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Sweden's Migration Agency celebrates cutting waiting times for work permits

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Sweden's Migration Agency celebrates cutting waiting times for work permits
The Migration Agency changed its system earlier this year to fast-track applications from international talent. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

Swedish waiting times for work permits have gone down drastically since a new processing system was implemented, according to the Migration Agency.

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The new system, which aims to speed up waiting times for highly qualified workers, was introduced in January, and the Migration Agency said it had so far achieved its purpose.

“We are happy that the efforts have had an effect and that we can offer a service and method that contributes to strengthening Sweden’s competitiveness,” said Migration Agency director-general Maria Mindhammar in a statement on Thursday.

The Local reported last month that 95 percent of complete work permit applications sent in by highly qualified workers – i.e. applications processed within the top priority “A” category – since the launch of the new system were given a decision within the 30-day target.

The Migration Agency has now revealed another set of figures showing that average waiting times for highly qualified workers, EU Blue Card holders, researchers and ICT (Intra-Corporate Transfer) workers were below 30 days in the past four months. Figures in the table below refer to number of days waited.

For other types of permits, the goal is to make a decision within four months.

According to the Migration Agency, the average processing time for complete applications that don’t either fall into the highly-qualified category or industries that require in-depth investigation (i.e. industries where there's a risk of exploitation or abuse of rules – such as the restaurant, construction or cleaning industries), was brought down to 35 days in February-May.

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It said about half of cases in this group were submitted complete.

“We really want to increase the percentage of cases that are complete from the start, even when it comes to applications that are not covered by the investment in highly qualified professions,” said Migration Agency deputy regional director Ulrika Ekebjär.

The agency didn't immediately say what the waiting time was for applications in this category that were not complete.

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Comments (2)

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Lina 2024/07/01 16:09
I agree with Thari below. My boyfriend, also a high-skilled worker with a 2-year long job contract, has currently been waiting 10 months and counting for his researcher visa. That's almost a year gone on his contract. The migration agency has been less than helpful in trying to answer any questions in regards to this.
Thari 2024/06/28 12:42
It's somewhat ironic to hear about the significant reduction in work permit processing times for highly qualified workers in Sweden, considering my own experience. As an IT-skilled migrant, I've been waiting for my work permit decision for about 4.5 months without any updates. While I appreciate the efforts to streamline the system, it's disheartening when personal experiences don't align with reported improvements.

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