What permit is the easiest, fastest and most flexible permit for our employee? 


This is one of the most common questions we get during the course of a normal week. 


Most countries have a large number of visa options to fit different talents and situations. In my view the coolest visa of them all is the American O visa geared for especially talented people. Not seldom Nobel Prize winners or even very creative people. I imagine that it’s a real honor, and a reason to be just a little smug, to be rewarded with such a visa. 


Sweden has fewer options than many other countries and are less focused on looking for only the Best & the Brightest talents to move here - the BnB in the immigration world. 


What differs from most countries? 


  1. No university degree is required, but relevant work experience is important
  2. There isn’t a public list of professions where there’s a skills gap
  3. There is no official minimum wage although to obtain a work permit the least is 13 000 SEK/month is required. That being said, that level is far below the threshold for work permits. The salaries are well documented and must be on par with local employees to be acceptable to the agency.


What are the determining factors for what kind of visa can be appropriate? 


  1. Employer is locally established in Sweden 
  2. Employer is outside Sweden and is sending a consultant to a client in Sweden
  3. Employer is sent out from the home country to a daughter company while maintaining the employment status in the home country
  4. Duration of the project is less than 90 days
  5. Duration of the project is more than 6 months
  6. Duration of the project is several years and the position is permanent
  7. A previous employer has not lived up to the employment terms
  8. Applicant is self employed
  9. Applicant is traveling in and out of Sweden for a long period of time, without having it as a primary residence
  10. Applicant is a full time student and working on the side or wants to find a job after completing the coursework. 
  11. Applicant is on a dependent visa today and want to have his own work permit


There are many nuances that may determine what Work permit type is most suitable for an individual. The Swedish Migration Agency offers fasttrack to companies like Nimmersion and well established companies that have a good history in Sweden can also benefit from the faster application processes. Given this possibility, the Migration Agency expects companies to be very precise with the permit durations and that the start and end dates are honored as per the permit granted. 


Way back, before the Fast Track was introduced many companies applied for the maximum duration available, which was and still is 24 months. That way there was a possibility to stay on if a project was delayed and to allow the applicant to travel within the region even if the first permit had expired and the new one handed in. These days, when the application process is shorter and more business friendly the agency wants the dates to be pretty precise. Anyone that has been part of a project has experienced delays, both with start and finish dates and unless the start is timely (a four month window is allowed) the permit needs to be canceled and a new one sought for a more appropriate time period. 


Short term visas are also sensitive to changes since they aren’t easily renewed without causing a gap in the work being done. In some instances they may stay in the country, but they are not able to work so that is something to consider when choosing that visa type. 


All in all, in order to be able to advise properly around the best options available and pros and cons a deep dive into the individual’s circumstances is needed. Immigration is never a general question, it always goes deeper. 


A guiding light in immigration is to “to start with the end in mind” . We have seen time and time again that people that move to Sweden with their job simply love it here. They also become much appreciated co-workers and the value they add is noticeable and employers very often want them to stay part of the team long term.

The EU Blue Card is popular around Europe and especially in Germany, but offers little of what was initially envisioned since it was supposed to mirror the US Green Card that allows work in all states. It is possible to start with an EU Blue Card and apply for a regular work permit or the opposite depending on the needs.


My own family is an example, we moved for a three year contract to upstate New York and my parents returned 27 years years later. They are not unique, ex-pats around the world settle nicely and most stay longer than expected. In order to make that happen, the initial set up is crucial and must be perfect to make a long term stay possible. 


Finding the perfect solution for someone is part of the detective work and puzzle we lay every day. Some people have many options while others have a limited possibility of staying in Sweden. There’s a Swedish say “there’s a lid for each casseroulle” which loosely translated means there’s a solution for everyone. We just have to find it!