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Visa Requirements in Sweden

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Work Permit

If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you are entitled to work in Sweden without a work permit. If you work and have enough means to support yourself, you automatically have right of residence in Sweden. With that you do not need to register with or apply for a residence permit at the Swedish Migration Board. You are entitled to start working immediately upon arrival in Sweden. You are also entitled to come to Sweden to search for work. More information may be found at www.migrationsverket.se

Non-EU

You cannot obtain a work permit to go to Sweden to look for a job. To obtain a work permit you must have been offered a job in Sweden, employees cannot enter the country until the permit is granted. To be eligible for a work permit you must;

  • Have a valid passport
  • Have been offered terms of employment that are at least on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements or which are customary within the occupation or industry
  • Have been offered a salary that is at least on par with that set by Swedish collective agreements or which is customary within the occupation or industry
  • Have been offered a position that will enable you to support yourself. In order to satisfy this support requirement, you need to work to an extent that will result in a salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month before taxes
  • Have an employer who intends to provide insurance covering health, life, employment and pension when you begin to work.

 

Where To Apply

You need to apply with the Swedish Migration Agency. The easiest way to apply is through an online application at; https://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.5e83388f141c129ba6312e9d/1535449030680/atinifran_151011_en.pdf

 

Extending Your Work Permit

In order to extend your work permit, your salary and other terms of employment must have been at least equivalent to what is stated in the collective agreement or is considered the practice in your profession or industry. You must also have worked to the extent that your wages reached at least SEK 13,000 per month, before taxes. These conditions must have been met during the entire time that you have held a work permit in Sweden.

 

Permanent Residence Permit

You must live in Sweden for 4 years on a work permit before you would be eligible for permanent residency. You apply for a residence permit by submitting an application to your local Embassy or Consulate or in some cases directly to the Swedish Migration Board – Migrationsverket. One year after you obtain your permanent residency you will be eligible to apply for citizenship.

 

How long does it take to get a decision from Migrationsverket?

You will have to be patient, because processing times are quite long, especially for first time applicants. The current waiting time for first time applicants are between 14 – 18 months. However, processing times for second time applicants are generally shorter, around a work week. Yet, this completely depends on the complexity of your application

EU Blue Card

If you are a non-EU national and have received an offer of a highly qualified job, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. You must have a university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ professional experience and a salary equal to at least one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden.

 

In order to obtain an EU Blue Card, you must have;

  • A valid passport
  • A university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ relevant professional experience
  • Taken out or applied for a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers health and medical care in Sweden
  • An employment contract or offer of highly qualified employment lasting at least one year
  • No less than one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden, before taxes.

 

More information

To read more information please visit: https://www.eu-bluecard.com/how-to-apply/

Posted by Adam Dunne on 10 June 2019

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Neighbourhoods of Berlin

Neighbourhoods of Berlin

When relocating to a new city, it can be very difficult to know what part of the city to move to. You may ask yourself several pertinent questions such as; What is the most affordable area to live in? Where is best to raise a family? What area has close access to public transport? What area has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and coffee shops? Berlin is very unique city as it is divided up into twelve distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own look and feel. Each neighbourhood offers its’ own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are looking for. Below is map of how Berlin is divided. Rental prices fluctuate between each neighbourhood. Below is a rental price map for the city for a two-bedroom apartment of 70m squared (without bills and utility costs). As with most cities around the world, rental prices rise significantly the closer you get to the centre. Thankfully, Berlin operates a highly affordable and reliable public transport network enabling people to live outside of the city centre without having to face a daunting commute to work every day. Mitte is steeped in rich history being home to the Jewish Memorial and the Reichstag. It is the city centre and government district. In recent times, the neighbourhood has transformed becoming the hotspot for start-ups, particularly around Torstrasse. As a result, rental prices have increased significantly within the last decade as highly skilled and often highly paid expats move to this start-up hotspot. Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg is a very trendy and culturally diverse area in Berlin with endless bars, restaurants, art exhibitions and the infamous Berghain. There’s always something to do in this popular neighbourhood. This area is also very close to many corporate and tech offices which only serve to further increase the already high demand for housing here. This one of the most expensive areas in the city. Charlottenburg is the heart of West Berlin and is more organised and cleaner than the rest of the city. It’s home to the famous food court KaDeWe and the most exclusive shopping street in Berlin, Kurfürstendamm. Charlottenburg is the luxury side of Berlin and rental prices here are also quite high. Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most family orientated areas in Berlin famous for its vast amount of young families located there. It’s quite a trendy area home to a cluster of cool start-ups. Rental prices here are slightly more affordable but have be rising year on year due to the increase in start-up activity in the area. Neukolln is an area in Berlin with relatively cheaper rent than the rest of the city. Neukolln is very close to Kreuzberg and acts as a more affordable alternative to those wishing to live near the trendy, start-up centre of Berlin. Rental prices here are slowly rising year on year. Lichtenberg conveys remanence of its Eastern heritage with countless Eastern German Plattenbauten, massive building blocks that now look a bit outdated. Lichtenberg is slowly gaining traction as the city centre is easily reached by public transportation and the prices of Lichtenberg apartments are still extremely affordable. Hellesdorf is similar to Lichtenberg but also plays host to the famous Gärten der Welt, which is a great park to get away from all the noise of the city. The area plays host to a vibrant mix of people and major renovations have taken place giving the promenade a facelift. Treptow and Köpenick are also great neighbourhoods for families to live in. They are full of green parks and picturesque lakes, perfect for a day trip during the summer months. Rental prices here are more affordable compared to other parts of the city. Templehof is most famous for its now closed city airport. Nowadays the district is a popular location for Berliners to hang out and engage in activities such as skating and kiting. Rental prices here are more affordable on the outskirts but gradually rise the closer you get to Kreuzberg/Mitte. Steglitz – Zehlendorf are quieter districts on the west of Berlin perfectly suited for families. It’s calmer than the rest of the city with noticeable less traffic. Rental prices here average around €750 per month as it is one of the best areas in Berlin for families. Reinickendorf is one of the lesser know areas of Berlin. Tegel Airport (TLX) is located here along with some nice spots such as Tegeler See (lake). Rental prices here are on average much cheaper than other parts of the city. Spandau is unique as its’ inhabitants don’t consider themselves ‘Berliners’. It’s like a separate small town within a city full of nature and lovely lakes. Rental prices are quite affordable here, as you get closer to Charlottenburg, rental prices increase significantly. Looking to work in Berlin? Check out our latest vacancues here.

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Frankfurt's Start-up Scene

Frankfurt's Start-up Scene

Frankfurt is emerging as a vibrant European start-up ecosystem supported by its esteemed legacy and finance industries. The city boasts a highly diverse and active network of businesses that are boosted by the region’s exceptional research and education centres. Frankfurt is the finance capital of Europe, dubbed ‘Mainhattan’, the city is home to the European Central Bank, ECB Banking Supervision – SSM, the European Insurance Oversight, the German Stock Exchange (the 10th largest in the world), Bundesbank, the German financial oversight body Bafin, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and many more. The finance industry employs over 70,000 people and generates revenues higher than many countries worldwide. The city is also home to a multitude of large corporations such as Schott, Opel, Frankfurt Airport, Merck KGaA, Sanofi, and Deutsche Flugsicherung. This incredible wealth and knowledge within the city have laid the foundations for a thriving technology and start-up scene. Frankfurt’s corporate outfits offer significant benefits to start-ups in the region. Frankfurt has one of the highest concentrations of finance specialists and coders with experience in finance and tax in Europe offering much needed operational support to start-ups. Furthermore, many of Frankfurt’s large corporations have launched some incredible initiatives to position their business at the forefront of technology and start-up activity. Deutsche Bank launched its Digitalfabrik or digital factory, a project for programmers and finance experts to develop digital banking projects; Commerzbank’s initiative CommerzVentures is investing in “the most ambitious young” start-ups; and Deutsche Borse unveiled its Fintech Hub in 2016, an initiative aimed at supporting the fintech community in Frankfurt and in the Rhein/Main region. One of the newest programs to arrive in the city is the iconic Silicon Valley accelerator program Plug and Play, which launched a new European fintech program in collaboration with TechQuatier earlier this year. TechQuatier is an international community, incubator and co-working place comprised of over 100 start-ups and 30 academic partners and academic institutions. Corporate R&D spending totalled a whopping €5.5 billion in 2017. Naturally, Frankfurt is a hub for the FinTech industry with 55% of all local VC investments being acquired by fintech start-ups from 2012-2017. The acquisition of Fintech 360, a trading network for foreign currencies, was the largest start-up exit in German history coming in around €725 million. Interestingly, it was the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that acquired Fintech 360. However, Frankfurt has a lot more to offer than just fintech and finance. The city has a high concentration of AI, Big Data & Analytics start-ups with 8.5% of all start-ups in the region engaging in one of the three innovative activities. These start-ups acquired just over 13% of all local VC capital between 2012-2017. AI start-up Arago recently received €55 million in venture capital funding. These innovative start-ups are boosted by the fact that Frankfurt has the largest internet exchange point in the world, the DE-CIX. Furthermore, there is an abundance of large co-working spaces dotted around the city, twenty-two recognised spaces as of 2018. There is also numerous incubators and accelerators that offer vital support to start-up such as; Main Incubator, Pando Ventures, Unibator, Grundermaschine, Commerzbank Content Shift, Accelerator Frankfurt, E&Y Start-up Academy, Merck Accelerator and UX Accelerator. Lastly, Frankfurt’s high density of research and education institutes provide the talent needed to grow these start-ups into highly successful businesses. 25+ institutions educating over 230,000 students are present in the city and some are infamous for their innovation. Research intense institutions like the University of Mainz are where instruments for Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity were built. At this current time, Frankfurt pales in comparison to other European cities in terms of start-up activity. On the other hand, Frankfurt’s start-up activity is estimated to be growing 50% year on year and with the wealth and knowledge in the city, the future is bright.

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Renting Accommodation in Stockholm

Renting Accommodation in Stockholm

Sourcing suitable accommodation is always at the top of your priority list when relocating to a new city. Finding accommodation in Stockholm is no easy task but if you are flexible with your price and location, it is manageable. We recommend finding an apartment to rent for one to three months when you initially move to Stockholm. There are significantly more properties on the market for short-term leases as landlords and tenants may be travelling or working abroad for short periods. During this time, you will the chance to get to know the city giving you a clearer idea of where you will want to live. In addition, you will have time to ask locals or colleagues advice on where to live, how to find an apartment and all the processes that are involved with renting in the city. It is quite difficult to get a long-term apartment to rent in the city like other European cities. In Stockholm, it is the norm to be offered a 6-month lease with a possibility of a 6-month extension. It is possible to get a 1-year contract, but it’s extremely rare that you will find something longer than that. In most cases, if you are looking for a contract that extends over one year, the landlord will have to ask permission from the board of directors of the building. Rentals: There are two types of rentals in Sweden, Fist-hand and Second-hand. First-hand rentals A first-hand Förstahand contract, means that the apartment is in your name and you deal directly with the landlord. This usually requires several years in the housing queue. The housing queue gives people access to rental apartments with capped prices. To join this, you must register with the Stockholm Housing Agency. Second-hand rentals Second-hand rentals are most common in Stockholm. A second-hand Andrahand contract is a sublet. This is where someone that owns their apartment or has a first-hand contract, rents their apartment to someone else. This comes at a cost and the competition is high. These can often have a 1-3 month notice period if the tenant/landlord want to move out/in. It is extremely important to make sure that the tenant is co-operating with the board of the building bostadsrättsföreningen or that the landlord has signed off on second-hand leasing. If you sublet a flat from someone who doesn’t have permission, you could run the risk of being evicted. Where to Live Due to the high levels of competition within the city for housing, it is not only hard to find an apartment, but it can be expensive too. Thankfully, Stockholm operates a very efficient and affordable public transport system that enable you to live outside of the city without facing an arduous commute to work every day. Areas outside of the city such as Sollentuna are only 20 minutes commute by tram and offer more affordable housing. We recommend you look outside of the city centre to boost your chances of finding suitable accommodation. Prices As mentioned earlier, Stockholm city centre is very expensive to rent in with areas on the outskirts of the city offering a more affordable option. Below is a breakdown of monthly rent costa for areas within Stockhom in SEK. Green = Average Price Light Grey = One Bedroom Grey = Two Bedroom Dark Grey = Three Rooms Photo Credit: RelocatetoSweden.com Where to Look There are several housing websites where you can find suitable accommodation; Blocket – blocket.se Bostad Direkt - bostaddirekt.com Qasa Residensportalen Andrahand.se BoPunkten.se There are a number of Facebook groups where you can find shared accommodation; https://www.facebook.com/groups/223360214358564/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/146281422217393/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/139276769508646/ Looking for a job that will enable you to pay rent in Stockholm? See our full list of vacancies here.

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Renting Accommodation in Berlin

Renting Accommodation in Berlin

Finding accommodation is a priority when moving to a new city. Historically rental prices in Berlin have been very affordable compared to other German and European cities. This has been a key selling point for many expats relocating to the city to live and work. However, as Berlin's start-up and tech scene has rapidly grown, demand for housing has increased dramatically. The influx of expats moving to Berlin has led to a shortage of affordable housing in some hot spots in the city such as Kreuzberg and Mitte where rents have risen significantly. Berlin is divided up into twelve distinct neighbourhoods with rental prices fluctuating between each neighbourhood. There are still some areas within the city that offer affordable rental prices and with Berlin’s interconnected and reliable public transport network, it is possible to live in a more affordable area without facing a daunting commute to work every day. The average rental prices (in euros) for a two-bedroom apartment of 70m squared can be seen in the image below. These rates do not include heating and utility costs. There has been action taken by Berlin’s Senate to combat the soaring rental costs. The Senator for Urban Development and Housing in Berlin announced that the Senate approved a five-year rent freeze for the city as of June 2019. This rent freeze is set to take effect in January 2020 and will apply retroactively from June of 2019. Securing an Apartment It is important to note that the housing market is incredibly competitive in Berlin, so it is important to maximise your chances of securing an apartment. Prepare and bring all your paperwork to a viewing; Proof of your last three months’ salary OR a copy of your employment contract if you don’t have any payslips yet. Copy of your passport. A Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung - a letter from your old landlord confirming you are up to date on your rent. A SCHUFA certificate: This is a certificate that is usually issued by banks (or post offices in some cases) and it will prove that you do not have any debt from previous tenancies. Deposit A security deposit must be paid to the landlord prior to moving in. The deposit will usually equal 2 or 3 months cold rent (rent minus heating & utility costs) and by law will never be more than 3 times the rent. Should there be any damage caused to the apartment, the cost of repair will be deducted from the deposit. If there is no damage, the deposit will be returned to the tenant once they vacate the property. Residence Registration (Anmeldebestätigung) Once you have found an apartment, you must apply for a Anmeldebestätigung. This is a piece of paper you receive from the Berlin local authorities to say that you have an official address in the city. You get it from one of the many ‘Bezirksamt’ offices, or local authority offices. The documentation you’ll need: Passport A copy of your rental contract (Mietvertrag) to prove you have an official address A completed copy of the Anmeldung form which can be downloaded at http://www.berlin.de/formularserver/formular.php?52009 Once you have all of the above and filled in your form, you must take it along to your nearest Bezirksamt or local authority office. A list of them can be found here: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/ It is advised to book an appointment online to avoid the queues. Where to Look: These are the 4 main websites to search for and find available apartments: https://www.immobilienscout24.de https://www.immowelt.de/ https://www.immonet.de/ https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/stadt/berlin/ There is also a number of popular Facebook groups where users post available apartments or rooms to rent: WG-Zimmer & Wohnungen Berlin - 140,000+ members WG, Zimmer und Wohnung in Berlin - 55,000+ members Berlin Apartments - 21,000+ members Apartments/roommates in Berlin - 17,000+ members For more information on websites and housing services, please visit: https://allaboutberlin.com/guides/find-a-flat-inberlin#where-to-look-for-apartments