Photo of Millesgården by: Yanan Li, Courtesy of https://www.stockholmbusinessregion.com/press/media-bank/
Immigration assistance is a crucial part of a relocation package. Relocation and Immigration are dependent upon each other, and work best when provided by the same relocation company. Making sure that your new hire obtains the proper visa and immigration work permits is the first step for a successful relocation and a successful transfer. If you involve your relocation company early in the recruitment process, you can ensure that the process does not become complicated and legally worrisome. An Immigration Specialist will also be able to help with a realistic timeline for a start date.
By combining relocation and immigration your company can do the following:
1. Save Time. Save time for both the company and your new hire. Your relocation company's legal experts have the knowledge to work through the process as quickly as possible. It's good to note that only immigration specialists located in Sweden, who have been active here for a considerable amount of time, are able to log in to create an online application. This, and working with a certified partner of the Migration Agency, will considerably shorten the application period.
2. Provides you and your employee legal safety. Immigration departments can leverage experts to move through the process safely while noticing red flags and potential pitfalls before they become a problem. Part of the recruiter's due diligence to a candidate is to see if their work permit can be attained even when the person is already in the country and simply changing employer. A visa exploration is necessary for this to be sure that the talent you have selected is legally ok to work for you. Immigration departments can also check to make sure your employment terms are compliant. You don't want to inherit problems that can translate into evictions down the line when you are renewing or even applying for permanent residency for your star talent. It's not uncommon that people with some discrepancies in the compensation packages in previous jobs hope to get a permit with another more reputable company.
3. Save money Consistency and due diligence from the beginning/ initiation has shown to be beneficiary from a financial perspective as well. A new employee is an investment for a company and by contracting an immigration specialist within your relocation company, you will avoid future financial risks.
What Can Immigration Assistance Provide?
Prepare Offer Letter: Prepare the Offer of Employment – or Assignment Letter.
Advertising: Advertise the position with Platsbanken/Eures
Opinion from Union: Obtain an opinion regarding the terms of employment from the union.
Migration Agency: Submit the application with the Migration Agency where a fast track process is applied.
Register SWEA: Register the position with S.W.E.A.
Notify Tax Office: Notify the Tax Office of the legal status of the foreign employee.
What Can Relocation Assistance Provide?
Local Orientation: Executives are provided a personal relocation consultant who plans a pre-visit tour based on their interests, needs and what matters most to them. Relocation consultants offer local knowledge to help the family know what to expect and what to look for as they plan their move to Sweden. They also help to understand neighborhoods, areas for living, schools, recreational facilities, shopping, and anything else that may be helpful.
Accompanied Home Hunting: Relocation consultants find out the important needs executives and their families may have when searching for a home. They provide a current guide to rent costs, and help the new hire and their family identify possible homes based on their budget, needs and market conditions. Consultants will monitor the rental market, schedule viewings of properties, and accompany them to viewings. Finally, they negotiate terms and set up the lease agreement. In Stockholm this can be a lengthy and stressful process due to the shortage of homes.
Property Inspection: Before move-in, a superficial inspection of the property is conducted. A relocation consultant will make sure the correct condition of the property is well documented. This helps avoid extra costs and confusion over damages when it comes time to move out.
Utility Survey & Set Up: Arrangements for a transfer of pre-existing utilities (e.g. electricity, water, gas, sewage, TV license, internet and residential parking if applicable.) Relocation consultants arrange for the best possible utilities to be functional upon arrival. Utilities are in most countries a more or less frustrating task for anyone, not least to someone that isn't home in the country. Adding this service to your employee's program is sure to alleviate your assignee with a lot of headaches. While relocation companies also struggle with this at least they have systems and contacts to do it.
Civic Registration: The relocation consultant will accompany the visit the tax authority for population registry and obtaining personal identification number (PIN) or coordination number.
Bank Service: Consultants assist employees in obtaining a full service bank account. Employees must qualify according to the bank’s policies. HR managers that have employees going to a number of different locations have noticed how much more difficult it has become to open bank accounts and to have them be useful.. ie. that you actually can transfer money in and out of the account. Sweden is no exception where banks are worried about money laundering and have extensive questionnaires and are evasive about taking appointments.
International School Search: Inform the family on available options for International schools.
Work Permit: This is required for NON-EU CITIZENS only. - EEA area countries like Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are also excluded from a work permit in Sweden. They need to apply for a residence permit when they plan to reside longer than three months
Planning immigration timing together with the relocation can shorten temporary housing and work smoothly with school start dates, applications for spaces, etc. Staying compliant is, of course, important, yet the timing of a move is crucial to have the best start possible for your employees. This is why many companies opt to work with firms that have immigration and relocation in house so they can work in tandem to have a holistic take on the cross border move.
Download our Required Documents for Work Permit to Sweden Checklist here:
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.