Probationary period is problematic for Work Permit Holders

When Swedish companies hire new employees it’s fairly standard to have a 3-6 month probationary period. While this is common it’s also a non-issue for Swedish residents. However, companies that source talents in all four corners of the world, which our clients do, have a problem. 

Swedish government agencies tend to work in silos.  One agency sets up rules and conditions that can’t possibly be met by the individual due to other requirements at a different agency. The two government agencies we see the most collisions for the talents moving to Sweden are the Civic registration/Tax authority and the Migration Agency. 

Let me explain. 

Companies that have a standard probationary period will apply for a longer permit while receiving a work and residence permit for the time stated on the probationary period. This means most will get a six-month permit which doesn’t qualify the employee for full local registration. Instead, a tax number will be issued but no benefits will be unlocked such as medical services, daycare, full bank accounts, etc. In other words, the relocation to Sweden becomes cumbersome, full of workarounds, but no perfect solutions. 

The Swedish Migration Agency requires companies to sign up for four mandatory insurance for foreign talent on a Work permit from the very first day of employment. 

So to the insurance companies. They can’t activate insurance without the basic cover that is given to each fully registered Swedish resident. Hence, the delays in getting the Swedish Personal Number create problems that are only issued when full local registration is complete. 

1. The employer must find international medical insurance for the talented employee in order to comply with the Swedish Migration Agency’s rules for the renewal of permits. If the insurance cover hasn’t been in place from the first day, it can cause a denial for an extended work permit, although the employee and employer have paid taxes from the first day. 

2. Bank accounts are difficult to open which will cause a headache for the salary department.

3. It’s not possible to buy a pay-as-you-go card for a phone. HR, colleagues, or friends must sign up for the card with their Bank E-ID. 

4. It’s not possible to queue up for daycare in most municipalities without a personal number. Thus, spouses are unable to find employment if they have small children.

5. Gyms/customer club cards, subscriptions, and many other things are only accessible to people with a Swedish personal number. 

To sum it up. It’s not a good welcome for a new talent that moves to Sweden. Having your administrative tasks hindered for many months is problematic. We hear work permit holders complain and especially now since previously this wasn’t in place and people that arrived just a few months ago had a different experience. 

Spouses that move with work permit holders on probation have a harder time getting a solid job offer from a Swedish employer due to not having a personal number nor a set duration with a legal stay in Sweden. 

Companies go about this in a variety of ways. Some have removed the probationary period for foreign talent altogether while others keep it and reapply for a new permit within six months. That is hard for the individual, yet fair given that all local hires have a probationary period too. 

The Nimmersion clients are guided through this and we help weigh the options, and present solutions so a decision is made with full disclosure of how it works. We can also guide you to sufficient international insurance coverage to use in the meantime. If you too want to become a client then reach out to us today.

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