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Union in battle with migration agency

The Swedish Migration Agency is discriminating against doctoral students, the Swedish Union of University Teachers and Researchers, Sulf, has said.

In 2014, Sweden changed its law to allow international students to include PhD studies in their permanent residency application. However, Sulf has criticised the migration agency’s interpretation of the law, citing two cases where the agency rejected residency applications from PhD students. 

In one case, the student had been doing her PhD for at least four years—the required time for permanent residency—but didn’t have a PhD-specified residency permit for the whole duration of the time. In the other case, the student had a PhD residency permit for four years, but the immigration agency said he wasn’t studying for a PhD during the whole time. This is because the student finished his studies in three years and eight months, according to Sulf.

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