Kompetensutvisning was officially added to the Swedish lexicon in 2017, as “the deportation of someone who has a competency that is sought after in the Swedish labor market.” This phenomena happens when people with a work permit apply for an extension, but are denied often due to minor errors during employment, including in the past. The new government clearly states in their 4-party agreement that ‘Kompetensutvisning must be fixed,’ and calls for a talent visa in two years, but it remains unclear what will happen to those already here, and at risk. Despite new rulings in late 2017 calling for an ‘overall assessment’ which has helped, Komeptensutvisning continues nearly 4 years later.
Last April, Ali Omumi, a young engineer and family-man from Iran, was denied an appeal in Migrationsdomstolen, despite the ‘overall assessment ruling.’ “We were monitoring this issue fairly closely as I was in the same kompetensutvisning limbo myself,” says Matt Kriteman (from the US), Diversify Chief Operations Officer. “In April, last year Ali’s appeal was denied due to a lack of pension and illness insurance, ultimately because of an insurance company failure. This made us wonder to what degree the ‘overall assessment’ ruling was really being used. Diversify decided to launch the study.”
Data was collected by the Diversify Foundation via social media, e-mail lists from our database, and with the Work Permit Holders Association from Jun 2018 to Dec 2018, for anyone affected by kompetensutvisning. Out of 1,490 ‘hits’ to the survey only 571 were qualified and vetted for statistical analysis. “Collecting all the data took quite some time and work. As we built our credibility, we started to hear from potential respondents that many of them were simply scared of coming out with their story. Slowly we acquired more and more results.”
“The issue of kompetensutvisning has become polarized like many issues with migration, unfortunately. Our objective with this study was to gather data and intelligence to make the Swedish system fair, transparent, and effective. There has been plenty of media coverage, but it didn’t really create a lasting change in the issue. Now we have an aggregated database at the individual level. We decided to publish the results of our findings to provide more facts rather than opinions. Our goal is that this reduces the politicization of the issue, and allows for it to truly be fixed. Our only recommendations this far are to stop threatening non-EU workers with deportation, employers with fines, and instead understand the issue, digitize, inform, and keep Sweden open for talent.”
Phase 2: “Perspective Individual / Rule of Law” deals more with individual respondents’ personal attachments to Sweden, their experience of the current work-permit system, and the affects on their life. It will be released Feb 21st.
See the full results: https://www.diversifyfoundation.org/kompetensutvisningbaseline
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The Diversify Foundation is a completely independent, non-political, non-profit focused on understanding and visualizing the obstacles and potential for a more diverse and inclusive labor market in Sweden.
Diversity and inclusion in the Swedish labor market is the future. Our goal is to stop the polarization and politicization of foreign workers and diversity in general. We support initiatives and organizations that help newcomers and other marginalized groups access dignified work in the Swedish labor market.
We love data, and the Sustainable Development Goals as part of Agenda 2030 and the mission to leaving no one behind.