When a person is granted a residence permit, he or she is entitled to an “Introduction Plan” to plan his or her education and professional development and provide for language training, courses on Swedish society, vocational training and work experience. The Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) has the responsibility for this for persons between 18 and 64. Help with finding housing is the responsibility of the Migration Agency for those living in their accommodation who are assisted in finding suitable housing in municipalities throughout Sweden. Those living in private accommodation do not access this assistance. In some cases, refugees arrange a housing contract themselves. It is only when they have a contract that they can begin their introduction programme and get more financial support for the coming 2 years.
Refugees granted residence permits under the upper secondary education law can extend their residence if they find full-time jobs within six months. However, this was reported to be very difficult during COVID-19 and several organisations have expressed concern to the FRA about the insecurities in this regard.
In 2020, the general unemployment rate was 8.3%, up from 6.8% 2019. However, when it comes to newly arrived persons with residence permits, it is higher. It has previously taken up to ten years before half of the new arrivals could establish themselves in the labour market. According to figures from early 2018 this is going much faster. Nearly half, 48.5%, of those who were granted residence permits in 2011 had jobs after five years. Among newly arrived men, 49.3% were in work after three years.
Obstacles to obtaining employment include lack of language skills, complicated process for validation of diplomas, lack of low-skill job opportunities and host society attitudes.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education evaluates foreign secondary education, post-secondary vocational education and academic higher education certificates.