4 August 2022, Porto, Portugal

Looking to move to Sweden but don’t have a job offer yet? Thanks to the new Swedish job seeker visa, suitably qualified professionals can enter Sweden for up to 9 months to look for employment or start their own business. Let’s have a look at this residency program below…

Sweden’s job seeker residency program at a glance

For the majority of people, getting a job or marrying a foreigner is the only way to obtain a residency in Europe (not everyone can afford to spend €250,000+ on a Portuguese Golden Visa, for example). But successfully applying for a job overseas from your home country is notoriously difficult.

The good news is that Sweden recently joined Germany, Austria and Portugal in launching a new residency visa to attract skilled professionals, in particular.

All of these countries have ageing populations, which is having a negative effect on the size of their respective labor pools, and ultimately on their economic competitiveness.

The new visa category aims to streamline residency applications for qualified foreigners, and to attract especially younger skilled people to the country.

As a suitably qualified professional, you’ll be able to apply for a temporary residency permit in Sweden while you look for work or start your own business. While the program appears to be looking at attracting entrepreneurs and so-called solopreneurs, in particular, this residency permit should also work well as a startup visa, too. 

The permit is initially issued for a period of three to nine months. If the permit is issued for less than nine months, it can be renewed for a period of up to nine months in total.

Thereafter, you’ll have to move to another residency permit category (e.g. you’ll have to have secured employment in Sweden by then in order to stay).

What are the key residency requirements?

  • You must hold an advanced-level degree that is recognised by Sweden, and plan to find a job in this industry – or start a viable business in this field (more on this below).

    If you’ve been studying in Sweden and now wish to extend your stay to look for work, there is another specific residency category enabling you to look for work after your studies. You can find the requirements for this type of permit for graduates

    here.

  • You must hold a passport that will be valid for the entire duration of your stay in Sweden. 

  • You must have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

  • Comprehensive health insurance is required for the entire duration of your intended stay.

  • You presently have to reside outside of Sweden.

What are the academic requirements for the Swedish Job Seeker Visa?

Sweden recognizes degrees as “advanced-level” if they correspond to the following Swedish equivalent qualifications: A 60 credit Masters Degree, a 120 credit Masters Degree, a 60-330 credit professional degree, or a PhD level degree.

What documents are required to apply?

  • A duly completed residency permit application form

  • A copy of your passport, showing your name and photo, the passport’s issuance and expiry dates. If you hold any other valid visas or residency permits, include copies of those as well.

  • Digital copies of examination certificate(s)

  • Official transcript of academic record indicating the courses you completed.

  • Bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds, or proof of alternative income, if not savings. You’ll have to show that you have access to at least SEK13,000 (US$ ~1,275+) per month, however if you can show more, this could be advantageous. (Be sure to clearly explain your source of income if not savings. If you need permission from your country’s central bank or equivalent institution to remit funds to Sweden, you must include a copy of the document authorizing you to do so.)

  • Proof of comprehensive health insurance. The policy should cover both emergency treatment and regular medical treatment, as well as any costs arising from hospitalization, dental procedures or possible repatriation. Be sure to include the appendix indicating the insurance company’s terms of coverage.

  • Qualification verification consent letter. As part of your application, you must authorize the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) to verify your qualifications with your alma mater and assess the level thereof. You can download the relevant form from the Swedish immigration authority’s site here.

  • Finally, you must be able to pay the relevant application fee online by either credit or debit card.

NOTE: All documents must be presented in either Swedish or English. If any of your documents are not in one of these two languages, they must be translated by an authorized translator, and you must also submit copies of the original versions, too. The documents must be as recently dated as possible. 

How can I apply for the Swedish Job Seeker Visa program?

If you are eligible to use the Swedish Migration Agency’s online e-service platform, you can apply for the job seeker residency online. 

If not, you can apply in your local Swedish embassy or consulate. 

If it is not possible to apply in your home country, you also have the option to apply in the embassy or consulate-general that is closest to the country where you live. Be sure to contact them prior to submitting your application for more information. 

You can access a list of Sweden’s embassies and consulates here.

If your application is successful, you’ll be issued with a Swedish residency card. If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden, you will have to contact your local Swedish embassy to schedule an application appointment and have your biometric data captured prior.

If you don’t need an entry visa to access Sweden initially, you’ll have to have your biometric data captured once you arrive in Sweden.

NOTE: If you are successful in finding a job in Sweden during the period for which your residency card is active, then you can apply for a Swedish work permit. You are NOT allowed to start working before you have received your new residency permit.

Please also note that you are only allowed to work in the industry, and for the employer through which you have applied for the work permit based residency

For more information on your Swedish residency options and moving to Sweden, click here.

 Also be sure to find out more about Germany’s program – content coming soon – and Portugal’s Job Seeker Visa.

And if you found the above information useful, please feel free to share it.