Updates in labour migration regulation

In February 2022, the Government presented the bill designated as "Tightened and improved rules on labour immigration 2021/22:134". Pursuant to this bill, the Government proposes new rules aimed to discourage the exploitation of labour migrants but also at retaining international expertise in Sweden.

The background to the proposal is that the Government has seen a need for changes in the regulation to ensure that labour migrants are not deported due to minor errors from the employer. In addition, a new reason for residence permits is proposed in order to simplify the process for highly skilled people to work in Sweden. The aim of the bill is also to discourage what is known as 'skills expulsions' and the exploitation of migrant workers. The Government wants to solve the problem relating to the lack of expertise in several areas, while ensuring that Sweden as a country does not lose its attractiveness due to expulsions due negligible errors.

As part of increasing Sweden's ability to attract high-level international expertise, the bill includes a new temporary residence permit for highly skilled people who want to work or explore opportunities to start a business in Sweden. The requirements for the applicant are completed studies equivalent to an advanced degree, that the applicant in question can make a living during the permit period and has a health insurance policy which is valid in Sweden. If these requirements are fulfilled, a person has the possibility of obtaining a temporary residence permit for a maximum of 9 months and should then be able to apply for a residence permit for work and a work permit without leaving Sweden.

In addition to the above, the bill includes, inter alia:

  • a signed employment agreement when applying for a work permit, as opposed to previous rules that only required an offer of employment;
  • temporary work permits will not be revoked in the same way as before in the case of minor deviations or if it is otherwise not reasonable;
  • an employee who obtains a work permit is also responsible for supporting family members;
  • employers may be required to notify changes that result in less favourable employment conditions than previously.

    On 20 April 2022, the Swedish Parliament passed the Government's bill and the new regulation entered into force on 1 June 2022.