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Swedish Government Unveils New Strategy for Streamlined Work Permit Applications




The Swedish government has recently published a comprehensive report detailing its strategy to introduce International Recruitment Units.

This initiative is designed to address and alleviate the substantial processing delays and backlogs that have affected work permit applications for foreign workers, including those from countries like Nigeria, seeking employment opportunities in Sweden.

Key Highlights of the Report

The report, exclusively obtained by Investors King, includes significant revisions to the existing work permit application system, most notably the introduction of a tiered application category system. This new approach will categorize applicants based on their professions and educational backgrounds, marking a departure from the current Fast Track scheme.

Also, the report recommends the discontinuation of the Fast Track scheme, citing its ineffectiveness. These proposed changes are expected to be implemented by late 2023 or early 2024.

Revamped Application Category System

Under the revamped system proposed by the International Recruitment Units, the assessment of work permit applications will now be primarily based on the applicant’s profession and educational qualifications, a significant shift from the Fast Track scheme in operation since 2011.

Here are the specifics of the four proposed categories as outlined in the report:

Category A: Qualified Professions

  • Applicant Category: This category encompasses qualified professions, including management and leadership positions, as well as roles that require higher education qualifications.
  • Processing Times: The government aims to process fully completed applications within 30 days. Incomplete applications, containing inaccuracies regarding the role or salary, or lacking necessary documentation or information, among other issues, will have a processing time of 120 days.
  • Applicability: This category will apply to roles listed on the Swedish Classification of Occupations that start with a 1, 2, or 3, effectively replacing the less efficient Fast Track scheme.

Category B: Specific Occupations

  • Applicant Categories: This category is designed for work permit applicants in specific occupations with distinctive requirements. This includes seasonal workers, EU intra-corporate transferees, EU Blue Card permits, researchers, and more.
  • Processing Times: The processing duration will vary based on the type of application. For instance, EU Blue Card, intra-corporate transferee, and seasonal worker applications are expected to be processed within a maximum of 90 days, while researcher applications aim to be completed within up to 60 days.
  • Specialized Review Units: These categories will be overseen by designated review units with expertise in handling the respective application types.

Category C: Non-Highly Qualified Occupations

  • Applicant Category: This category is designated for occupations that fall outside the ‘highly qualified’ classification, encompassing roles that do not necessitate higher education. These positions, despite not being categorized as ‘highly qualified,’ provide significant societal value.
  • Processing Time: A standardized processing period of 120 days will apply to this category, regardless of the application’s completeness.
  • Reduced Government Scrutiny: Roles within this category will undergo less intensive government scrutiny during the application assessment. Eligibility includes applicants who do not meet the criteria for categories A or B.

Category D: Scrutinized Professions

  • Applicant Category: This category is reserved for applications in professions identified by the Swedish Migration Agency as necessitating the utmost scrutiny due to a history of systemic exploitation of workers. These professions include roles in cleaning, construction, personal assistants in the medical sector, hospitality, and others.
  • Processing Time: A processing timeframe of 120 days will be applicable, irrespective of the application’s completeness.

These proposed changes reflect the Swedish government’s commitment to improving the work permit application process for foreign workers, ensuring efficiency and fairness in granting work permits. Stay tuned for further updates on the implementation of these reforms, expected to roll out in late 2023 or early 2024.

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Nigeria Holds $783 Million in Blocked Funds, IATA Engages with Government for Resolution




The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that as of August Nigeria holds approximately $783 million in blocked funds belonging to various airlines.

This significant financial concern was communicated via an official statement released by the trade association.

Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, has been actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Government in an effort to find a resolution to this pressing issue.

Foreign airlines operating within Nigeria have faced ongoing challenges in repatriating their commercial revenues due to a prolonged shortage of foreign exchange in the country.

The official statement from IATA stated, “Mr. Al Awadhi also held discussions with Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honorable Minister Festus Keyamo. During these discussions, he urged the new government to maintain and strengthen consultations with the industry while developing both short-term and long-term solutions to address foreign exchange access issues for both domestic and foreign carriers.”

Highlighting the severity of the situation, the statement said, “As of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783 million of airlines’ blocked funds.”

According to the statement, IATA commends the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for its commitment to enhancing infrastructure and service standards at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within a twelve-month timeframe.

In related news, IATA had previously raised concerns about safety, security, and passenger service levels at Lagos Airport in the past year.

A recent high-level meeting between IATA and FAAN, represented by Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Kabir Mohammed, concluded with FAAN committing to expedite improvements in these areas as part of a corrective action plan.

Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, said, “We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos Airport, which serves as a vital domestic and international hub connecting Nigeria to the rest of Africa and beyond. This strategic focus not only strengthens the aviation sector but also acts as a catalyst for Nigeria’s broader economic and social progress. IATA is ready to provide support and expertise to FAAN to ensure that international standards are met through the corrective action plan. Safety, security, and efficient infrastructure are crucial for a well-functioning air transport system, as is the ability of airlines to access the revenues they generate in Africa.”

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Federal Government Reopens D Wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport




In a bid to address the escalating flight disruptions and enhance the efficiency of air travel, the Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The move is part of a broader effort to tackle the challenges faced by both travelers and airlines operating in Nigeria.

This challenge emerged following the sudden relocation of foreign airlines from the international terminal of the Lagos airport to an adjoining new terminal that opened in March.

The announcement of the reopening of the old international terminal, which had temporarily closed for renovation, was made by the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Monday.

According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection at FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria), Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, Minister Keyamo emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to improving the aviation sector and ensuring passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience.

The statement reads in part, “We are pleased to inform the traveling public that Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has graciously permitted the use of the D Wing of the Old Murtala Muhammed International Terminal to complement the New International Terminal, aimed at facilitating the smooth movement of passengers through the airport.”

Minister Keyamo had originally ordered airlines to relocate to the new terminal starting on October 1, 2023. However, FAAN took the initiative to forcibly relocate the international carriers to the new facility on Wednesday.

The sudden relocation by FAAN coincided with a fire incident that occurred in part of the baggage hall of MMIA on the same day. This incident compelled the agency to evacuate passengers and personnel from the facility.

In response to the situation, Mr. Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the Director of Media at FAAN, stated that the airport fire and other developments affecting power supply had necessitated the abrupt relocation of foreign carriers. He assured the public that FAAN is actively addressing the situation.

The utilization of the D Wing for passenger processing has already commenced, promising improved travel experiences for all passengers.

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UAE Denies Lifting Visa Ban on Nigerian Travelers Despite Earlier Claims

Confusion Surrounds Visa Ban and Flight Resumption Agreement



Nigerian passport - Investorsking

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has contradicted earlier claims made by the Nigerian government regarding the lifting of a year-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers.

This development has left many Nigerians in a state of uncertainty, especially those who have been eagerly anticipating the reopening of travel between the two nations.

Just days ago, an official from the UAE, who requested anonymity due to a lack of authorization to speak to the media, informed CNN that “there are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.”

This statement directly contradicts the announcement made by Nigerian presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale, who declared that an agreement had been reached between the two countries, allowing for the immediate resumption of flights and the lifting of the visa ban.

The UAE imposed the visa ban last October, affecting citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations. The abrupt halt in the issuance of visas to Nigerian nationals marked a significant shift from the previously relatively easy process of obtaining a 30-day tourist visa for the UAE.

Moreover, the suspension of flights between the two countries, initiated by Dubai’s Emirates airline, added to the strain in bilateral relations. Emirates airline suspended its operations in Nigeria, citing difficulties in accessing and repatriating approximately $85 million in withheld funds.

Dubai, a favored destination for Nigerian travelers for many years, also served as a haven for real-estate investors from Nigeria. Before the pandemic, Nigerians were among Dubai’s largest foreign real-estate investors, with investments valued at nearly $2 billion, according to local media reports.

The initial announcement from Nigeria’s presidential spokesman appeared to bring hope and relief to many who had been affected by the travel restrictions. However, the subsequent statement from the UAE government painted a different picture.

It mentioned that during the meeting, both leaders had “explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration” without mentioning the lifting of the visa ban or the resumption of flights.

In response to the confusion, Nigerian government spokesman Ajuri Ngelale issued a follow-up statement, acknowledging that officials from both countries needed more time to finalize the details of the agreement.

He urged patience, saying, “Everyone can now allow the process to work itself out organically, devoid of speculation.”

This bewildering turn of events has left Nigerian travelers, investors, and those with ties to the UAE in a state of uncertainty. Many are eagerly awaiting clarity on the status of the visa ban and the resumption of flights, as they hold out hope for a return to normalcy in their cross-border relations with the UAE.

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