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News > Sweden

Sweden to Double Wage Requirement for Migrant Workers

  • Sweden's Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard. May. 5, 2023.

    Sweden's Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard. May. 5, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@DailyFinland

Published 5 May 2023

"The proposal aims to reduce fraud and exploitation linked to work-related immigration..."

The Swedish government has recently proposed a set of regulations that require jobseekers from non-European Union (EU) nations to acquire a higher minimum wage than the previous standard, in order to be eligible for a work permit within the country.


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The government, together with the support party, the Sweden Democrats, has a majority in parliament. If passed, the proposal will more than double the required sum from 13,000 kronor (1,269 U.S. dollars) to 26,560 kronor a month.

"The proposal aims to reduce fraud and exploitation linked to work-related immigration, while making it easier for more people who are already in Sweden to take the jobs that are available," Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard told a press conference on Thursday.

The proposal is expected to have a significant impact on enterprises operating within the service industry, including establishments such as eateries, cleaning service providers, and domestic service suppliers.

The proposition has been subjected to criticism by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, as it contends that a considerable number of sectors, which currently operate on wages below the aforementioned threshold, may endure challenges in terms of filling vacancies.

"No one is better placed to determine who needs to come here than the companies themselves," the confederation's Deputy Director General Karin Johansson told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

According to Johansson, the phenomenon of work-related immigration indicates a scarcity of labor force locally, thus necessitating the recruitment of foreign workforce by companies.

According to the government, the proposed measure is anticipated to mitigate the influx of laborers lacking in technical expertise, yet would not impede the recruitment of qualified jobseekers.

The most recent data disseminated by the Swedish Migration Agency reveals that during the past year, there were 24,000 approved work permit applications. Additionally, for the initial four months of the present year, this figure stands at 11,300.

The government has expressed its anticipation that the recently implemented policy will take effect in October. The currency exchange rate between the Swedish krona and the United States dollar is 1 SEK to 0.097 USD.

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