Overseas students who wish to stay and work in Sweden after finishing their courses are currently able to apply for another residence permit that allows them to stay for six months, as long as they fulfil the criteria.
But according to the government's planned law changes, both non-EU students in higher education as well as researchers would in the future be able to apply to stay in Sweden for up to a year after their studies.
This is as long as that time is used for seeking employment or trying to set up their own business.
The new proposals will be put to parliament “shortly”, said Sweden's education ministry in a statement on Saturday. If they are voted through, they are expected to come into force on January 1st 2020.
“The government's proposal strengthens Sweden's attractiveness and competitiveness for highly educated and sought-after foreign citizens who can contribute their knowledge,” said Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden's minister for higher education and research, in a statement.
“The proposals are therefore an important part of the work to improve Swedish companies' access to talent.”
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The proposal includes permits for researchers, students in higher education, internships linked to higher education, volunteer work within the framework of the European Voluntary Services, and for au pair work.
The so-called maintenance requirement, that students should have enough money to fund their time in Sweden, will also be clarified so that applicants' current means of support as well as proof of future access to such means can both be used as proof that the students can in fact support themselves in Sweden.
The government also wants to make it easier for students to temporarily move between countries by making it possible for someone who already has a residence permit for studies or research issued by another EU state to, in some cases, stay in and carry out part of their studies or research in Sweden.
The new proposals, which have not yet been published in full, follow an EU directive from 2016 aimed at making it easier for third-country nationals to study in Sweden and retaining foreign talent post-graduation.