On Tuesday 11 January, SULF took part in a meeting called by the Moderate Party to discuss the recent changes to the migration legislation, primarily those regarding the new requirements for permanent residence permits, and the problems that the changes have caused for doctoral candidates and researchers from countries outside the EU/EEA. The meeting was also attended by Saco (the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations), the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Migration Agency.
It was a positive meeting and many important aspects were discussed, from the challenges Sweden faces in terms of the supply of skills in both higher education and the corporate sector to issues such as the Swedish Migration Agency’s long processing times for applications.
“Our feeling is that there is a consensus that Sweden must continue to be an attractive country for doctoral candidates and researchers from other countries,” says SULF's chief negotiator, Robert Andersson, who participated in the meeting. “Today's meeting is a step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
The dialogue about how this is to be achieved needs to continue and from SULF's side, we welcome further dialogue with more parties in the Parliament, with the Government and with the Swedish Migration Agency. After the meeting with the Moderate Party, we are optimistic to the extent that we feel that there is broad support for the importance of Sweden to be able to attract and retain the vital skills that these people possess. SULF also emphasised that an exemption from the self-support requirement for permanent residence permits is needed for these groups, and that there is a need for a broader review of the conditions for being granted permanent residence in general.
SULF will submit concrete proposals for changes in the legislation to the Moderate Party, together with Saco and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.