Recruiting Foreign National Students & Former Student

When recruiting a foreign national studying in Sweden, different rules apply depending on whether the person is currently studying in Sweden, or has finished their studies and is looking for a job.

The different requirements, stated in a recent legal paper from the Migration Agency, must be met in order to be eligible for a Swedish work permit. If requirements are not met, the applicant will likely need to leave Sweden to apply for work permit. Staying up to date on the requirements to ensure a potential candidate meets the requirements is key to avoiding a complicated work permit process.

Employing Students
Before moving forward with the recruitment process for a foreign national student from a non EU/EEA country, it is important to know what kind of residence permit they hold in Sweden, as there are different types. To be allowed to apply for a change from a student to a work permit without leaving Sweden for the processing time, the attended studies must be on a university level.

The student needs to have a valid residence permit and the work permit application needs to be submitted before the student permit expires. Otherwise the student risks having to leave Sweden temporarily in order to obtain a work permit.

Yet another requirements is that the student must have completed at least 30 university credits or one semester of post-graduate studies in Sweden, to be eligible to switch from student permit to work permit.

Employing Former Students
Former students are eligible for a “job seeking permit”, if they have passed all their courses.
The “job seeking permit” application needs to be filed prior to the student permit expiring and provided all requirements are met, the student can get a permit, usually valid for a year. The former student has the right to work while the application is pending.

The Migration Agency has recently advised that former students with valid job seeking permits, can revoke this permit and apply for a work permit instead. This greatly benefits the former student, as the work permit period would be included when calculating permanent residence eligibility, while the job seeking permit would not be included.

Importance of Screening Immigration History
As we have outlined above, depending on the individual situation, requirements for students and former students may vary, which could affect their chances of obtaining a work permit while remaining in Sweden, which in turn can affect the hiring process.

We are here to assist and guide you, to ensure your hiring process is as smooth as possible from an immigration perspective.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for support.

Thank you!

Your Human Entrance Team

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