Many valued IT workers will have to leave Sweden despite the new law.
Many valued IT workers will have to leave Sweden despite the new law. Credit: Johan Nilsson / TT

Why a new law will not stop workers getting deported

2:27 min

Politicians have agreed that Sweden needs to stop deporting non-EU workers for minor mistakes made by their employers. But although the law has just been changed, many say it will not be effective.

Last Friday, a government amendment to the Aliens Act entered into force.

Previously, if the Migration Agency found that you were not getting the conditions promised when your permit was first issued (such as the correct salary or insurance payments), at any stage of your career in Sweden, your permit could not be extended and you would be deported.

As of last Friday, employers can retroactively correct their errors, meaning workers avoid deportation – but only before the Migration Agency detects the errors. As soon as the Agency finds out, the work permit cannot be extended.

The Work Permit Holders' Association argues this is "too little, too late." Many deportations will still go ahead, because the Migration Agency is frequently the first to discover any errors. For those having their applications processed now, they add, there may not be enough time to correct any errors.

Sweden's parliament has asked the government to bring forward a proposal to remove the requirement to deport workers whose employers have unintentionally made errors, even after these are detected by the Migration Agency. This, in an effort to make decisions more proportionate.

The government has launched an inquiry to come up with a better proposal, with results due before the end of December. There is also a ruling at the highest migration court expected before then, which may see the number of deportations drop.


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