Sweden’s environment, education and high standard of living is drawing Chinese immigrants. Never mind that previous waves of immigrants to Sweden have found it difficult to assimilate.
At least 200 Chinese are under investigation by Swedish immigration officials, according to Caixin Media. It isn’t that the Chinese are hiding out from authorities, though – it’s that many of them set up sham businesses to gain entry. Sweden allows people who’ve worked in the country for four years to apply for permanent residency. A Chinese citizen can create a ‘company,’ then set up a Swedish subsidiary, and transfer their ‘employment’ to Sweden.
That’s what ‘Qiu’, a 60-year-old Chinese man with a wife and two children, ages 10 and 16, did. Then he left China, where he didn’t trust the food or the court system, and went to Sweden. Qiu told Caixin Media that his wife was officially ‘head’ of the Swedish subsidiary, enabling the four to gain visas.
Swedish officials did a random check of recent work applications from China. When they found that only two of 18 ‘companies’ were doing what they applied to do, Swedish immigration officials began revoking work visas and expelling people, in effect for lying.
Qiu, though, claims he was misled by a Chinese immigration agency and a Chinese attorney at a Swedish law firm.
These cases have become so well-known in Sweden that “the media coverage may have given Swedish society a negative impression that Chinese people come here to enjoy Swedish welfare,” Ye Keqing, president of the Swedish Chinese Association, told Caixin.
For Qiu, it’s the other way around – Sweden is paradise not found.