In August 2018, after three years of working and paying taxes, I was deported along with my wife and our four-year-old daughter. The reason for my deportation was a previous employer's insurance company, (2015-2016) which failed to issue my long-term illness insurance. This happened to me, despite having a live contract with ABB Sweden, with “kollektivavtal”, and all necessary insurances.
I followed the law, accepted the deportation and left Sweden. Months later, I was offered another job at ABB, and we followed all legal processes. However, the Swedish Migration Agency, declined my new application, as it was classified as an extension of the previous. Many who have dealt with this, likely know of an unwritten “quarantine period” of six months - of which there is no legal backing.
Since this whole process began, early December 2017, my family and I have endured significant stress, anxiety, depression and economic hardship as I have not been able to work for nearly one year. While I have been of course frustrated with the Swedish migration system, I held onto the hope, support, and in general to the kindness from Swedes all over the country - who wanted us to stay in Sweden.
For more than a year, I fought to inform as many people as possible about "The Expulsions of Talents" (#kompetensutvisningarna) and met so many other people affected by this. As a paying union member, I reached out to my union “Sveriges Ingenjörer” who did absolutely nothing, even though I identified a similar case to mine, where branch praxis was established. Ironically, Svenskt Näringsliv tried to help, but no success. There is no doubt, that we as non-EU migrants, even when working for good employers, and doing everything to follow the rules, are left behind.
The Diversify Foundation, directed by Matthew Kriteman, has presented facts from over 600 people affected by this issue. However, while there is plenty of media attention to this subject, and the government has even promised to fix it, #kompetensutvisning is not completely acknowledged, even denied. Talks continue about people like me - without us involved in finding a solution.
The expulsion of talents has definitely hurt immigrants, good employers, and Sweden’s credibility. Long term, this will hurt Sweden’s ability to compete, as the rest of the world becomes more competitive. I still wonder how a gun law in New Zealand can change in a few days, but the Swedish migration law has not been changed since 2014 when #kompetensutvisning began?!
Me and my family, truly, genuinely tried to integrate and contribute to Sweden. However, while my trust and affection for my Swedish colleagues, friends, and so many supporters remain, I simply have no more trust in the Swedish migration system. Our second daughter was born on June 20th, and as a father, I cannot risk again what my family has been through, again. The “legal position paper on calculating the total work permit period” by the Migration Agency, just proves that there is no political will to truly fix this, and allow people who want to work for it, have stability in Sweden. My wife and I have learned this fact that skilled workers are not entitled to the same respect and as other immigrants in Sweden.
I have decided to take an exciting position with a British company in Norway, Evolution Measurement. They established their branch in Norway although Sweden could be a preferred location (since I was not able to work for any Swedish company due to VISA bureaucracy), and offered me to be their Business Development Manager for the Nordic Region. A work and residence permit is issued within a few weeks by the Norwegian Migration Agency (UDI) and the future looks brighter. I thank all of you, so many, who supported us through this mess. Come visit in Norway!
We work with manufacturers of world-class solutions for test, measurement & calibration in the pressure, temperature, and electrical fields. Our customer base includes a significant number of blue-chip companies in the aerospace, automotive, defense, power generation, and instrument manufacturing industries.
We are a provider of physical and consultative solutions to your measurement challenges. Focused and tenacious, the team are driven to exceed customer expectations by providing the best available application of knowledge and technology.
Or send your inquiries/questions to; firstname.lastname@example.org