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Sweden may stop deporting non-EU workers for their employers' errors

Published måndag 2 oktober kl 14.00
The government, opposition and court may bring change
(1:57 min)
Tayyab Shabab gave up the wait to appeal against the decision to deport him, and moved to Berlin instead.
Tayyab Shabab gave up the wait to appeal against the decision to deport him, and moved to Berlin instead. Credit: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Recently, deportations of non-EU workers have made headlines in Sweden. But they may soon end – as politicians unite across party lines, and the highest migration court opens an appeal case which might set a new legal precedent.

The Migration Agency told Radio Sweden that generally, these deportations were happening because of errors made by employers.

Whenever a migrant worker applies to extend their work permit, the Agency looks at their employment history. If, in any job, the worker was not receiving minimum salary or insurance conditions, their permit will not be extended. This has meant that sometimes, workers who have studied and lived in Sweden for years have to leave the country.

Yet change may be coming from three directions: the government, the opposition and the courts.

The government announces new legislation

This summer, the government announced new legislative proposals which would give employers who have made errors the chance to correct them after they had been made. Yet they would only be able to make these corrections before the Migration Agency finds out about them.

This means that many deportations would still go ahead. Recognising limitations in this proposal, the government appointed co-chairman of the Svea Court of Appeal Bertil Ahnborg to head an inquiry and suggest alternative legislation.

The opposition proposes faster legislation

Last week, the centre-right opposition parties made the case that the government needs to act faster. They launched a new legislative proposal which would give the Migration Agency the opportunity to be more flexible and make an overall assessment of each case, in order to make proportionate decisions. Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the text of this new legisation would stipulate that affected workers "may" be deported, as opposed to "must" be deported.

On Thursday, business newspaper Entreprenör reported that this opposition proposal had gained the support of the government's Social Democrats and Greens, as well as the Left Party, meaning it could come into force on 1 December.

The highest migration court opens an appeal case which may result in new legal precedent

Additionally, Fredrik Bergman, chief legal counsel at the non-profit organisation Centre for Justice, told Radio Sweden that this month, the Migration Court of Appeal may set a new legal precedent on how to deal with work permit violations.

Yesterday, it opened the appeal case of Danyar Mohammed, a pizza chef from Jokkmokk deported last year for earning slightly under the salary threshold. If the Court finds that sanctions imposed on him were disproportionate to the errors made, a new precedent might be set, putting a stop to future deportations of this kind.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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