Lobby your politicians!
Politicians are responsible for the negative changes to the Aliens Act that were introduced this summer. It is time to make them aware of the consequences of this decision for doctoral candidates and researchers. You can make a difference!
SULF has put together a text that you can send to politicians to draw their attention to the problem. The full text of the letter can be found below.
You can use the form below to send the text by email to individual politicians. It will be sent from your own email program. We will not save your email address.
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This summer, the Swedish Parliament passed changes to the Aliens Act. The focus of the debate has been entirely on asylum immigration, but the new regulations will hit other groups hard, including doctoral candidates. This is not a question of asylum immigration, but about highly qualified people who have been admitted to our higher education institutions in intense competition. They are knowledgeable and well-educated, are already in Sweden and have their own means of financial support. They work hard and are now being deprived of the opportunity to continue their research. The problem is that they cannot show evidence in advance of the type of long-term income source that is required by the new legislation, because they are normally employed in a series of several short, fixed-term jobs.
As recently as December 2020, the government wrote that it wanted to see an increase in the proportion of foreign doctoral candidates staying in Sweden after the end of their studies and that it was important to be able to both recruit and retain their skills in this country, (Research, freedom, future – knowledge and innovation for Sweden, Bill 2020/21:60, p. 123). However, just a few months later it proposed changes to the Aliens Act which will quite clearly have the opposite effect. If the government still believes in what was presented in the research bill, it must make the changes outlined below as soon as possible.
In July 2014, an amendment was made to the Aliens Act which made it possible for doctoral candidates who have had a residence permit for four years to apply for and be granted a permanent residence permit. The new Aliens Act, which was introduced on 20 July 2021, means that these possibilities are being undermined. The conditions for knowledgeable and well-educated researchers to continue to contribute to knowledge development and innovation in Sweden have been worsened significantly. In addition, the rule change includes no transitional rules, so doctoral candidates and researchers who already decided several years ago to come to Sweden based on the previous regulations suddenly have no opportunity to continue the life and research projects that they have planned. Many are in despair, and they have built a life, started a family and started a career in Sweden on the basis of the previous regulations. Suddenly being faced with completely new conditions is devastating. It also jeopardises Sweden’s international reputation as a research nation.
I am writing this email to bring this urgent problem to your attention. I hope that the Parliament comes to its senses and reviews its decision regarding doctoral candidates’ and researchers’ possibilities to stay in Sweden. In your role, you can use your influence to push for an amendment to the law to include an exception that would make it possible for doctoral candidates and researchers who have had a residence permit for four years to apply for and obtain a permanent residence permit in accordance with the provisions that applied before 20 July 2021.