Sweden is raising the minimum income threshold for non-EU job seekers in the latest measure by Stockholm to help curb mass immigration.
On Thursday, May 4th, Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergaad announced that the minimum income threshold will be raised to €2,534 per month for new non-EU workers to receive a Swedish work permit. The country issued 24,000 such non-EU worker permits last year. The new regulations are expected to come into effect in October.
The new policy is largely seen as a response to the rise of the right-wing Swedish Democrats, who entered a confidence and supply deal with the centrist Swedish Moderate Party last October.
The Swedish government has presented its new worker permit policy as a way to reduce worker exploitation and will disproportionately affect the services industry, which heavily relies on non-European labour.
The reforms have been criticised by business groups who say the new rules will add additional costs and red tape for employers.
The policy comes amid a media campaign by the Swedish government to reduce the number of non-EU migrants.
Formerly one of the European major proponents of mass immigration, Sweden has recently taken an active stand against non-EU immigration during its EU Council presidency. This includes promoting a variety of measures designed to reduce the flow of non-EU migrants into Europe, using trade deals as leverage against the developing world to better control migration.
In response to populism, the Swedish government’s scheme hopes to reduce non-EU immigration. However it may come at the expense of Swedish businesses. Time will tell if such reforms have the desired effect of reducing migration to Sweden.