In case you missed last week’s webinar, “Immigration Talks: The New Model- Changes to Business Immigration in Sweden,” you can watch it here on demand. We also took all your questions and answered them in the text below.
How/when would an employer know if the MA will take 4 months for an application instead of 30 days? I.e. if an application is not complete?
This is one of the many details of the new model that need to be clarified. Human Entrance has asked the Swedish Migration Agency about this, and we are currently awaiting a response. We have emphasized that the expected level of service must be communicated early in the process for a high level of predictability in the process, which is a prerequisite for employers’ ability to plan ahead.
Will the union comment still be required?
Yes, the requirement that a relevant trade union must be offered the chance to make a comment on the employment conditions will remain.
Do we know if MIG will change the applications form on their website, I mean actually asking for what they require? I am thinking about docs to add for PR.
The Migration Agency will improve their e-service to make it easier to hand in complete applications. We will keep you updated when we know more in detail about the upcoming changes.
If we get an additional request, will the decision-making time be affected due to that?
The short answer is yes. However, it remains to be determined whether the reason for the additional request is significant for the assessment of the service level. For example, will an additional request due to a delay at the Migration Agency affect the processing time target of 30 days? Or if there is an additional request due to inconsistency in the procedures for case assessment between the work permit units at the Swedish Migration Agency?
You are usually very helpful in preparing applications for us even when we are in a hurry and all documents might not yet be in place – is this something that will be harder to do with the new model? In consideration of the “complete” requirement?
Yes. The 30-day processing time will rely on the fact that every single application is correct and complete, meaning that the Migration Agency receives all information and documents that they need in order to grant a work permit. It will not be possible to get the 30-day processing time if an application is submitted when all required documents are not yet in place. This is why we are launching our Visa & Work permit tracking service, to help remind our clients in advance to start the process on time, increasing the possibility of having all proof for the application in place on the date it must be submitted.
How will the New Model affect dependent applications which we file with main applicant and for whom we wanted to file separate application due to various reasons?
This is another detail that has not been clarified yet. The current practice will probably remain, i.e. assessing main applicants and any co-applying family members within the fast track if they apply on the same date. It will be even more important to make sure that also the family members’ applications are complete, in order to get the 30-days processing time.
How are you guaranteeing that the application is complete – so that we can secure the high service level?
This is where Human Entrance creates great value for our clients and transferees. We have long experience of work permits and business immigration. Assisting employers and transferees, advising on best practices and solutions, and making sure applications are correct, compliant, and complete. We also stay up to date to changes in immigration related laws, regulations, court case law and internal practices within the Migration Agency and we have a continuous dialogue with the Migration Agency which helps us act more effectively as immigration service providers.
Why should we choose to pay an agent to handle our cases if we now have access to fast track on our own? What would be the benefits?
Our long experience of working in this field, our robust processes, our high expertise, and our compliance-focused and problem-solving approach.
All of this will give you benefits in terms of a faster and less complicated preparation process when applying for a permit for your employees. We can also help you understand the permit requirements by putting them into a context based on our knowledge in immigration regulations and governmental administration processing rules (e.g. what the Migration Agency should and can do)
Do you know what the current work permit handling times with MA are?
For work permit applications in the certified process, current handling times for first-time applications are between 2-4 months. Extension applications, adding 1-2 months to that. Outside of the certification process, first-time applicants can expect almost the same handling time, but work permit extension applicants sometimes have to wait up to two years for a decision.
Earlier this year the migration agency decided to take away the “request to conclude a case”. Is this option coming back?
You can send in a request to conclude today; they have not removed it. Although, Migration Agency have sent a request to the government that the Migration Agency should be allowed to refrain from handling requests to conclude in certain types of cases, including work permit cases. The request has not yet been answered.
What happens to the applications which are not decided (still with MA) upon till the introduction of new model/approach?
This is another important detail that has not yet been clarified by the Swedish Migration Agency. We will inform you of the details as soon as it is determined by the Migration Agency.
Would there be a change in the SSYK code lists due to the changes in Jan 2024?
The SYYK-code list is decided from Statistics Sweden (SCB) and will be updated according to their routines and regulations. There is no information so far that the SSYK-list will be changes due to the new model for work permit.
If an employer is registered for fast track and the outcome is awaited, with the new process how will that benefit?
Presently, companies who are already certified will continue to be able to submit applications to represent new subsidiaries. However, the deadline for submitting new certification applications was 31 May 2023. Whether or not your company has been certified will not affect your ability to receive a 30-day service level when the new model is introduced.
Is there a preliminary date for this new model to be implemented?
The date that had been communicated from the Migration Agency is that the new model will be launched on January 1, 2024.
Will the documents required for a work permit still be the same or will there be additional requirements?
The requirements for work permits will not change with the new model. The different requirements for the case types remain regardless of which category you belong to. The model and categories only determine the level of service, not the requirements. If there are any changes, we will keep you updated.
IT company employee will fall in which category?
If it’s an employee with a SSYK code beginning on 1, 2 or 3, and it is a regular IT services company, it will most likely fall into Category A. Example: Software engineer/developer has SSYK code 2512. But if an IT employee in a company acting in an industry that requires special investigation by the Migration Agency (“särskilda kontrollbranscher”), the categorization is not yet clear.
If any company can submit an application, will they submit it directly on MA’s webpage or where do you do it?
Yes, via the Migration Agency’s e-services.
Will you need to choose a category when applying, or when/where is this decision made?
This remains to be further clarified when the process is implemented, but we predict that an initial automatic categorization will be based on the SSYK code of the applicant’s job role and the SNI code/s of the employer.
Will you know which category the application is in? Also, if it switches categories?
We will monitor this closely and follow up on when and how that will be communicated if it will be communicated at all during the process (which we hope).
Can the category change depending on the applicant’s citizenship?
No, citizenship is not a factor to consider in categorizing work permit applications. Assessment of work permit applications focuses on the employment conditions and if these do fulfil the criteria for a permit, the Migration Agency can approve the application no matter the citizenship of the applicant.
Do you believe Migration Agency will meet the 30-day threshold in Category A?
We are cautiously optimistic and believe that some of the measures that will take place internally at the Migration Agency to enable this new model give reason to believe that it will be met, even if there is currently a backlog that needs to be dealt with too. One scenario is that all available resources will focus on meeting the 30-day threshold from start, as the focus on highly qualified business immigration is a top priority for the Migration Agency and the government, but that the other categories will take some more time to reach the 4-month mark.
Fast track is taking much longer today, how many cases will be removed from fast-track priority?
According to the Swedish Migration Agency’s reporting of the government assignment that forms the basis for the change, it was concluded that applications for highly qualified labour immigration account for about 40% of all work permit cases and a large majority of these occur in the IT sector. The investigation showed that a large majority of these applications are handled within the certification process today.
Are there internal changes at the Migration Agency to ensure that 30-day threshold is met?
What we know is that there will be a reorganization of the work permit units, development of the IT systems, improvement on the service offered to employers which will hopefully help employers submitting correct applications, and trainings of Migration Agency case officials to focus their applications assessments on relevant indicators in relation to the work permit criteria.
What would be the process for work permit extension – is it still 4 months before a work permit can be extended with the new model?
Currently, an extension application for a work permit can be submitted 4 months prior to the current permit expiration date if applying outside of the fast track, and only 3 months prior to the expiration date within the fast track. The Migration Agency has not presented any new timelines caused by the new model, or for Category A in particular, but we will inform you as soon as we know more.
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