IN NUMBERS: How hard is it to get Sweden’s new ‘talent visa’?

It's now more than six months since Sweden brought in its new resi­dence permit for "highly quali­fied persons to look for work or start a busi­ness", so how popular has it been and how hard is it to get?

IN NUMBERS: How hard is it to get Sweden's new 'talent visa'?
A woman sits at a café and contemplates in front of her laptop. Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/ Imagebank Sweden

Looking at the statistics, it appears that the answer is “quite hard”. 

Firstly, the Swedish Migration Agency seems to taking its time to process applications. Of the 2,255 applications for a talent visa in 2022, only 445 had received a decision at the time this article was published. 

Secondly, only about 10 percent of applications appear to be successful. 

Of the 445 cases in 2022 which have received a decision, only 48 were granted residency, and of the 121 cases completed so far in 2023, only one extra applicant received residency. 

This may of course reflect the quality of applications rather than the strictness of the agency. For example, people who are not able to get a work or residence permit on other grounds could have attempted to get a permit via the ‘talent visa’ route despite not having the required high level of education. 

READ ALSO: How do you apply for Sweden’s new ‘talent visa’?

For a degree to count as advanced level, it must correspond to a 60-credit Master’s degree, a 120-credit Master’s degree, a professional degree worth 60-330 credits, or a postgraduate/PhD-level degree. 

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Over 35,000 summer jobs still available in Sweden

Students and other people looking for summer jobs in Sweden shouldn't give up just yet - there are over 35,000 positions still to be filled, according to the Public Employment Service.

Over 35,000 summer jobs still available in Sweden

“The labour market is so far showing resilience in the economic climate and employers need to hire new people,” said Alva Johansson, labour market analyst at the Public Employment Service.

“Staff is above all needed in the healthcare sector, but also in industry and trade.”

The majority of employers want applicants to have completed upper high school – an equivalent of a Swedish gymnasieskola education.

“My best tips now is to take contact directly with employers who interest you. Tell them you’re interested in working there and what you can offer,” said Omid Rahmanian, job application expert at the Public Employment Service.

Although many foreigners in Sweden need a work permit to work in the country, EU citizens and non-EU citizens here on other permits, such as student permits or permits as accompanying family members, are able to work without needing to apply for a work permit first.

For these groups, a summer job can be a valuable way to gain work experience in Sweden, create a professional network and perhaps even land a permanent job.

Other tips for applying for summer jobs listed by the Public Employment Service include contacting employers directly to let them know how you can be of use to them and why you’re interested in working for them, as well as concrete examples for what you could help them with in a summer job.

They might, for instance, have a lot of customers who speak English, or another language you’re fluent in, where not being Swedish could be an asset. 

It’s also a good idea to research the place you’re applying to, so you can make a good impression in your first contact.

Summer jobs can also be a good way to try something new – maybe you have qualifications from your home country which aren’t recognised in Sweden, or maybe you just fancy a change?

Here are the most common job titles among 125,000 summer jobs advertised by the Public Employment Service between December 2022 and April this year:

  • assistant nurses in home care, care homes and rehabilitation: 27,124 jobs
  • healthcare assistant: 13,489 jobs
  • mechanic: 6720 jobs
  • carer, home carer: 5922 jobs
  • retail worker, specialist trade: 4599 jobs

You can see the Public Employment Service’s list of summer jobs here.