This article is for employers getting a work permit in Sweden for their new employees. However, it is beneficial for the employee to know about this as well to reduce the chances of rejection. If you want an overview of the process of getting a work permit, then read our other article.
1) Advertise the position on Platsbanken/Arbetsförmedlingen
One of the requirements to getting a work permit for the first time is that the position needs to have been advertised on Platsbanken/Arbetsförmedlingen for at least 10 calendar days before any other parts of the immigration process can be started. There is a very high chance of rejection if the advertisement has only been posted on another website (such as LinkedIn or on the company’s own website). Surprising, not advertising the position on Platsbanken/Arbetsförmedlingen is the number one reason for rejection.
The reason for this is that the position should have been advertised and made available to everyone in the EU. While it can be argued that LinkedIn does this, it is not something that is currently accepted. According to the Migration Agency’s regulations the advertisement should also not be older than 6 months from the start date of the employment.
You must check with your employer to confirm they have done this. Otherwise, you will pay the price by having your application getting a work permit rejected.
There are, however, some exemptions from being required to do this that are listed below:
- International assignment to Sweden within the same company group
Although positions do not need to be advertised for international assignments within the same company group, if the person is later locally hired by the Swedish company (moving their employment to Sweden) the position needs to be advertised for 10 days before the application process can be started.
- People hired to be the CEO of the entity in Sweden
When hiring someone to be a CEO in Sweden they are exempt from the requirement to advertise the position. The reason for this is that it is seen as a specialised position that is outside the normal work market.
- People who are extending their work permits for the same position
When extending a work permit for the same position there is no requirement to advertise it again. However, if the position will be changing, a new application must be submitted and the position must be advertised for at least 10 days.
2) Offer of employment
The “offer of employment” form is a document that is required for everyone that is getting a work permit. This is regardless of if it is a first time application or an extension application.
In order to create an offer of employment, an account will need to be created on the Migration Agency’s website. This account can be used each time a new application is to be submitted for the company.
When offering someone employment in Sweden the Migration Agency will look at the financials of the company and compare it to the details in the offer of employment form. They will need to see that the company has the financial means to hire the individual, before they begin getting a work permit.
When filling out the form it will be required to state the occupational code (SSYK code), title for the position, and a short description must be entered. The SSYK code that is chosen must match the job description. If you have found an SSYK code but you are unsure whether or not it matches the position you can find a more detailed list of occupations that fall under the chosen code here.
For first time applications or for applications regarding a change of occupation, it is required that the position should have been advertised on Platsbanken/Arbetsförmedlingen’s website. There are some exceptions to this which you can find above.
Salary and insurances
One the last page information about the salary should be entered. Find out about the requirements surrounding salary below under “Union Statements”. The totally salary that is mentioned should, however, be the amount that the company can pay out every month. Bonuses and other occasional pay should not be included as monthly salary.
When entering the salary there is an option to include allowances and benefits. One important thing to note regarding benefits is that usually the full amount cannot be included. The reason for this is that the value should be stated instead. By this, the Migration Agency means the taxable value. Usually food benefits and car benefits are not included as the values tend to be quite low. Housing benefit can, however, sometimes be stated. The formula for calculating the housing benefit is:
(Size of the apartment or house in square meters / the occupants) x (value per square meter)
The size of the accommodation does not need to be divided by the occupants if it is just one family staying there together. This is relevant if there are several individuals (that are not included in the same core family) sharing the accommodation.
In the form it will be required to state the 4 mandatory insurances. These should all be valid from the day that the individual starts their employment. In some cases, individuals under the age of 25 will not require pension insurance to be covered. It is, however, recommended to cover all insurances from day 1 of employment to avoid rejections or issues in the future.
Once the document has been created it needs to be sent to a local union for their comments. It is not required to have an agreement with a local union but it is still required to send the form to one so that they can comment on the form. You can read more about that below.
3) Union statements
As part of the getting a work permit process it will be required to obtain a union statement commenting on the conditions of the employment. What the Migration Agency focuses on the most is that the union approves the salary level stated in the offer of employment. This part of the process is usually completed by the employer or the relocation company that is assisting with the process so it is not one that employees usually need to think about. It is, however, still good to know about as it can decide whether an application of getting a work permit is approved or denied.
When sending the offer of employment to the union for their comments the following document needs to be attached. This is the form that the union should fill out. It is important that the date on the union statement is not earlier than the date on the offer of employment. If the offer of employment is done online, this means that it needs to be closed before the union statement can be collected (see more about offers of employment above).
If the union does not want to comment
This is a situation that is not entirely uncommon whilst getting a work permit for you employee. Many unions do not want to comment on an offer of employment in certain cases. This is, however, not a big issue from an immigration perspective. The requirement itself is not that the union needs to approve the offer of employment, but just that they have had the chance to comment on it. In this case it would be advisable to check the salary level yourself on the SCB (Statistiska centralbyrån) website. This is the website that the Migration Agency uses themselves to control salary levels in cases where the union has decided not to comment.
If the union says that the salary is too low
If an application is submitted together with a union statement saying that the salary is too low, it is very likely that the application will be rejected. This is based on the requirement that the salary must be in line with the collective agreement or what is commonly practiced within that industry when getting a work permit. It is therefore generally advised that that salary is raised to meet the level suggested by the union.
Which union should I (The employer) contact?
Here is a list of some of the most common unions for people to contact. It is of course allowed to obtain comments from any union in Sweden but these are the most common ones and together they cover the most common occupations.
Below is a list of the most common local unions that can be contacted for union statements:
Unionen is one of the biggest unions in Sweden and their collective agreement covers most occupations. That means that most cases can be sent to Unionen for their comment. Their standard response time is between 1-2 weeks. What is important to note is that Unionen will almost never fill out the union statement but instead provide a letter stating that they do not wish to comment on the conditions.
This is because Unionen will only fill out the union statement for companies that have a collective agreement with them. The Migration Agency will however accept this letter so there should not be any issues cause by attaching this. As mentioned, since the union will not be commenting on the salary level it would be recommended that this is checked by using SCB’s website to ensure that the salary is not too low before submission. This cannot guarantee that the salary will be accepted but it should provide a good indication.
E-mail: will vary depending on which region the person will be working in. Find the contact details here.
This union is responsible for mainly engineers and IT professionals with degrees within these subjects. Their standard response time is between 3-10 days. If the applicant does not have a degree in these subjects the union will not provide a union statement. In these cases one could submit the e-mail from Sveriges Ingenjörer stating that they do not wish to comment as well as the letter from Unionen stating that they do not wish to comment.
This will show that multiple unions have been given the chance to comment but have declined. As mentioned, if the union will not be commenting on the salary level it would be recommended that this is checked by using SCB’s website to ensure that the salary is not too low before submission.
This union focuses mainly on people working with mainly economy and management. The will usually provide a comment for all people working with these occupations. From previous experience they are also very fast as their standard response time is usually 1-5 days.
Hotell- och restaurangfacket
This union focuses mainly on workers within the hotel and restaurant business. They will usually provide a comment on all offers of employment that are sent to them. They usually only provide their comments via post so it can take a while for it to be received. Their standard response time is usually between 2-4 weeks.
E-mail: will vary depending on which region the person will be working in. Find the contact details here.