asylum seekers

Fewer Work Permits Granted

The number of asylum seekers allowed to work while their applications are processed has plummeted in 2009, according to Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.

2500 asylum seekers have been given temporary work permits in 2009, compared to 16700 last year.

Speaking to the newspaper, Caroline Henjered from the Swedish Migration Board says they will investigate whether the critieria that have to be met for asylum seekers to be allowed to work have become too strict.

However, the reason may also be that the Migration Board is getting quicker at dealing with the asylum applications. To be given a temporary work permit, the expected waiting time to receive a decision on their asylum application for an asylum seeker has to be more than 4 months, and in many cases the board has managed to reduce the waiting time to just 3 months.

In a related story, over 300 asylum seekers who have had their asylum applications refused by the authorities, have been given work permits instead, and allowed to stay. More generous work permit rules say that work permits can be given to someone the employer wants, no matter if the profession is regarded is seen as having a shortage of the qualified workforce. One of the groups to benefit from the law change are failed asylum seekers, according to Swedish Radio News.