Labour immigration refers to migration from one country to another for employment. The rules regarding labour immigration vary and are based on the country of origin. People from countries outside the EU/EEA who wish to work in Sweden must, in general, have a work permit. In recent decades, the regulations governing labour immigration have undergone major changes. For example, the 2008 reform of the regulatory framework for labour immigration implied a shift from a relatively restrictive system of labour market testing to a system where emphasis is put on the employer’s labour needs. On October 1, 2023, a new regulatory framework with stricter conditions for labour immigration will enter into force with the stated aims to, among other things, prevent people with work permits from being exploited by their employers and to make Sweden more attractive for international skills.

Knowledge regarding the consequences of labour migration is however limited and there is a lack of a more comprehensive description of the different groups that have immigrated to Sweden and of the workplaces that employ labour from third countries. To increase and broaden knowledge about labour immigration to Sweden from countries outside the EU/EEA, an interdisciplinary research report on behalf of Delmi will be produced. The report aims to fill parts of the knowledge gap that exists regarding which people have immigrated to Sweden, including their situation in relation to the labour market, and which workplaces have employed labour from third countries. The report will also describe how the regulations for labour immigration have changed over time.

The authors of the report are Mattias Engdahl, Ph.D. in Economics and researcher at the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), and Erik Sjödin, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Private Law at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University.

Photo by Shivendu Shukla on Unsplash