Exciting times are upon us with many upcoming changes within the field of business immigration in Sweden!
As you may have heard, the Swedish Migration Agency will introduce a new model for work permits in January, 2024. This new model offers a service commitment of 30 days for all work permit applications considering highly qualified labor migration. Implementing this new model means that the fast-track, as we know it, will be phased out.
The new model involves many positive changes compared to the current fast-track system!
• All companies will benefit from the new model as there will be no requirement to be a certified company or have a certain volume – the handling times are specified by profession meaning highly qualified workers will get their permits FAST.
• More predictable handling process times for all work permit categories.
• For highly qualified professions, (SSYK code groups 1,2, & 3), you can expect a handling time of 30 days if the application is complete from the start.
• Handling times are expected to be the same no matter if you apply for a new or an extended work permit.
• Since there is no need for a company to apply for the certification, it will be easy and fast for new companies to get the fast track with shorter overall handling time.
• Your partnership with Human Entrance will not be affected. We can still act as your representative with a power of attorney.
The drive behind these changes is to make the handling times more predictable for all work permit applications, but primarily to improve the process of highly qualified labor immigration. We see the new model as a positive change, but we understand you have some more questions about how this will affect your company and your employees.
To answer all questions about the new model, and other changes related to business immigration, we would like to invite you to a webinar at 11:00 on October 17th, 2023. Sign up for the webinar with this link: Sign Up
Why do we see these changes now?
In the budget and policy specification for 2023, the Swedish Migration Agency received a mandate to promote highly qualified labour immigration. To fulfil this task and to overhaul the entire work permit process, the Swedish Migration Agency has decided to introduce a new model for handling all work permit cases, which means that the existing fast-track model as we know it will be phased out.
Other than the new model for work permit applications, Migration Agency also intends to establish international recruitment units and implement an extended service to better help companies hand in complete applications. The international recruitment units will have the overall responsibility for the applications falling under category A, which corresponds to today’s fast-track. These units will also offer an increased service level to employers and companies acting as their representatives, such as Human Entrance.
The new model will be implemented in the beginning of 2024.
How does it affect my company?
There are not many changes regarding process for certified actors hiring highly qualified personnel. For complete applications, the Migration Agency have a service commitment that a decision will be made within 30 days.
For certified actors hiring personnel who are not highly qualified, the Migration Agency states they hope to fulfil the four-month lead times as depicted in the ordinance act.
One crucial improvement is that the new model doesn’t different the waiting time for new applications or applications for extensions, which will lead to a more predictable process.
In the new model, just as in the fast-track certification, quality is important. The Swedish Migration Agency continues to require you to submit a complete application to receive the 30 days handling time service commitment.
How this will benefit your company?
• More companies can benefit from the service commitment as there is no requirement for being certified company or having a certain volume – the mere fact that it is a profession classified as highly qualified gives 30 days of service commitment.
• Predictable handling process times for all work permit categories
• If the occupation is highly qualified, you can expect a handling time of 30 days if the application is complete from the start.
• You can expect the handling times to be the same no matter if you apply for a new or an extended work permit.
• No need to apply for a certification of your company to access short handling times.
• Human Entrance can still act as your representative acting with a power of attorney from you.
The New Model:
Category A covers work permit applications for highly qualified occupations. The term “highly qualified” is defined in the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK). In Category A, it applies to the three occupational areas: managerial occupations, occupations with requirements for advanced university competence, and occupations with requirements for higher education competence or equivalent.
This category will be the agency’s way of replacing the current certification system. The ambition is that complete applications for highly qualified workers will be processed within 30 days.
Category B covers applications for work permits in occupations with specific rules, such as seasonal occupations, berry pickers, intra-corporate transferees (ICT), permits under the EU Blue Card Directive, artists, researchers, athletes/coaches, au-pairs, trainees, youth exchange agreements, and volunteers. It also covers applications to start business activities and so-called “track changers” from asylum cases.
Category C covers occupations that do not require a higher level of academic competence, i.e., non-highly qualified occupations in sectors that do not require a particularly high level of case investigation. This category includes, e.g., occupations that constitute an important social benefit, even if they do not meet the criteria for being classified as highly qualified. Applications for major new establishments in growth areas also fall into this category.
Category D includes work permit applications for employment in industries that the Swedish Migration Agency defines as particularly demanding in terms of case investigation, including cleaning, construction, personal assistance, and hotels and restaurants.
Minimum Salary Level
The update also concludes that the implementation of the raised minimum salary levels is in its final steps. The MSL will be raised to meet 80% of the annual average salary in Sweden. Assessment will be based on official statistics provided by Statistics Sweden (scb.se) and the level relevant at the time of decision will apply. This means an application filed in 2023 that is not assessed until 2024 will have to meet the MSL per 2024 statistics . Implementation has been pushed to November 1st – it was previously stated as October 1st, 2023.
In summary, the must know details surrounding the new model and its implementation are still vague, at best. Implementation of the raised MSL has been postponed until November 1st.
As always, we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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