Though language learning is mentioned, many expats told us that they perceived they were excluded from job opportunities not for lack of language ability because they were foreign – on the surface, clear discrimination – but when we dug down deep, we could see another cause, one you can read about in our guide to the State of Expat Life in Sweden 2018!
“Sometimes all the planning in the world won't prepare you for it, but as long as you know where your nearest coffee house is everything falls into place!”
We at New in Sweden (NiDS) worked with news and analysis provider Mundus International and Swedish language tuition provider Swedish for Professionals to uncover the details of expat life in Sweden. We have quizzed expats that are here, the HR staff that organised their move and the Relocation Agents that supported them during the process. We dug deep to find out the full story about emigrating here and hope that new arrivals can then make much more informed decisions about their move to Sweden.
Our guide to the state of expat life in Sweden is out now. It covers the main challenges expats are experiencing right now and the reasons for them, the support that is and isn’t provided at a personal level and what help is out there. We have a separate report that looks at what expats told us in comparison with other surveys, the political environment and what needs to change for expat life to improve. Get your copies of both here.
Recent developments have caused much attention in regards to the Swedish model and the possibility of living and working in Sweden. If you're a citizen of EU, you're in luck. You can essentially travel to Sweden and start looking for a job. However, those of you who are on the outside of the EU have to keep a few things in mind:
1. Make sure that your employer is the real deal
This might not seem like a big deal. As long as someone says you've a job waiting, you're in the clear... right? Well, the situation is unfortunately a bit more complicated. Before jumping to the next step of actually obtaining a work permit, you should make sure that your employer is registered as such. If this is not the case, your supposed employer doesn't even have ability to pay you a formal salary. This could jeopardise your ability to receive a permit and also cause you to put a lot of energy into something that will turn out fruitless.
Luckily, this is easy to check. Just visit one of these websites:
Look up your potential employer and, with a little help from Google Translate, make sure that the company is active and formally registered as an employer.
Also, make sure to save all correspondence you have had with your potential employer and a copy of the job advertisement. Wait, job advertisement? Yes. In order for your employment to be considered valid when applying for a permit, your employer must have had the position advertised so as to have been available in EU/EEA countries and Switzerland.
2. Apply for a work permit
When it's time to apply, you should gather all relevant information such as your correspondence with your employer, a copy of the job advertisement and your passport. Bring everything to the immigration office, Migrationsverket.
If possible, apply on-line.
This will guarantee that your application is dealt with as soon as possible. The wait can be excruciating and there's unfortunately no way to speed it up. You just have accept the due course and try to enjoy yourself while waiting!
3. Register yourself at Skatteverket
Once you have a valid work permit, you will also receive a residence permit card. This enables you to obtain a personal identity number. This number is your key to being a part of the formal society. It enables you to open a bank account, pay taxes and deal with all administrative issues.
You should, as soon as possible, register yourself at the tax office (which also handles anything to do with the population of Sweden, including personal numbers) - Skatteverket. Do not delay this is step – it is probably the single most important one! Pretty much everything in Sweden revolves around a personal identity number, and not having one will act as a barrier between you and an easy life!
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About the blog
Interesting bits and pieces about life in Sweden, including all-important song words.