Swedish government criticised over deportation of ‘world class’ developer

The Swedish government has been criticised by opposition politicians for not doing enough to prevent the deportation of a tech talent who was denied a work visa extension over a technicality.

Swedish government criticised over deportation of 'world class' developer
Tayyab Shabab (centre) is described as a 'world class' talent by his employer, app developer Dynamo. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

On Tuesday, the Migration Court in Stockholm decided not to grant the appeal of a Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) decision from last year which rejected Tayyab Shabab’s application for a work permit extension because a previous employer forgot to take out occupational pension insurance for him.

Despite a high-profile campaign in support of Shabab, who has been called a 'world class' developer in his field, the court decided to uphold Migrationsverket's decision and gave him four weeks to leave Sweden.

Now, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf has criticised the Swedish government for not doing enough to help Shabab and others like him facing deportation over admin errors by former employers.

“This catch-all system we have here in Sweden means we are losing competitiveness,” she told news agency TT.

Lööf pointed out that Shabab works, pays tax in Sweden and has paid his dues, but is being deported because of a “minor thing in the past that has been corrected”.

She wants his case to be the start of an overhaul of laws and rules in order to avoid similar cases in the future, with rule revisions already recommended last year by a parliamentary committee on social insurance and the labour market.

“The government just has to follow, but they haven't lifted a finger to do anything,” the Centre Party leader said.

READ ALSO: Foreign workers form human chain to stop deportations

Moderate migration policy spokesperson Johan Forssell also criticised the government's lack of action, arguing that the rules are out of date.

“It's very strange that Sweden in 2017 is putting time and resources into deporting people who are highly educated, pay tax, and that companies are looking for far and wide,” he said to TT.

Shabab will appeal the judgment further to the highest migration court in Sweden, the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen), according to his lawyer Fredrik Bergman:

“There is clearly a need for further legal guidance”.

On Tuesday the developer told The Local he can't understand the Migration Court's decision:

“A lot of people have spoken to me, and there's been a lot of support from colleagues, friends and the media. I don't know why the court still thinks it’s my mistake and I should be rejected. That's crazy, to me. I don't feel good at all right now”.

“In the last few months a lot of people have contacted me who are going through the same problems. There are a lot of problems for small startups – new companies sometimes don't know the exact rules for international people,” he added.