This post is about what to expect after you find a job in Sweden!
Firstly, one can stay in Sweden for 6 months after finishing their master’s studies to look for a job or start a new business. More details here: https://studyinsweden.se/news/new-work-regulations-from-1-july/
So, once you have found a job, or let’s say you get the phone call or email confirming that you made it through the final rounds of interviews and have the job, your employer will now contact you and make you an offer (hopefully an offer so good you can’t refuse!). This offer is usually in verbal form and includes details of pay and other benefits, a brief discussion about work hours, your roles and responsibilities. In the offer, the employer will also give you a deadline till which the offer is valid before which you would have to make a decision to accept or reject the offer. This window is what you have if you want to negotiate aspects of this offer. If you have relevant work experience and the company is bit smaller then there is scope for a graduate to negotiate, else it is quite difficult.
Once you have made up your mind to accept the offer, the company will go through the process of drafting a contract. Swedish contracts are usually well detailed and have some union agreements as well. Sometimes the contract process can take some time, especially if its a large organization which requires approval from many departments etc. This step can be nerve wrecking cuz its not final till it is written, right? All my friends assured me that in Sweden a verbal agreement is just as strong in the court of law!
Anyway, contract is usually mailed to your home address, and again there is a deadline for you to sign the contract and send a copy to the company. Of course in smaller companies this whole process can be much more fluid and informal. Maybe a contract is drafted in your presence and you just sign in on your way out of the office. After the contract is signed, the application process for the work permit is initiated. In Sweden, the employer has to initiate this process and the employer uploads most of the files and details about you. As an employee, you will be asked to fill in some details during the process and submit an application fee of 1000 SEK. Following the submission for the application for work permit is a month or two month long wait for the permit to be approved. The case will be processed and if its approved you will get an email and a mail. After that, you just have to go the migration office and give your fingerprints and have a photograph taken so that the UT card can be made. This card is then delivered to your home in a week or ten days.
That’s it! You have the contract and work permit and you can start working! Sometimes this whole process from being offered a job to working in the company can take just a couple of weeks and sometimes it can stretch on for 3-4 months, and in most cases there is nothing much you can do but to constantly be in touch with the company without being too pushy and stuff. What I like about the whole process is that though there are many steps on the way, getting a work permit is quite straightforward in Sweden. Once you have a job you do not have to worry about any lottery system or about being kicked out of the country because of permit issues. Its really smooth, especially if you have studied in Sweden. I heard that the recent migrant crisis in Europe had increased waiting times for work permits, but mine arrived really quickly, like in 3 weeks after my application.