Coming to Sweden for Job interviews or looking for Jobs
UPDATE: Sweden has issued a new type of visa in June 2022 allowing individuals to seek for a job in Sweden. It will be valid for between 3 to 9 months. READ MORE HERE.
Job seeker visa doesn’t exist
There is good news and bad news. The bad news is there is no specific type of Sweden job seeker visa or permit that can be applied for in this situation. As a job interview and looking for jobs itself is not considered to be work. Meaning unless you are offered a job in Sweden, you can’t apply for any type of work permit or visa.
In fact, there are very few countries that offers a job seeker visa because it carries very high risks for the country’s immigration. It is also generally not recommended to apply for a tourist visa and come to Sweden to look for jobs. If you get denied or the Immigration Office finds out, it will hurt your future applications. You can try to apply for a working holiday visa.
The good news is that it is possible to apply for a Schengen visa instead. If you do not require a visa to enter Sweden then you can attend the interview or look for jobs without having to apply for anything in advance. If you are unsure whether or not you require a visa you can find a list of nationalities that require visas here. As a job seeker, you can find a lot of job openings on popular sites like, Glassdoor, Linkedin and Indeed. So there’s no direct advantage for you to look for jobs in Sweden. Most Swedish employers can offer you a Skype or telephone interview instead.
Getting a job offer
If you are able to attend your interview and get a job offer, there are a few things to consider. The general rule is that a work permit should be applied for outside of Sweden. This means that you will most likely need to leave Sweden before being able to apply for your work permit. There are, however, a few exceptions to this.
In some cases individuals can apply for a work permit while being in Sweden. This exemption applies to the following:
- It must be a high demand profession, see list of professions with a labour shortage (only in Swedish, but use Google translate to get an idea)
- Your employer must have a critical need for your skills. They should be able to prove that the business cannot function properly if you need to travel to your home country and apply from there. The Migration Office can be very critical about this.
- The reason for your visit to Sweden is to meet an employer. The possibility to apply for a work permit in Sweden does not apply if you have arrived as a tourist or to visit a friend or relative, even if you have been offered a job during your visit
- The application must have been submitted during the visa exemption period (90 days) or the visa’s validity period.
In addition to the above, all standard work permit related requirements must also be met. You can find more information about those here.
It is important to note that even if all the above requirements are met, it is not allowed to start working in Sweden until the permit has been approved. Otherwise, your work permit may be revoked and you may face serious consequences.
If the application is rejected, it is required to submit a new application from abroad. Having the application be rejected can result in a big delay in starting you job in Sweden. It is therefore generally recommended to apply from outside Sweden even if the above requirements are met. This will save you and your employer time and effort. This will reduce the risk of receiving a rejection and having to start the application process over again, which can take months.