However, the new package of labour immigration laws also contains some laws which could make it easier for certain immigrants to apply for a work permit in the country.
A new kind of residence permit, also referred to as a “talent visa” will be introduced for certain highly-qualified, highly-educated individuals.
“This is a step in the right direction,” said Rasmus Ling, migration spokesperson for the Green Party.
At the same time, so-called talent deportations have been targeted in the new law, which politicians hope will lead to a decrease in the number of immigrants being deported for minor errors in their work permit paperwork.
“Talent deportations have been a problem for many years. It’s good that we, once and for all, from the 1st of June, will now have legislation in place,” Jonny Cato, migration spokesperson for the Centre Party told newswire TT.
The old legislation was from 2008. A central aspect of the new law package is the new requirement that applicants must have a signed job contract before they can receive a work permit. Previously, a job offer was enough to secure a permit.
However, some parties want the laws to be stricter, such as the Moderates, who want a salary requirement of at least 85 percent of Sweden’s average monthly salary – a limit of around 27,500 kronor a month, seasonal workers excluded.
“Why should you come from the other side of the world and work as a cleaner in Sweden for 13,000 kronor a month?” said Maria Malmer Stenergard, migration spokesperson for the Moderates.
The Moderates, Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats also want to remove the spårbyte (track change), which currently allows asylum seekers to apply for a work permit if their application for asylum is rejected. The parties also want to stop or limit labour immigration for jobs in personal assistance, as they believe that this branch has a widespread problem with work permit fraud.
The Social Democrats are open to removing the ‘track change’, with Social Democrat MP Carina Ohlsson stating that these laws were “a first step” and that the party would be considering further measures in the future.
Stenergard promised that the Moderates would tighten work permit rules further if they were to win September’s election.
“We will take action to stop fraud, stop the ‘track change’, stop labour immigration for personal assistance, and we will introduce a higher wage requirement,” she said.
The new law will come into force on June 1st.