Swedish officials: new visa scheme could attract foreign students

Sweden’s Mitigation Board has suggested the implementation of a new ‘right to stay’ visa scheme for foreign students. The most recent Migrationsverket report said that giving non-EU students the option of finding work and gaining a residency permits in the Nordic country after graduation could substantially boost enrolment.

The agency noted in the document that the number of non-EU students enrolling in Swedish universities has diminished by more than 50 percent since the 2011 introduction of tuition fees.

Bernd Parusel, a researcher for the Mitigation Board, told reporters from The Local that no model has yet been presented, but that such a scheme should be given serious consideration. He added, however, that he was unsure if such a programme would be given support from the country’s lawmakers: “If this reform is possible, politically speaking, I don’t know,” Parusel said.

Numerous other European nations already offer incentive schemes that provide foreign students with a limited window of opportunity for seeking local employment following the completion of a degree programme. The report suggests that Stockholm could model its own scheme on others in the region, although Parusel noted, “In broad strokes, there are a lot of different rules across the EU countries.”

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