India is the number one country of origin of labour migrants in Sweden, reports the Hindu Times, but new opportunities are opening up for migrants from all countries.
Sweden is revising its immigration laws that could provide openings for both high-skilled and low-skilled workers from outside the EU.
The new policy, expected to come in force from December, grants a two-year work permits as opposed the current one year permission.
Stating that migration is a “positive force,” Sweden’s Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy Tobias Billstrom said last week that this was the one of the most significant reforms of immigration policy in several decades to counter the effects of an ageing population.
Elaborating on the new migration rules at a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Billstrom said that in contrast to existing immigration regulations permitting immigration only for high-skilled jobs the new policy focuses on employers’ demand for high as well as low-skilled workers.
Sweden has a shortage of doctors, nurses, engineers, electricians, IT technicians and welders.
Under the newly proposed rules, employers who are unable to meet their labour needs through recruitment within Sweden or the European Union will be allowed to recruit from any other country. Decisions regarding residence and work permits will be based on employers’ own assessment of the needs.
The Labour Migration Board of Sweden will avoid “social dumping” by examining the terms of employment which should be at par with the existing employees.
The policy will also include the right to family reunification, which means the spouse or the family of the migrant will also have full access to the labour market.
After four years, a permanent residence permit can be granted to those who wish to remain.
At present, the work permit is available only for one year which is extendable to eighteen months.
At a time when most European countries are trying to restrict immigration, this announcement will be good news to migrants all over the world.
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