Why did you move to Sweden?
For my Master’s studies
What do you wish you knew about Sweden, when you first moved here?
Everything takes time here. When it comes to jobs, at least from my experience, you may be super qualified and super experienced in your profession. However, in the employment process, a person with the same or lower level of competence is more likely to get a job due to stronger social connections and network. You really need to invest time into building your network, understanding how communication works here and understanding social values.
How would you compare the Swedish work culture to your home country’s work culture?
Working culture in Sweden is much more based on team work and discussion. The challenge though is to figure out what others really think, as no one says “no” or “yes” directly.
What’s your favourite part about living in Sweden?
Work-life balance. Times of the year when it is not always dark.
What do you struggle with the most in Sweden?
Winter. At the moment it is uncertainty about my family’s migration papers, as it takes so long time for Migrationsverket to decide. As a skilled migrant you have to put so much time into getting permanent status in Sweden. While you work and pay taxes like everyone else, you are still considered as a second-class resident by the authorities.
Did you fill in the form for the work permit extension application yourself?
Have you been asked for more information in your application?
Yes, several times in my previous applications.
What information did they ask for?
So far I’ve been asked to submit payslips for the time when the application has been processed. A friend of mine was asked to submit the documents from Försäkringskassan showing whether he was on parental leaves in Sweden and for how long.
When did you apply for your work permit extension and what’s the current state?
In September 2016, no case officer yet.
Do you have any other suggestions or tips for people applying for work permit extension?
I didn’t know it when I applied, but having a certified agent to send your application speeds up the process significantly. Another tip is don’t blindly trust that the employer knows what types of insurances and benefits are required by the Migrationsverket. Check the information at Migrationsverket
Just to add another tip or what i’ve learned from my experience: once your current work permit expires, Migrationsverket sends the information to Försäkringskassan, so they put on hold all your social payments. They than pay retroactively for this period once the work permit is extended, however they only cover three months before the new work permit is approved. In our case, we lost several months of children’s allowance. To be mentioned is that you pay all the taxes during the processing time anyway. There can also be some issues if, for example, the applicant waiting for the work permit decision needs to take a long-term sick leave or gets injured.