Immigrating to Sweden – Why should you consider?
Have you ever thought of Scandinavia as an immigration destination? Especially Sweden?
Many tend to travel to relatively closer and more familiar countries such as the United States of America or Canada, but few think of less popular destinations such as Sweden, for example.
In today’s article, we will put in your hands a comprehensive guide to working and living in Sweden, and who knows, this country may become your next new home!
Immigration to Sweden: Fast Facts
Let’s start by getting to know some amazing facts about this Scandinavian country before going into the details of travel and immigration there:
1- A large proportion of forests
Sweden is one of the greenest countries in the world, with forests covering 63% of the Swedish land. Not only that, but it also includes more than 90,000 lakes and more than 3,000 kilometers of coastal land.
2- Sport is a way of life in Sweden
Even if you’re not into sports, you’ll find that your perspective will inevitably change if you live there. And you’ll find professional teams for any sport you might want to play.
3- A record number of patents
Japan is not the only country that is famous for its distinguished inventions. Sweden is proud of being the first in the world in terms of the number of patents it issues, and this, if anything, indicates the many inventions and innovations that appear in this country, such as the invention of dynamite by the Swedish Alfred Nobel, and the packaging company The Tetra Pak is famous for its distinctive packaging solutions.
4- Midnight sun and amazing twilight
A very appropriate name for Sweden, which due to its geographical location witnesses the strange phenomenon of the 24-hour sun during the height of summer in the northern regions of Sweden, offset by long nights on the southern side, not to forget the amazing lights of the aurora borealis that appear amazingly clearly during the season Winter on the north side.
5- The country that imports garbage from abroad!
What I read is absolutely correct…Yes, Sweden is a country that excels in recycling to the extent that it imports garbage from other countries in order to recycle it!!
In fact, only 1% of the garbage in Sweden is wasted, while 50% of it is recycled and 49% is used to produce energy, but it seems that the country no longer has enough garbage to continue producing energy, which forced it to import garbage from Britain And Norway, and these countries even pay Sweden sums of money in exchange for ridding it of its garbage!
6- The cradle of international brands and major companies
IKEA…H&M, Volvo, Ericsson, and many more. All of them are international brands and important major companies that emerged and launched from Sweden. You will be able to enjoy these high quality products, but at lower prices because they are local!
Useful and practical information about Sweden
- Currency: Swedish Krona and denoted by SEK.
- Area: 450,295 square kilometers.
- Capital: Stockholm.
- Population: 10,380,491 people.
- Prevalent religions: Swedish Christianity (60%), other Christianity (6.5%), Islam (5%), other religions (1.2%) and 27% do not follow any religion.
- Main cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Uppsala.
The pros and cons of immigrating to Sweden
There is no harm in making a small comparison between the most important pros and cons of immigration to Sweden before you start thinking seriously about emigrating to it:
First: the advantages of immigrating to Sweden
- Sweden is one of the cleanest and purest countries in the world, which comes as no surprise when we learn that Sweden recycles half of its garbage and uses the other half to produce renewable energy, and organic foods are also abundantly available, which is good news for healthy eating lovers.
- The Swedish passport ranks fifth among the best and most powerful passports in the world, and gives its holder access to 133 countries around the world without the need for a visa.
- In Sweden you can enjoy your life and have a good rest without it at the expense of your job or your income. You will get 5 weeks of vacation per year for any new job you take, and the number increases with your rank and seniority.
- Annual leave is not the only positive. Maternity and even paternity leave are just as important and attractive. Parents get 480 days of paid leave that they can use as they like to either take care of their children or do other work to earn extra income to cover their needs.
- Sweden is the fifth country in the world in terms of internet speed. You will no longer have to wait for your favorite software to load or download, you will notice the difference in internet speed as soon as you get there
Second: the negatives of immigration to Sweden
- Sweden has a value-added tax of 25% of the cost of products, making it one of the highest countries in terms of sales tax along with Norway, Denmark and Croatia.
- If you decide to immigrate to Sweden, you must get used to the exotic climate there. Which is often described as “terrible” by residents. It’s rare for the sun to shine and you enjoy wearing summer clothes, and it’s not surprising to spend months in your home due to the heavy accumulated snow as well as the cold temperatures.
- Swedes tend to be withdrawn and stay in their comfort zone, which makes the process of integrating with them and making new friends a bit tricky…well, not a bit! In fact, it is very difficult.
- Health insurance in Sweden does not cover everything, so you will need to pay more in order to treat some health problems related to the teeth or eyes, for example. However, it is worth noting that insurance rates are acceptable for everyone.
Steps to migrate to Sweden: visas and work permits
The first and most important thing to know about Swedish visas is that if you are not a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA), you cannot apply for a visa while on Swedish soil.
European citizens can stay in Sweden without a visa or work, but they must start the visa process while they are there.
Thus, to be eligible for a work permit in Sweden you must first obtain a job offer, of course. You cannot enter or start working in Sweden without this permit.
Conditions for obtaining a work permit in Sweden
To obtain a Swedish work permit, you must first fulfill the following conditions:
- Possession of a valid passport.
- Obtaining a job offer that complies with the criteria of Swedish collective agreements.
- Have a salary offer of at least $1,480 per month before tax, or a monthly salary corresponding to the position offered.
- That your job offer includes health, life and social security insurance.
- You provide proof of residence in Sweden as well as proof of your intent to leave the country after the end of your employment contract.
- In addition to the previous conditions that you must meet, the employer must also fulfill the following conditions:
- To have promoted the opportunity to work for a period of at least 10 days in the European Union and the European Economic Area.
- That the job offer includes conditions that are similar and compatible with other Swedish jobs in the same field.
Types of work permits in Sweden
There are several types of work permits that you can obtain in order to work in Sweden, including the following:
1- EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is a work permit and residence permit for highly skilled people. To qualify for this work permit, you must have a university degree, be working in an appropriate job, and have at least five years of professional experience.
Applying for a Blue Card requires documents and papers from the applicant as well as the employer.
The applicant must prepare the following documents:
- A valid passport.
- A university degree equivalent to 180 university credits or at least 5 years of relevant professional experience.
- Comprehensive health insurance covering all aspects of health in Sweden (or papers to prove that you have applied for this insurance).
- An employment contract or a job offer of at least one year.
- Offer a salary of at least one and a half of the average salary in Sweden before tax.
The employer must provide the following:
- Evidence that the job advertisement and publicity for it have been published in Europe and Switzerland for a period of at least 10 days.
- A complete job offer with conditions that comply with the Swedish Collective Standards.
- Agreements and terms that comply with the criteria for the position being applied for.
2- ICT . declaration
It is a work permit for foreigners who work for a company outside the European Union and wish to move to work in the company’s branch in Sweden.
Only applicants from outside the European Union can apply for this permit. It is granted to employees in managerial positions or specialist positions only.
As with the EU Blue Card, both the applicant and the employer must submit documents and papers to obtain the ICT permit.
The applicant must:
- Possesses a valid passport.
- Have served as a manager, specialist or apprentice for more than 90 days at the company’s branch in Sweden.
- Possess the job skills and experience necessary to work as a manager or specialist, or has received the appropriate training for a trainee position.
- He has an employment contract in his home country.
- He has been employed for at least 3 months without interruption during his transfer to the company’s branch in Sweden.
- Be able to move to a non-European country while ensuring that they remain in the same company or work for another company within the same sector.
- He has the ability to prove his skill and competence in his new position in Sweden.
As for the employer, he must:
- Prepare a job offer.
- Provide financial compensation/monthly salary in line with the agreed criteria for a job in this field.
- Provide working conditions that are at the same level as those offered to employees working in this field in Sweden.
Business visas in Sweden
If you want to travel to Sweden to work for a short period, you will need a business visa or a business visa.
It is a Schengen visa that allows you a one-time entry to Sweden, and its conditions include the following:
- A passport valid for at least six months.
- Fill out an application for a business visa.
- A passport size photo of yourself (two pieces).
- Bank account statement.
- Proof of insurance during the travel period.
- Business references including an invitation from the Swedish company or organization.
- Proof of a hotel reservation in Sweden and a plane ticket to Sweden.
As a self-employed person, you can work in Sweden for a maximum of 3 months without the need for a permit. However, after this period, you must apply for a Self-employed Visa.
Conditions for applying for a self-employment visa:
- A valid passport.
- Excellent experience in your field and previous experience in running your own business.
- Proven and relevant knowledge of Swedish and/or English.
- Evidence that you are the one running your business/company, that you have full responsibility for it and that you own at least 50% of the shares in the company.
- Evidence that the services and products provided by your company are sold and/or produced in Sweden.
- Have enough financial resources to live with your family for at least two years in Sweden.
- A reliable network of clients or acquaintances in Sweden.
- Evidence that your company, two years after its establishment, has sufficient financial resources to be able to live and support your family while in Sweden.
If you are applying for this visa for the first time, you must submit all previous documents to the Swedish embassy or consulate in your country. The cost of this visa is 200 USD, and the process of obtaining it often takes 10 to 15 months.
Temporary and permanent residence in Sweden
The method of obtaining a residence permit in Sweden varies depending on your country of origin.
Things are undoubtedly easier for people coming from other Scandinavian countries, such as Norway, and from European countries, as they often do not need to apply for a residence permit in Sweden.
But it is different for those coming from outside Europe, who must find a job in order to be able to live in Sweden.
How to obtain a temporary residence permit in Sweden?
In order to be able to apply for a temporary residence permit, you must attach the following documents to your application:
- Travel permit.
- Swedish job offer.
- Salary offer from the job you got.
- Proof of health, life and social insurance provided by the employer.
Temporary residence permits give you the right to live and work in Sweden. You can renew your residence permit annually in accordance with the terms of the permission granted to you.
However, it is worth noting that if you change your job, you will need to update these details on your residence permit.
How to obtain a permanent residence permit in Sweden?
To be able to obtain permanent residence, you must have lived in Sweden for five consecutive years. EU citizens automatically obtain permanent residence permits after five years of being in the country, even if they spend part of this time without work.
But it is different for foreigners from outside the European Union. They must provide proof that they have been working for all five years (even if it is self-employment), and that they were able to support themselves and their families.
Benefits of permanent residence in Sweden
You do not need to renew your residence permit annually in order to work and live in Sweden.
You can change your job completely freely without the need to update and change your residence permit.
Your family members can join you in Sweden under the Swedish law on family reunification. It is different when you have a temporary residence permit, as in this case they have to apply for their visa and special residence separately.
It should be noted that a permanent residence permit does not mean that you have acquired Swedish citizenship. You are at risk of losing your right to remain in Sweden if you spend a long period of time outside Sweden, from two to six years (depending on the type of permission you have).
Likewise, if you commit a major crime, you may be exiled and your residence permit withdrawn.
Conditions for applying for a permanent residence permit
- The applicant must have lived in Sweden for five consecutive years.
- The applicant must have obtained an active residence permit for a period of five years.
- The applicant must prove his ability to support himself and his family.
In addition to the above conditions, the residence permit you obtained previously (i.e. before applying for permanent residence) must be with the intention of working and living in Sweden for a relatively long period, so a study or temporary work visa will not qualify you for a permanent residence permit.
In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must fill out a special application in Swedish called “ansökan om ställning som varaktigt bosatt, number 138011” either through the website or in person with the Swedish Migration Agency. For this, you need the following documents:
- A copy of the travel documents.
- Documents demonstrating your ability to support yourself and your family over the past years (this may include employment certificates, payroll, and your financial assets in your own bank account).
Thus, we have put in your hands a comprehensive guide to the steps, procedures and conditions of immigration to Sweden to live and work. Where we conclude at the end of this article that immigration to Sweden may not be as easy as immigration to Canada or Australia, for example, as these two countries offer specialized programs to attract immigrants from countries around the world. However, it is not impossible…you just need to have sufficient advanced skills to allow you to find a suitable job opportunity in Sweden and then you can start the permanent residence process there.
So, do not hesitate to register on our website to keep up to date with the latest jobs available in Sweden or other countries of the world. You can also read more about migrating to some of the best destinations around the world.
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