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Technology Companies Criticize New System for Work Permits – “Thousands Are Not Included

Technology companies have criticized a new system for work permits claiming that thousands of employees are not included in the prioritized group. Minister of Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard (M) and Director General of the Swedish Migration Agency Mikael Ribbenvik announced on Friday that the new model, which will prioritize highly qualified labor, will be introduced at the end of the year.

The requirement today is that it should take a maximum of four months to get a work permit. The average is in reality 4.5 months. Under the new model, those who fall under the highly qualified group will have to wait a maximum of 30 days.

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However, according to Li Ljungberg, business policy expert at Teknikföretagen, many employees are not included in this prioritized group. The organization with 4,300 member companies believes that programmers and engineers are examples of professions within the highly qualified group that should be prioritized.

The Swedish Migration Agency previously had a special certification process for companies in need of labor from third countries. But the system has become too extensive and cumbersome – last year the authority had 104,000 applications and 640 certified companies.

The goal of the Minister of Migration is for the processing time to decrease for all categories, even though the mandate from the government is that the highly qualified should be prioritized.

The Tidö parties announced that they want to double the wage requirement for labor immigrants, from SEK 13,000 to SEK 26,500, which is 80 percent of the median wage. The proposal received criticism from several quarters, including from Sweden’s municipalities and regions (SKR), which are concerned about manpower for care.

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