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New rules for labor immigration are proposed


A government inquiry whose assignment included proposing new rules for labour immigration has now presented its final report and recommendations. SULF welcomes some of the proposals, which will improve conditions for people who have residence permits for doctoral studies or for research.

When the report was published, there was a lot of focus on its more problematic recommendations regarding the introduction of a high minimum salary level for inward labour migration. There is reason to be critical of these proposals, not least because they involve political interference in the responsibility of trade unions and employers’ organisations for salary setting in the Swedish labour market. However, the introduction of a salary floor will not directly affect people who have or apply for residence permits for doctoral studies or for research, even if they are employed, because the regulations that apply in these cases differ from those that apply to people who get other jobs.

One part of the investigation that has received much less publicity is how Sweden will attract highly qualified people from countries outside the EU/EEA and how we can motivate them to  stay here. The inquiry has presented three proposals that would have a positive impact for the SULF members concerned:

- The inquiry proposes that it should be possible for a parent who has a residence permit for research, for example, and who has a child born in Sweden within the duration of the permit to apply for a residence permit for the child without having to leave Sweden to submit an application for the child from abroad.

- It proposes that people who have been granted a residence permit in order to seek work in Sweden for a year after completing their studies or research should be able to obtain a residence permit for research or for doctoral studies without having to leave Sweden to submit an application from abroad.

- Another proposal is that people who have a residence permit for studies, for research or to look for work after completed studies or research should not have to meet the new high salary threshold, currently SEK 34,200 per month, if they apply for a work permit during the time they have one of the residence permits referred to above.

The inquiry recommends that these changes come into force on 1 June 2025.

“SULF presented a number of problems that affect our member groups to the inquiry, and we are happy that they have taken our suggestions on board and put forward proposals that solve some of the issues,” says Robert Andersson, head of negotiations at SULF. “Given the directives the inquiry was given by the government, we can regard this as a good result. However, considering that the first two proposals above should not be complicated to implement and apply, SULF hopes that they can come into force earlier than 1 June 2025.”  

“Although these proposals are a step forward, several other problems that inhibit Sweden's ability to attract and retain doctoral candidates and researchers remain unresolved,” he continues. “Largely with regard to the conditions for these groups to be granted permanent residence permits. We therefore believe that it is high time for the government to keep its promise and finally appoint an inquiry to focus on the conditions that impact the SULF members concerned.”

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