April 2022 came with its own share of glad tidings for Migrants seeking employment in the Constitutional Monarchy as Sweden made an announcement for the introduction of a new visa, specifically for job seekers. More often than not, job seekers are faced with the challenge of securing a job before moving abroad. This doesn’t always work as expected and has caused a major setback for such migrants. The Sweden Job Seeker visa which was meant to take effect from the 1st of June 2022 gives prospective migrants the rare opportunity of moving to Sweden even without a job offer.
What is a Job Seeker Visa?
It is exactly as it sounds. A Job seeker visa is a type of visa that permits foreigners to immigrate on the basis of job hunting. As such, you are allowed to stay in the country for a specified period of time as a job hunter even when you haven’t secured a job offer yet.
As a result of the shortage of labor, Sweden joins the list of European countries which allow foreigners the pleasure of migrating in search of available jobs with the use of a Job Seeker visa.
How Long Does a Sweden Job Seeker Visa Last for?
The expected minimum validity for this category of visa is 3 months. However, the permit can be extended to a maximum of 9 months.
What are the Conditions for applying for a Sweden Job Seeker Visa?
Before making the move to apply for a Job Seeker visa in Sweden, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. These include:
- Completion of studies at an advanced level.
- Financial stability to be able to support yourself throughout your stay while on a Job Seeker visa.
- A well-laid out plan to seek employment in Sweden or be self-employed.
- A comprehensive health insurance to receive medical care in Sweden.
- A valid passport. Note that your permission to stay on a Job Seeker would not be extended beyond your passport validity.
- A Sweden work visa to avoid delays in compliance upon securing a job. This is particularly important for those who aren’t citizens of a neighboring Nordic country to Sweden.
- A letter of permission issued to the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) to grant the right to contact your educational institution for the verification of all educational documents submitted.
- Proof of funds expected to cover your cost of living in Sweden throughout the period as well as enough money for the journey back home.
What are the Required Documents for a Job Seeker Visa Application in Sweden?
The documents needed for the application include:
- Exam certificates (where applicable).
- University transcript.
- Bank statement with proof of funds.
- Comprehensive Health Insurance document.
- Letter of consent that gives UHR the right to contact your institution in order to verify your academic documents.
Please note that all documents that are not in English or Swedish have to be duly translated to any of these 2 languages. This is to be done by an authorized translator.
How Much is Needed as Proof of Funds for the Sweden Job Seeker Visa?
A minimum amount of SEK 13,000. This is equivalent to $1200 and it’s for a period of 1 month. For a 3-month visa, a minimum amount of SEK 39,000 is needed, equivalent to $3,600. For a 9-month validity visa, an approximate amount of SEK 117,000 (approximately $10,800) is needed.
Can I Work with a Job Seeker Visa in Sweden?
The Sweden Job Seeker visa is strictly meant for and restricted to the sole reason of job seeking. As such, it isn’t sufficient to work in Sweden with it. Upon getting a job, it is mandatory to apply for a Sweden work visa. Unlike the former, this visa allows you to work and also allows your family members and dependants to join you in the country.
The Sweden Work Visa
Employees in Sweden can only be allowed to live and work in the country if they are in possession of a Sweden work visa. The exact type of work visa however, depends on the employee’s nationality or occupation.
Types of Sweden Work Visa
EU Blue Card: An EU Blue Card is meant for highly skilled workers who have jobs in specific professions, possess a university degree and/or a five-year professional work experience. The EU Blue card is a dual purpose work and residence permit.
Intra Corporate Transfer (ICT) Permit: This is meant for transfer workers whose employers are located outside the EU and are being transferred to the Swedish branch of the company. The ICT permit is only available for employees working in a managerial or specialist capacity.
Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a Sweden Work Visa
The conditions for obtaining a work visa in Sweden are distinct for both employees and employers and must be fulfilled by both parties. For employees, the eligibility criteria include:
- A valid passport.
- A job offer that is in line with the Swedish collective agreements or the occupation’s standard.
- A minimum monthly salary of SEK 13,000 before taxes or a salary on par with the position.
- Employment offer which covers health insurance, life insurance, occupational injury insurance, pension insurance and social security of the employee.
- Proof of accommodation
- Intention to leave the country once the employment contract ends.
Employers, on the other hand, also need to meet certain requirements before hiring a foreigner in Sweden. First and foremost, the vacant job position for which an employee is being sourced for must be advertised on Sweden’s Work Association website (Arbetsförmedlingens website) for a minimum of 10 calendar days. Other requirements include:
- Obtaining approval from the concerned trade union for the salary and job description.
- Making a job offer for the employee stipulating the length of employment.
- Creating an online visa application for the employee with the Swedish Migration Agency stating the employee’s date of birth, citizenship information, education, and email.
- After these have been done, the prospective employee is expected to receive an email to signify the start of the process from his/her end.
- Submission of all relevant documents by the employee such as a passport, an employment offer, and a statement from the trade union.
Depending on the nationality of the employee, two final processes need to be completed after which the application must have been processed. The migrant could be a visa free national or a non-visa free national. As such, there would be differences in the registration of biometrics, date of assumption of office and issuance of residence permit cards.
Visa Free Nationals
For a visa free national, you are allowed entry into Sweden and assumption of duty right from the first validity date of your work visa. The registration of biometrics such as capturing of photos and fingerprints can be done in Sweden itself. The Swedish Migration Agency office is responsible for this as well as issuing your residence permit card.
However, if within the past 180 days, you have spent more than 90 days in the Schengen region as a visa free national, then you will be regarded as a non-visa free national and required to follow the steps for the non-visa free nationals.
Non-Visa Free Nationals
The opposite is the case for non-visa free nationals. Rather than registering and obtaining the residence permit card in Sweden, a non-visa free national will be required to visit the Swedish embassy in his/her country of residence or the nearest one to get fingerprints and photos captured and duly submitted. Only then will a residence permit card be issued. The residence permit card for non-visa free nationals is a category of visa which allows its holders gain entry into Sweden and any other Schengen countries. It will always be needed every time the holder leaves and enters Sweden or any of the countries within the Schengen region during the period for which the permit is valid.
How Much Does it Cost to Obtain a Sweden Work Visa?
A typical work visa in Sweden costs approximately SEK 2,000 This is equivalent to about $200.
How Long Does it Take for a Work Visa to be issued?
The waiting period for the issuance of a work visa in Sweden is dependent on three main factors: the applicant’s place of work, the mode of submission and the mode of employment. Nevertheless, work visas get delivered within one to three months of waiting.
What is the Validity Period for a Sweden Work Visa?
A Swedish work visa remains valid for a maximum period of 2 years after which it can be extended for an additional 2 years.
What is Comprehensive Health Insurance?
A comprehensive health insurance is a scheme that covers all medical care including emergency care, dental care, hospitalization, as well as repatriation for medical reasons. While applying for a Job Seeker visa in Sweden, it is important to have proof that the Comprehensive Health Insurance in your possession will remain valid for the entire visa validity period.