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Another American trying to move to Sweden

desperate and vague visa questions, how unusual!

aebushue
post 19.Jan.2014, 11:51 PM
Post #1
Joined: 2.Dec.2013

Hi, I am an american student who is trying to figure out how to get back to Sweden. Here's my story: there is someone in Sweden who really wants to hire me for an administrative-assistant type job, it's a really great opportunity and I'd love to take it. but! the position does not officially exist yet, and even if everything did work out I wouldn't have any official documentation that I was hired until maybe about a month before the job would start. I spoke to migrationsverket and they were like "well... you have to apply outside the country and it could take up to a year for your work visa to come so you're screwed lol". My would be boss is an EU citizen so she didn't really know about visas, and her boss told me "well you will have to figure out the visa stuff yourself" (?!)

Issue number one: I REALLY don't understand how people get a job as an avenue to staying in Sweden. Why would anyone hire me when I'm outside of Sweden, not legal to work in the country, and not especially qualified to do anything (I will be fresh out of college with close to zero work experience). I always see things about "get a server job and then have your employer say they hired you" how does that work? isn't it illegal? If I can't really get a visa through taking an official job through a University, how do people possibly get visas through restaurant jobs? I guess my main question is that I would really like to avoid missing out on a dream starting job just because of visas, any tips on what I can say to who to get the visa to come through?

As the job seemed unlikely, I then decided to apply for grad school. I loved my year at Uppsala University, there's a masters' programme I'm very interested in that is definitely geared towards getting a job. but wait! unfortunately, instead of graduating a full year early, I have to take a couple credits in the summer, and even though I will be done with all of my classes in July, I will probably not officially officially have my degree in hand until the start of September. Migrationsverket requires that I have my degree before I get my residence permit. Everyone I've talked to says "oh, apply anyways, we'll give you some sort of documentation, should be enough!" although I'm a pretty doubtful that Migrationsverket will accept anything other than the degree, I'm applying anyways just in case.

My question here is: can I be applying for a work permit and a study permit at the same time (somehow I doubt it)? which one should I try for? can I study on a work permit? The job may be end up being part time, she also said if I came back as a student she could have a part time student position for me. (I know I can work on a study permit. just curious if it goes the other way too)

I really want to take this job, and/or go to grad school, but it kind of looks like visa issues are going to prevent those things from happening. Now I'm just kind of desperate, I don't really want to spend a whole year away from my boyfriend and friends, this semester is going to be long enough. I have family friends in Sweden although I don't really know that they could get me any sort of job and if they did, visas augh! My Swedish is pretty functional, though it's kind of painfully obvious that I'm not a native speaker.

So, what do you think is my best bet for getting back to Sweden this fall? Is there anything I can do to increase my chances with the job/school? If everything else falls through, is it worth it to go to Sweden and look for jobs on the tourist visa (I have plenty of places to stay but I would probably be looking for jobs in the Uppsala area which I realize might make it more difficult) and how do I go about turning that into a work visa if I do get one? If I do get a work visa, will I be stuck in that job for the duration of the year?

If you have managed to read all of this, I am very impressed, and I'd be really grateful for any advice that anyone has for me, thank you!
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LLHope
post 20.Jan.2014, 12:20 AM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE
I always see things about "get a server job and then have your employer say they hired you" how does that work? isn't it illegal? If I can't really get a visa through taking an official job through a University, how do people possibly get visas through restaurant jobs? I guess my main question is that I would really like to avoid missing out on a dream starting job just because of visas, any tips on what I can say to who to get the visa to come through?

No it is not illegal, it's just that you have not understood the requirements. It isn't that the employer hires you, it is that you have to have an offer of employment that states the occupation, pay, hours, comments from the trade union and such. And those people do actually wait for the x months until the work permit is processed. It has to be said, that trusted employers can get permits processed quicker, if it doesn't look suspect it will also be processed quicker, if all required documents are provided it will be processed quicker. However, there isn't infinite resources available to process applications so there can be a waiting period stretching into months. Get the employer to commit to an offer of employment, then apply for the work permit.
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aebushue
post 20.Jan.2014, 01:19 AM
Post #3
Joined: 2.Dec.2013

I mis- worded that, I am aware of those requirements. However, I am still confused how anyone would be willing to offer me a job when there's no way of knowing when I would be able to take the job. This person really wants to hire me but I'm sure she's a bit hesitant to write an official offer, as it is essential that whoever gets the job starts working in September. I can only assume that people who get restaurant jobs do so through personal connections who will hold the position for them(?), as migrationsverket told me in no uncertain terms that I must be outside of the country when I apply for the work permit and for the duration of the waiting period. I will talk to my possible employer again to see if anything has changed, thanks for the reply!
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Opalnera
post 20.Jan.2014, 12:31 PM
Post #4
Joined: 16.Aug.2010

Most people who come to Sweden for work purposes come for specialist professional or academic jobs, the recruitment process is started many months if not a year before the job will actually begin to allow time for work permits to be processed. Customer service oriented jobs like waiting tables will almost always be filled by fluent Swedish speakers. Some places like Irish pubs will hire people who don't speak fluent Swedish but there are plenty of people already in Sweden to fill those roles.

In response to your issue number one, I don't really understand why this person wants to hire you either. There are plenty of experienced and educated people on these forums alone who are already here on legal visas who would love that job.
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Svensksmith
post 20.Jan.2014, 01:21 PM
Post #5
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

How firm is the job offer? We moved to Sweden, in part, on the strength of a job offer for my wife. Once we moved there, the job was slow to materialize and, when it did, was not as described.
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LLHope
post 20.Jan.2014, 04:07 PM
Post #6
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Opalnera @ 20.Jan.2014, 12:31 PM) *
Most people who come to Sweden for work purposes come for specialist professional or academic jobs, the recruitment process is started many months if not a year before the job ... (show full quote)

Yes there are many that come for work ... however if you had paid attention to the facts reported, the easing of requirements for work permits was made to make it easier to bring in non-EU skilled workers where there was a shortage but the majority of permits were being issued to non-skilled workers. What wasn't reported at the same time but is a well known fact in migrationsverket is that many of those work permits are not for real jobs but just a means to get permits to be in Sweden.

QUOTE (Opalnera @ 20.Jan.2014, 12:31 PM) *
In response to your issue number one, I don't really understand why this person wants to hire you either. There are plenty of experienced and educated people on these for ... (show full quote)

Just because there are experienced and educated people looking for a job does not mean that the employer wants to choose them! It all comes down to personal choice, connections and networking. They want to employ the OP because they believe it is the right person for the job and will deliver the results required. Simple as that. Who cares if you have a 1st with honours but lose a position to a total numpty, it is the employer who chooses who they believe will deliver.

OP, It is often misunderstood with regards the work permit requirements. You do not have to have a firm job contract. All you need is an offer of employment, and that the employer will also do their part of the application for a work permit. Which does include advertising the position for 10 days so EU citizens get chance to apply. Doesn't mean they have to even bother replying to those applicants! It's part of the process of application. If the potential employer wants You, they should advertise the position, send you an offer of employment with expected salary and such, get a unions opinion, and you together make the application for a work permit. Indeed, by the time the permit is processed the economic situation could have changed, also the terms and conditions of employment since you will not have signed a contract possibly before then. This is why the work permit is restricted for the first two years to a named employer and occupation. Get the paperwork in now.
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Opalnera
post 20.Jan.2014, 09:59 PM
Post #7
Joined: 16.Aug.2010

QUOTE (LLHope @ 20.Jan.2014, 04:07 PM) *
Just because there are experienced and educated people looking for a job does not mean that the employer wants to choose them! It all comes down to personal choice, connec ... (show full quote)


The OP stated the position is an administration job. If it was a professional vacancy I would understand but otherwise, why go to all that hassle of having to draft formal offers, deal with the unions and make visa applications? I suspect this one is going to go in the too hard basket for everyone.
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LLHope
post 21.Jan.2014, 12:16 AM
Post #8
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Opalnera @ 20.Jan.2014, 09:59 PM) *
The OP stated the position is an administration job. If it was a professional vacancy I would understand but otherwise, why go to all that hassle of having to draft formal of ... (show full quote)

If the employer wants someone they can trust and believe will do the job and they know such a person, then why bother to go to the trouble and expense of advertising the position, maybe using an agency to take the applications and interviews, use time of your own staff for the final selection interviews, time taken to negotiate the contract, risk that even during the accepted applicants possible notice period they change their minds, their current employer offers them more, they actually have accepted a better offer elsewhere and renege on the contract. A process that can itself take several months just to end up in the same position though with the added expense.

This is why only around 25% of job openings in Sweden are actually ever advertised, the rest are filled by networking, headhunting, connections, and many companies also give internal bonus' to employees who find new members of staff for them.
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aebushue
post 21.Jan.2014, 06:42 AM
Post #9
Joined: 2.Dec.2013

Thank you for the clarification. It is definitely an assistant job, not something that requires much qualification, and my would be boss is pretty young so it might be awkward to have a highly educated professional fetching coffee and delivering paperwork! I think that they want to hire me because they know that we get along very well on a personal level, which is important as we would be working together in somewhat stressful situations. The problem is, last time we spoke, the organization had not officially created the position, so they probably wouldn't be advertising it any time soon. However these replies have made me a bit hopeful, thanks!
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