Sweden: Non-EU citizen gets a job via Linkedin & gets deported

In the radio news in Sweden today there's the sad story of Syed Latif from Bangladesh who came to Sweden to study Economics in Östersund. When he graduated he began looking for work, and via Linkedin he found a job at an exchange office in Malmö, and moved there. Now he is being deported from Sweden, because the job ad wasn't posted so that "all EU citizens could find the help wanted ad".

According to the Migration Court in Sweden, Syed Latif failed to prove that the job he applied for and got was visible to everyone in the EU. To follow EU law & regulations, this is one of the requirements for a non-EU citizen to obtain a work permit in Sweden. Had the job ad been advertised on the Swedish Arbetsförmedlingen (Employment Service) site, it would have been okay, as these ads are also searchable in the European job portal EURES and is thus visible to all EU citizens looking for work.

The judgment states that Syed Latif has "not shown" any support for the service he had been visible to residents throughout the EU / EEA and Switzerland, and adds "to simply say that this is the case is not enough." Lawyer Carl-Owe Olsson believes that the job brokering the site is visible to EU citizens.

- "If Linkedin isn't good enough, then what other options are available? You can always argue that access to computers and so on, may exclude some job seekers from some ads, but to take advantage of the EURES job search site you must also have access to a computer basically so there is not much difference there, I think."

The lawyer adds: - "We have tried to prove what LinkedIn is and how large the user base is, and mainly in Europe, because that is the crux of the matter, and the court has simply not accepted this."

Since Linkedin seems to be in a slightly confused state morphing between a Resume-depository, tumblr-lite blog, and meme-posting extravaganza right now, competitor job boards like Monster.com could do well to strike deals with the EURES board to cross-post want ads. Ironically the EURES board is temporarily down, again, which happens on a regular basis. Either way, it's bad PR for Linkedin's job board efforts to see that getting a job via Linkedin breaks EU law.

Comments (7)

  • George's picture
    George (not verified)

    I have a question upon that, who is responsible of checking that the ad was indeed been posted in an "approved" site/agency. It smells something else here or is my idea. I have friends that got hired in small companies through networking without any ad post. Or if there is a job ad needs to be visible to everybody, but if you have a friend and you are getting hired without an add does not matter? Feels weird...

    Apr 21, 2016
  • Dabitch's picture

    Well, the immigration rules, despite how varied they may seem around the world, usually differ between "tourist", "student" and "work permit" visa/permanent residency, and they all have in common that there's tons of forms to fill in. Syed Latif had a student visa, and thus residency, but failed to secure his post graduation job in the EU via the EU approved job search sites, Arbetsförmedligen & EURES. Both his employer, and Syed fill in forms to apply for the work permit.

    When I hire people from outside of the EU, I have to advertise this job on EURES so that people in the EU and Switzerland see it, as part of the process to apply for a work permit for someone. On the actual form that an employer has to file in order to hire a non-EU citizen, there's a box to check regarding asking: "Has the job been advertised in EU/EES and Switzerland?" where you can check "yes" and then specify the ads ID number, a number it would have if it was advertised on arbetsförmedlingen's & EURES website. I'm guessing this is where the Linkedin connection was first seen.

    > but if you have a friend and you are getting hired without an add does not matter

    Well, if you are already a citizen of the country where your friend is giving you a job... or already have a work permit, then it would not matter obviously. In the EU there is a vast pool of potential employees to choose from as it encompasses 28 member countries + Switzerland!

    My interest in this story lies more in the tarnished brand of Linkedin than the minutia of work and residency permits. I've also lived and worked in too many countries (pre-EU as well) to be naive about the filings of permits to get the correct visas.

    Apr 21, 2016
  • Mostafa's picture
    Mostafa (not verified)

    Unfortunately Sweden favor the refugees more than than the educated people who comes here and work which are not even a burden for the couttry but also give it competitive advantage.
    Sweden has to re-shape it's immigration policy!

    Apr 24, 2016
  • Dabitch's picture

    The immigration policy regarding work permits granted to people who are from non-EU countries in any country in the EU all have in common that the job has to be advertised on a EU site so that EU citizens get a first crack at it - there are 508 million inhabitants in the EU so that should be plenty of people to fill any position. It's not just a Swedish thing. The money exchange made a mistake by not advertising the job on the arbetsförmedlingen job board.

    Unfortunatly most do not want to advertise on the arbetsförmedlingen job board, because people who are eligible for unemployment benefits must seek X jobs a month, so they seek jobs that they are not qualified for (or overqualified for). Putting an ad up on arbetsförmedlingen means you'll get hundreds of useless applications, and you might not find a suitable employee. So, increasingly people use Linkedin and other job boards instead - because Linkedin is increasingly working as a job board.

    Except when they apply to get a work permits for a non-EU citizen, they break the law. Moral of the story: Linkedin is not a job board in the eyes of the EU.

    Apr 24, 2016
  • Abdul rehman's picture
    Abdul rehman (not verified)

    Hello! I have 5 years visa or documents of italy. and I want to shift to sweden is it possible. I can sport myself home food etc... so is it possible?

    Jan 03, 2017
  • Amphebian's picture
    Amphebian (not verified)

    This is not the place to ask.

    Jan 03, 2017

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.