Work in a Swedish company? Self-employed American in Sweden needs your helps
(Update: A week after this posting, and due I believe in part to the support I got by making this call for help, I received my permanent residency permit.
In the meanwhile, a Swedish friend of mine and local political candidate, sent a letter to the legal department of the Swedish Migration Board. He asked if there was a requirement that someone in my situation needed to have Swedish clients. Their reply was "no." While having Swedish interest could be a factor in the initial decision, it was not a legal basis for declining a renewal.)
I'm looking for immediate written offers for short-term work in Sweden to provide evidence to the Swedish Migration Board that there is work for me in this country. Can you help? Email me. The work does not need to be done immediately, only a piece of paper, backed with serious intent, which I can present to the Migration Board. Here's my CV.
Some potential ideas are:
- Python training (Intro. to Python, Django, Python/C extensions, PLY, Stackless, and all the other things I've talked about on these pages)
- Code review and coaching for how to improve your Python code
- Algorithm and performance analysis
- Parsing and domain-specific language development
- Porting between different Unix architectures
- Integration of command-line, database, and web-services tools
- Training on how to develop MySQL user-defined functions in C/C++
- Django development
- and of course, custom software development
This essay is different from my usual mixture of Python, chemistry and algorithms. I am an American living in Gothenburg, Sweden. I've lived here for almost four years. I really enjoy my life here. Last year I applied for an extension to my temporary residency permit. Without this permit I am not allowed to live in Sweden. I have to renew it every year until I get a permanent residency permit. That's supposed to happen with this renewal.
After waiting for 9.5 months I got a notice that it was the intent of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) to deny my renewal, on the grounds that I have not had Swedish customers ("av brist på svenska uppdragsgivare") for the previous two years. They have not yet decided.
I want to show to them that getting such clients is easy, and the reason I have not done so is that I stayed in my specialization of computational chemistry rather than in my more general competency of software development.
The thing is, I have had work for the last two years. In 2010 I worked for clients in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the US. For 2011 I'm projecting the best income of my consulting career, which makes up for the economic difficulties I've had while making the move over to Sweden and Europe. I've committed 50% of my time to a foreign client, which means I don't have much free time to work on other projects. That client is understanding, and if it will solve my problem with Migrationsverket then I can provide less work to them and more for a Swedish client.
I was unaware that that was a requirement for Swedish clients. No one I've talked to knows that it's a requirement. It's not posted anywhere, there's no guidelines on how much work must be done in Sweden, and to the best of our knowledge, it's not based in Swedish or EU law, and may even go against EU law. The lawyer I talked to today hasn't heard of this before either, and will be researching the case law.
I own and am the sole employee of a Swedish aktiebolag. I pay taxes. I am making a profit. It makes no sense.
This is exteremely frustrating, and it's made worse that my American bride - I got married 4 months ago - is in the US. She's applied for a Swedish residency permit as my wife and she isn't allowed to be here while it's being processed. I, on the other hand, have no residency permit in my passport and thus no guarantee that I will be allowed back inside the Schengen countries should I leave. I've overstayed my otherwise acceptable "can be in Schengen for 3 months out of 6" permission. My wife has another two months that she needs to be outside of Schengen, so it's not even like we can meet in Denmark or Norway while we wait.
If you know of relevent Swedish laws or case history, please let me know.
Please be aware that I'm casting a very wide net. I do not know if this strategy will work. While I will try my best, I do not know if I can actually commit to any offers. Especially if I am denied continued residency here.
Andrew Dalke is an independent consultant focusing on software development for computational chemistry and biology. Need contract programming, help, or training? Contact me
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