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    Swedish Govt. to enhance work permit application for foreign workers

    The Swedish government has released a report outlining its strategy to introduce International Recruitment Units aimed at enhancing the work permit application process.

    The report outlines processes to avoid substantial processing delays and backlogs of work permits for foreign workers globally including Nigeria who obtain a Swedish work permit.

    What the report contains 

    The report has significant areas, including the introduction of a tiered application category system.

    This will be based on the applicant’s profession and educational background and marks a departure from the existing Fast Track scheme.

    Furthermore, the report proposes the discontinuation of the Fast Track scheme due to its lack of effectiveness and these policies are anticipated to come into effect by late 2023 or early 2024.

    Under the revamped application category system implemented by these Units, the assessment of work permit applications will be based on the applicant’s profession and educational qualifications, diverging from the Fast Track scheme that has been operational since 2011.

    Here are the specifics of the four categories, as contained in the report:

    Category A

    • Applicant Category: This encompasses qualified professions, spanning management and leadership positions, as well as roles that demand higher education qualifications.
    • Processing Times: The government’s processing times are as follows:
    • 30 days for fully completed applications.
    • 120 days for incomplete applications, such as those containing inaccuracies regarding the role or salary, or lacking necessary documentation or information, among other issues.
    • This category will likely apply to those roles listed on the Swedish Classification of Occupations that start with a 1, 2 or 3.
    • This category will replace the less efficient Fast Track scheme.

    Category B

    • Applicant Categories: This is for work permit applicants for specific occupations with distinctive requirements, such as seasonal workers, EU intra-corporate transferees, EU Blue Card permits, researchers, and more.
    • Government Processing Times: The processing duration will vary based on the type of application.
    • EU Blue Card, intra-corporate transferee, and seasonal worker applications are expected to be processed within a maximum of 90 days.
    • Researcher applications are targeted to be completed within a period of up to 60 days.
    • Specialized Review Units: These categories will be overseen by designated review units with expertise in handling the respective application types.

    Category C

    • Applicant Category: This is for occupations that fall outside the ‘highly qualified’ classification, encompassing roles that do not necessitate higher education. This category comprises positions that provide significant societal value, irrespective of not being categorized as ‘highly qualified.’
    • Government Processing Time: A standardized processing period of 120 days, regardless of the application’s completeness.
    • Reduced Government Scrutiny: Roles within this category are considered to require less intensive government scrutiny during the application assessment
    • Eligibility: Applicants who do not meet the criteria for categories A or B may qualify under this specific category.

    Category D

    • Applicant Category: This pertains to applications in professions identified by the Swedish Migration Agency as necessitating the utmost scrutiny due to a history of systemic exploitation of workers in these fields. Such professions encompass roles in cleaning, construction, personal assistants in the medical sector, hospitality, and others.
    • Government Processing Time: A processing timeframe of 120 days, irrespective of the application’s completeness.

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