New governmental review into work permit regulation in Sweden

The Swedish government made a formal decision on 6 February 2020 to review the current work permit regulation in Sweden and the potential for reform. The governing political parties have had joint discussions on what issues to address and have listed ten items as follows:

  1. Talent visa (“Talangvisum”). The government proposed to introduce a new type of residence permit, with the intention of making it easier for highly skilled workers to come to Sweden to take up employment or start their own business.
  2. Deportation of highly skilled labour. The problem with highly skilled workers being deported due to insignificant administrative errors on behalf of employers has been lifted by employers in Sweden and will be investigated further.
  3. Combatting abuse of the system. The report will aim to do a broad survey of the situations under which the work permit system is abused and suggest necessary actions.
  4. Additional requirements relating to support of dependent family members. The report will address if there should be a new requirement for work permit holders to be able to support co-applying family members.
  5. Exploitation of part time workers. The government believes that part time workers in labour intensive businesses are at risk of not being compensated for their work to a full extent. The report will do a survey of this situation and suggest necessary actions.
  6. Reporting duty. The report will take a position on whether employers should be required to report significant changes in the employment conditions for work permit holders to the Migration Agency.
  7. Investigate and propose action plan to tackle the root causes of illegal trade and trafficking in relation to work permits. The report will investigate how to target traffickers using the work permit regulatory system.
  8. Work permits for previous asylum seekers. The report will take a position whether it should be easier for previous asylum seekers to apply for work permits in Sweden.
  9. Simplify bureaucratic processes for work permit holders in Sweden. The government believes that better coordination between Swedish government agencies assisting work permit holders is needed. The government also wants to make it easier for work permit applicants to travel abroad while an extension application is pending.
  10. Make Sweden more attractive to highly skilled labour. The report will investigate how the marketing of Sweden as a country for high skilled labour migration can be improved.

Central parts of the report will be presented 1 February 2021, the final presentation of the report is to be completed 1 November 2021. EY will be monitoring the progress of this review closely.

Please contact us should you and your organization have questions on this or the current work permit regulations in Sweden.

For further information on the government website please follow the link here.

Elsa Tirén and Sarah Gardner


Elsa Tirén
+46 76 853 19 79


Sarah Gardner
+46 72 517 91 47