Sweden Granted 11,760 Work Permits to Foreigners in First 5 Months of 2024

Sweden issued 11,760 work permits between January and May 2024, the country’s Migration Agency has revealed.

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Such a figure represents a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023, when the number of granted work permits stood at 8,180, Schengen.News reports.

India, Türkiye, Iran, China, and Pakistan emerged among the most common nationalities who received work permits during the first five months of 2024.

Meanwhile, the highest share of work permits were issued for occupations requiring in-depth university competence (4,667) and those requiring university education or equivalent (1,256).

A considerable number of work permits were also issued for roles related to service, care, sales, construction, and manufacturing.

Work Emerged Most Common Reason for Granting Residence Permits

Moreover, the most recent data underscores that work was the primary reason for granting a residence permit during the first five months of 2024, shedding light on the labor market’s needs and trends.

Regarding this issue, the 2023 EURES report on shortages and surpluses revealed that Sweden is grappling with labour shortages in 39 occupations.  The shortages were distributed among different sectors, particularly in education and healthcare.

Sweden’s dire need for professional workers has also been confirmed by the country’s Labour Minister Johan Pehrson. In an earlier statement, he said that some regions of Sweden are “crying out for staff”.

Some parts of the country are crying out for staff at the same time as unemployment is increasing. It doesn’t add up.

Johan Pehrson, Swedish Labour Market and Integration Minister

Work Permit Processing Times Has Been Reduced, Migration Agency Says

At the beginning of 2024, the Swedish Migration Agency introduced a new processing system to shorten the waiting period for highly qualified workers. According to the agency, these efforts have started to yield results.

As revealed in a recent statement, the average processing time for resolved cases has been under 30 days for the cases included in the initiative.

Meanwhile, authorities aim to reduce the processing time for other work permit applications within four months.

We are happy that the efforts had an effect and that we can offer a service and a way of working that contributes to strengthening Sweden’s competitiveness.

Maria Mindhammar, general director of Migration Agency

More than 20,800 Work Permits Granted Last Year, Berry Pickers & Planters Led the List

In 2023, Swedish authorities issued 20,823 work permits, with berry pickers and planters as the most common occupations.

Among occupations with the highest share of granted work permits were IT architects, system developers and test managers, engineering technicians, civil engineers, and food preparers.