour immigration. First, we demand a definitive stop to these absurd deportations of talent. But that is not enough for a country that seriously wants to compete for global talent. We also have to switch to policies that address the need for international labour, entrepreneurship and competence. We therefore want to make it easier for experts and entrepreneurs to come to Sweden to work or run companies. We want to, among other things, introduce a so-called talent visa that enables highly skilled workers to look for a job here in Sweden."

The Moderates are Sweden's second-biggest party and part of the right-wing bloc. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The Sweden Democrat Party

"The interpretation of the law as it is today leads to unreasonable consequences for both employees and businesses. The Sweden Democrats want to introduce a compromise proposal. We propose that the government introduce a moratorium on the Migration Agency's decision to revoke residence permits due to minor mistakes made by the employer. This stop should apply until new legislative proposals have been put forward, but no later than May 2019."

"The Swedish labour market should be open to qualified labour whose skills are sought, but not to those who want to compete for work by accepting lower wages or poorer working conditions. By qualified labour we primarily mean people with higher education, but also those who can work satisfactorily in professions that require such long education or experience [that] urgent needs in the Swedish labour market cannot be met. Labour immigration when it comes to other professions, where the need for labour can relatively quickly be met by educating or training low-skilled unemployed aready living in the country, should not be permitted. Just like residence permits in general, work permits should be temporary and tied to actual work within the framework of the conditions on which they were based."

The Sweden Democrats are Sweden's third biggest party and run on an anti-immigration platform. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Green Party 

"Sweden is a place where people from all around the world want to come to work, study and do research. The Green Party is proud that Sweden, by offering good working conditions and high quality of life, can continue to be an attractive place to move to and work. The situation where individuals lose their work permits over minor issues, often outside their control, e.g. their employer made some mistake, should not be grounds for revoking a work permit."

"The government has drafted a rewrite of the law to clarify the situation but as the Migration Court is also critical of the harsh interpretation of the current rules, that new law might not be necessary as it can be rectified by new rulings that establish a clearer precedent that such minor issues should not be grounds for revoking a work permit. We also see the need for more and clearer information on what rules exist for people coming to work or study in Sweden. The government has also given the Swedish Migration Agency additional resources to shorten the turnaround time for visa applications."

The Green Party is part of Sweden's centre-left coalition government. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The Centre Party

"It's totally unacceptable that people are deported because of small administrative mistakes. Legislation quickly needs to be put into place that puts an end to deportations that have occurred because of errors and mistakes made by the employer. In the short term, and while this legislation is being put into place, there needs to be a law that suspends these types of deportations.

"In the long term, it has to become less complicated to employ people from other countries, especially for smaller companies. We also support employers' rights to decide who they want to hire. The government shouldn't decide on that, and this is something that both the Social Democrats and the Sweden Democrats want."

The Centre Party is part of the centre-right bloc in parliament. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The Left Party

"The Left Party wants Sweden to be able to attract labour from other countries to fill the gaps in the Swedish labour market. The high-profile cases of deportations of labour immigrants are direct consequences of legislation introduced by the former government. It states that no mistakes are accepted and that residence permits are to be revoked if such mistakes are made. The legislation has been reviewed, but there are still shortcomings."

"The Left Party believes it is unreasonable that the labour immigrant be punished due to the employer's mistakes. We want the job offer to be binding and it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that the terms of the offer, which must be in line with collective agreements, are met. There must be an overall assessment of the terms of employment and any mistakes that may have been made. The Left Party wants to crack down on the exploitation of labour immigrants and introduce a 'labour market test', which determines if there actually is a skills shortage and not a case of employers trying to get hold of cheap and insecure labour."

The Left Party is part of the left-wing bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Liberal Party


"Sweden has to be an attractive choice for people with key skills. People who work and pay taxes in Sweden should not have to leave the country because of trivial mistakes. For example, we want it to be possible to correct minor mistakes even after the Migration Agency has noted them. It should also be fast and easy for companies to hire people from other countries. We also want to offer a startup visa, a less bureaucratic way to get established in Sweden, to for example programmers and startup companies."

The Liberals are part of the centre-right bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The Christian Democrat Party

"We want to stop the absurd deportations of labour migrants. To ensure that there are no more cases as the one described above, we need to make overall assessments that assume that people who work, pay taxes and contribute to Swedish competitiveness should not be deported because of minor mistakes."

The Christian Democrats are part of the right-wing bloc in parliament. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT


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