A refugee camp in northern Iraq with people from Syria. Photo: Karin Laub/Scanpix

Syrians come to Sweden on work permits

Syrians desperate to leave their war-torn country, but denied visa to travel into the Schengen Area, are managing to get work permits to Sweden. Once they are here, many of them then apply for asylum. According to the daily Dagens Nyheter over half of the 419 Syrian nationals that have come here this year with a work permit have since applied for asylum.

Dagens Nyheter has reviewed one company which has brought Syrians here for jobs that turn out never to have existed.

The opportunity for people from outside the EU to come to Sweden to work was liberalised five years ago. The government argued that it would help alleviate a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

You can only apply for asylum to Sweden once you are in the country, but since there currently are no visas issued to people from Syria, the work permits have proven to be another way for them to get here. According to Statistics Sweden, there were 27510 people born in Syria living in Sweden last year.

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