As a founder of an immigration firm, you can rest assured that questions around hiring, firing, applications, legalities around employment, etc. are part of my life both in and outside the office. I'm not complaining, I love what I do especially since I have the most amazing colleagues that have a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. 

 

So let's talk about the most frequent questions we get about immigration, work permits, and the right to work in Sweden. 

 

This person is already in Sweden on a permit. Can we hire him?

Our typical Immigration answer is - It depends.

Immigration is quite complex and there are many pieces of the puzzle. If you only get 3 pieces and you need 5 to give a solid answer it's risky business to make assumptions. The problem with immigration is that while HR has a great deal of responsibility to check the current permit and it's even punishable by law now, the real price is paid by the employee. 

So when we get questions relating to the Swedish Migration Agency, Work Permits, Residence Permits and what they can do and if they will qualify for Permanent Residency as a spouse, we always ask for more background. 

Since we really like what we do, these questions are driven by the need to have a deep understanding of the full situation in order to take accountability for the answers. 

 

We have a candidate who is on a Student Visa in Sweden. Can we hire her? 

Yes, that is entirely possible, however, there are a couple of things that need to be established first. Which university the person is enrolled in and how many course credits have been taken.  

It's definitely possible to hire a student, the question is whether the candidate may stay in Sweden while the application is filed. There is a possibility to apply for a job search visa, however, there must be a history of advanced studies, financial means, and healthcare insurance in place to qualify.  

 

We have a potential hire that is here on a dependent visa. Can we hire him? 

In most cases yes, however, it's good to review the permit to be sure. 

 

We have a candidate that has lived in Sweden for many years. Can we hire her? 

This is a red flag. Having lived in Sweden for many years without qualifying for a permanent residency can be a risky situation. It should be explored deeper. 

 

We have a South African candidate, that is hired in Poland and wants to work remotely in Sweden on a Swedish dependent visa. What requirements do we need to adhere to? 

This is a mixed bag och a variety of requirements, and which supersedes the other? It includes several permit types, jurisdictions, reporting, and also tax considerations. We would definitely need a deep dive into this one. 

 

We already hired a person who already works in the office and now we are wondering if that was the right move. 

You can almost be 100% sure that this is a problem if the person hasn't lived long in Sweden. This one is likely to need some damage control. 

 

I thought my colleague set up the pension contributions for a new hire but it seems to have been missed. 

While this has been of the most common reasons for deportations, the new law introduced on June 1st, 2022 allows the Swedish Migration Agency to overlook smaller mistakes and look at the big picture.

 

We want to offer a candidate a position in Sweden. What do I need to know? 

1. nationality, dual citizenship?

2. Does the person have a valid passport with at least 2-3 years duration or does it need to be ordered first? This can sometimes be a dealbreaker because a person without a passport can oftentimes not travel. There are several countries, like Sweden, that have very lengthy processes.

3. It's always good to do a background check. The Migration Agency has access to Interpol and Europol data, and in many countries, a squeaky clean police record is required as part of the documentation reviewed. Having a list of questions before you hire is a good idea. We have it too as a second checkpoint to avoid surprises. 

 

As a recap it's fair to say that immigration is complex, full disclosure is important, trust is bronze to know is silver, and to be prepared is gold. There may be some problems with a candidate's legal standing in Sweden. Be open, present the problem and we will have the solutions. Sometimes it's not what you want to hear, but in the long run, it's the best policy to run a tight ship with compliance.  We have helped many, many people over the past 27 years to clean up and have a smooth arrival.