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Press release from Ministry of Justice

Inquiry proposes stricter labour immigration regulations


Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard received an inquiry report today entitled ‘New regulations on labour immigration, etc.’ The report contains a number of proposals that aim to make conditions for low-skilled labour immigration more stringent while promoting highly skilled labour immigration.

Labour immigration is important for Sweden, but although the country primarily needs skilled and highly skilled workers, labour immigration to jobs requiring little education or experience and with low wages is extensive. In many cases, it should be possible for these jobs to be taken by people already living in Sweden. There are also widespread problems with abuse of the regulations, particularly in low-skilled professions. 

To shift the focus to more skilled labour, the inquiry proposes that a wage equivalent to the median wage be a requirement in order to be granted a residence work permit in Sweden, with a possibility for exemptions for certain professions. The inquiry also proposes that highly skilled labour immigration be promoted, including through an exemption from the wage requirement for recent graduates.

It is also proposed that the possibility of applying for a residence permit for work or for a work permit from within the country following a failed asylum application – sometimes referred to as ‘changing track’ – be eliminated. The possibility to exclude certain professions from eligibility for work permits is also proposed. 

“This is an important step in introducing more stringent conditions for low-skilled labour immigration while facilitating highly qualified labour immigration and improving its regulatory framework. Sweden must be an attractive destination for highly qualified workers,” says Ms Malmer Stenergard. 

The Inquiry proposes that the legislative amendments enter into force on 1 June 2025. 

Press contact

Erik Engstrand
Press Secretary to Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76 141 14 87
email to Erik Engstrand