Stockholm, Sweden river cityscape: Swedish Immigration 101Immigration can be a maze unless it’s something you do every day, and the needs and questions tend to be the same for the recipients of our services.

Since immigration practices and timelines differ around the world and not least between countries in Europe “How long does it take to get a work permit” is often the first question we get. And the not so conclusive answer is “That depends”. Sweden offers only a few categories of VISAs and the work permit captures the foreign talent outside the European Union. Apart from the EU Blue Card and (ICT) Intra-company transfer, all others, pretty much, fall under the larger work permit category. The VISA categories are subject to different turn-around times with the Migration Agency and, of course, it depends on whether our customers can be activated under our Fast Track with the agency.

What documentation is needed?

This comes as a natural second question and it’s pretty much the usual, supporting documentation as proof of identity. Employment terms as well as a labor market test are also requirements. These documents should be translated unless it’s in Swedish or English.

What is the Minimum wage in Sweden?

All applications undergo a labor market test in order to ensure that the terms are up to par with the Swedish labor market. We have a helpful document that discusses our most frequently asked questions when looking to send/hire non-Eu staffers to Sweden you can read up on the requirements. 

Do we really need a work permit? Isn’t a business VISA enough?

The exceptions are few and there isn’t much you can do on a Schengen or business Visa to safely work in Sweden. The guidance given by the Migration Agency on this query is vague and it’s up to each company to evaluate whether the activities can be considered part of the exemption rules. Few companies end up taking such a chance since it can considerably hinder operations and cause a great deal of damage control. Some industries are also subject to special IDs to operate and they require a work permit to receive those.

How much are the applications fees?

The fees to the agency have been the same for many years now and range between 500 and 2000 SEK. For an exact fee, you can press here. Without paying the fee the application can’t be filed so you know when you receive a receipt that the fee has been successfully paid and the application filed.

Can the application be tracked?

Yes, there is a place on the Migration Agency’s site where you can check the status of the application/s. Calling the agency is time-consuming and it can take days to get through to get in line to check on the applications, especially during the summer months. We also honor their time and allow them to work on cases rather than talk to us. The minute an application is handled by the Agency we will get notified and we will without delay notify our clients. If you have sent in your own applications then you too will get that notice.

Can you expedite our applications that seem stuck?

This is a question we get almost weekly and unfortunately, we can’t. When Nimmersion file applications, the case is presented with a Power of Attorney for us to represent the applicant and the employer. That can’t be added to a file afterward and we are unable to “step in” when the application is already pending. Some clients opt to cancel a pending application and start a new one via us, not least due to the fast track option, but also in order to have a perfect and complete application filed.

What do you need for us to be able to activate under your certified status and benefit from the fast track?

The background checks are comprehensive and the purpose is for the Migration Agency to be able to trust that the talents that come to Sweden with a job offer will get their salary, that the jobs exist, and that the company isn’t part of a crimmigration ring. Probably one of the most rewarding jobs at the Migration agency is to uncover such companies that routinely use and abuse people that come to work and may not get a salary at all and may even have paid a large sum to get a fake job.

For companies that provide good conditions and fair salaries, it is possible to benefit from our fast track. Some industries have more challenges regarding employment terms and for those sectors, additional proof is needed to show that they will live up to a good level of commitment to quality employment.

A basic requirement is also that there is a Swedish fully operational entity that is registered for taxes and has issued at least one Annual Report.

So what about startups or newly formed Swedish entities by large multinationals where it’s essential to get an operations team on the ground quickly!

It is understandable, that when new companies establish operations in Sweden and have some key people that are needed in order to get the business going there will be a real rush. Setting up a Swedish company takes considerable time and the Swedish way of taking one step at a time influences the time it takes to set up a new entity.

For a consultancy business, a good way to get started is to have the end client sponsor the applications until the local entity is set up.

For some companies, it can still be possible while it can be hard for many. It’s a case by case discussion and it can take a while to qualify for the fast track benefit. As in many other instances in life, the proof is in the pudding, and to make the pudding it can take some time.

All the questions we get help us get better every day. We are now on our 25th year and we can still get questions we haven’t heard before. This is part of the excitement that we get from working with immigration. Just like the interest rates, immigration never sleeps!

If you would like to learn more about these topics you might be interested in this Immigration Guide on our website with several articles on the subject. You can also download our handy checklist for bringing new hires to Sweden.

Relocate Global Talent Easily

Let us help you relocate your international talent
to make the transfer as smooth as possible.