Sweden at a Glance
Working in SwedeniStockphoto
Sweden was among the few European countries which rejected the Euro.
Working in Sweden offers lots of opportunities to expats from all around the world. While the high taxes may come as somewhat of a shock for many expats, the country makes up for it with excellent healthcare services, a very good education system, and a high quality of life.
Expats working in Sweden will benefit from high-tech capitalism mixed with a system of extensive welfare benefits. The country itself has a skilled labor force of about 5 million employees. Despite the recession of 2008, Sweden has a strong economy with excellent internal and external communications. Sweden experienced a mild economic slowdown in 2012 and introduced various stimulus measures to boost growth and employment.
As an expatriate working in Sweden, you may be employed by a private company. Private companies account for the majority of the country’s economic output. The engineering sector is particularly strong and is responsible for 50% of Sweden’s exports. The country’s main industries are in iron and steel, precision equipment, as well as motor vehicles. If you are interested in working in Sweden and have sufficient qualifications, you may be able to find work in these fields.
If you dream of working in Sweden, the first thing you need to do is to secure a work permit. This is necessary for all non-EU/EEA citizens to work legally in Sweden. Expats working in Sweden for more than three months need to apply for an additional work and residence permit.
Your best bet is to direct your application to the nearest Swedish consulate or embassy before your move. Once you have turned in your application, you are not allowed to enter the country until your permit has been processed. An alternative would be to submit your application by using the online form on the Swedish Migration Board’s website.
Written Offer of Employment
Before you can successfully apply for a work permit, you need a written offer of employment from your Swedish employer. Only with a written offer of employment can you successfully apply for a Swedish work permit. The document should include information on your position within the company, on your salary and the duration of your work contract. Before you receive your written offer of employment, the responsible trade union has to approve the terms and conditions stipulated in your work contract.
EU/EEA-Citizens and Registration
EU/EEA-citizens do not need to obtain a residence permit or work permit prior to their move. They are in fact free to move to Sweden and take up employment as they wish. However, they still have to contact the Swedish Migration Board and register their residency.
You have to register within three months of your arrival in person at one of the offices of the Swedish Migration Board or by submitting your paperwork online. Remember to include a certificate of employment in your documents. For more information on visa matters, written offers of employment and the registration process, please refer to our article on Moving to Sweden.