Your company has a skills gap and you have found the perfect new hire to fill it. But the crux in the situation is that your new talent is not European so while you know you can bring them to Sweden, you have heard horror stories. Here are the 7 first essential steps to take.
1. Announce the position on Eures
The position must be announced on Eures, a website powered by the employment agency to allow anyone within the European Union to apply for the job before it’s offered to someone outside the EU. While supposedly it is now acceptable to advertise the position on LinkedIn, we have seen denial at the renewal stage due to this so to be sure to keep your talent beyond two years this is the safe route.
2. Get necessary residence and work permits
This is usually the first step in any corporate relocation effort. Check the applicant’s passport expiration date so you can get the appropriate length of time for the permit. Without a residence permit, your new employee cannot live or work in Sweden. If any of your workers already has a residence permit, check to ensure that it hasn’t expired. All expired permits should be renewed before expiration or your talent may have to leave Sweden abruptly.
3. Ask your new hire if they have been here before with a business VISA
This can cause you untold problems in the future. If an employee has been in Sweden before on a business VISA, probably for interviewing, this needs to be explained to the immigration authorities. You don’t want the migration agency to think that your new hire is already working in Sweden when their application is still pending.
4. If your new hire has worked in Sweden before, have an immigration professional review their paperwork
This too can severely hinder the application process unless the previous employment process and even the termination process were handled professionally. For instance, problems can arise involving faulty permits, missing payslips, and unfulfilled compensation promises. Ensure that the records for the past employment are squeaky clean so you do not pay the price later on. It’s common to offer employment, yet adding a clause in the contract that states that the offer is terminated in case the work permit isn’t approved.
5. Have the right insurance plan
Every resident of Sweden is entitled to basic benefits such as healthcare, parental benefits, disability coverage, child allowances, and other insurance payments. Yet, non-EU nationals must also receive additional insurance coverage such as pension, life, occupational injury insurance, and loss of income insurance. There are some exceptions for EU blue card holders, ICT permit holders and there’s also an age requirement for pension.
6. Adjust salaries to match Swedish rates
Finally, anyone who works in Sweden must have a decent salary. In fact, the Swedish government has made it very clear that any foreign national employee MUST be paid at least as much as their Swedish counterparts in similar positions are paid. Make sure the salary you are planning to offer is acceptable to the union. Failure to do so would amount to breach of the law.
7. The Union must be given the opportunity to qualify the employment terms
Even companies that don’t have a so called “collective agreement” (Kollektivavtal) must reach out to a relevant union and ask them to qualify the terms. Some unions will do that while they may state that the company doesn’t have an agreement with them. Thus far that has been acceptable to the Migration Agency.
With these 7 first essential steps, you will be off to a good start. The NIM.MERSION immigration team offers a webinar series for HR Managers so you can learn step by step what the best practices are for each stage in the immigration process and ensure timely start dates for your next new hire.