Poor control of students' residence permits blamed for lax swedish immigration control


Saturday, 25 June 2011
Sweden prides itself for being robust in its immigration management but there has emerged evidence that students issued with Swedish student visas disappear in the crowd once here in Sweden. The question being asked by many is “where are all the students?”

The reason for that question is that Sweden issues thousands of student visas to student from out of the OECD countries to study in Sweden. But it turns out that classes are filled at the beginning of the period but after a while all the students disappear.  Evidence recently uncovered show that thousands of people each year never show up at a college. The Swedish immigration Board is now under fire for being too lax with foreign student who don’t show up in school.


The migration board cannot provide proper information on those who came to Sweden to study and where they are now.

In recent years, around 15,000 people annually arrive in Sweden to study with one-year residence permit. To obtain a residence permit, it has until now only required a letter of admission, a small application fee of Skr1000 and proof that the student has enough money to survive in Sweden during the study period.

The question is what happens next. According samples from the Swedish border police, of the several hundred people who came to Sweden as students, around one in three never showed up at any school. When the Immigration Service investigated the case seven years ago, the result was similar: Only three of the four incoming students were studying.

This is a trend that is also seen in the rest of Europe, according to Michal Parzyszek of Frontex, the EU's border control agency.

“The assumption is that they do something completely different, they work rather than study,” said Michal Parzyszek.

Starting from this autumn, the system of tuition fees will take effect in Sweden for foreign students. Then colleges, for the first time, will have to report students who did not attend school to the Migration Board, which will then be able to revoke their permit.

The requirement for how much the studies will have to accomplished will be the same as today. Ten weeks in a year is enough.

“The requirement is low. But it is based on a court decision that, so we must follow it," says Sten Alstander at the Board.
By Team

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