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Additional details now have been confirmed regarding how the Migration Agency will define the concept of highly skilled workers when it comes to the new work permit procedure which will be introduced as of the 29th of January 2024.

Who will benefit from the prioritized processing?

The Swedish Migration Agency has now confirmed that they will base their definition of highly qualified labour on the Swedish Classification of Occupations, so-called SSYK codes.

Applicants who will qualify as highly qualified workers are positions covered under SSYK occupational areas 1-3 (SSYK 2012) These are:

  1. Managerial occupations
  2. Occupations that require advanced higher educational qualifications
  3. Occupations with a requirement for higher educational qualifications or equivalent

It is however important to note that highly qualified labour within industries subject to more stringent control will not receive prioritized processing.

Newly started companies that have been active for less than 12 months will not benefit from the prioritized processing, even if they recruit highly qualified workers.

How will these applications be processed?

The aim is for the Migration Agency to process applications for highly qualified workers within 30 days. Please however note that delays in the processing can be expected in case the Migration Agency requests additional information when reviewing the application.

Besides the new processing times, we should not expect any further changes to the current process and requirements.

When is the deadline for submitting a work permit application for employers that have already been certified?

The Migration Agency will stop processing applications through the certified sponsorship from the 14th of December and the new model for prioritized processing will be in place from the 29th of January 2024.

Applications submitted in the interim should be prioritized by the Migration Agency who will aim to conclude as many ongoing applications as possible before the 29th of January 2024.

How do we know if the people we recruit count as highly qualified workers?

Highly qualified workers are positions covered under SSYK occupational areas 1-3.

Exceptions are sectors where the Swedish Migration Agency deem that additional investigation is required, which are currently sectors with the following SNI codes (type of industry registered on Bolagsverket, Swedish Companies Registration Office):

  • Cleaning (81290,81210)
  • Hotel and restaurants (55101,56)
  • Construction (41200, 421, 42990,43)
  • Trade (471-478)
  • Agriculture and forestry (0113,012,02102)
  • Automobile repair (452)
  • Service (9602,9604,9609)
  • Staffing (782)
  • Personal assistance (88101,88102)

How will the Migration Agency process applications where the applicant does not qualify as an highly qualified worker?

The model will introduce four new categories with different processing times.

For categories B-D, the processing times are yet to be confirmed but we do expect applications within category B to be processed within 3 months.

Category A covers work permit applications for highly qualified occupations. The term “highly qualified” is defined in the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK). In Category A, it applies to the three occupational areas: managerial occupations, occupations with requirements for advanced university competence, and occupations with requirements for higher education competence or equivalent. Processing time: Within 30 days

Category B covers applications for work permits in occupations with specific rules, such as seasonal occupations, berry pickers, intra-corporate transferees (ICT), permits under the EU Blue Card Directive, artists, researchers, athletes/coaches, au-pairs, trainees, youth exchange agreements, and volunteers. It also covers applications to start business activities and so-called “track changers” from asylum cases. Processing time: TBC

Category C covers occupations that do not require a higher level of academic competence, i.e., non-highly qualified occupations in sectors that do not require a particularly high level of case investigation. This category includes, e.g., occupations that constitute an important social benefit, even if they do not meet the criteria for being classified as highly qualified. Applications for major new establishments in growth areas also fall into this category. Processing time: TBC

Category D includes work permit applications for employment in industries that the Swedish Migration Agency defines as particularly demanding in terms of case investigation, including cleaning, construction, personal assistance, and hotels and restaurants. Processing time: TBC

Please don’t hesitate to contact your local K2 office in case of any questions or concerns.

More information will be shared in January when the Migration Agency has disclosed the full details of the new model.