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With a great deal of i’s to dot and t’s to cross, completing the often ample and lengthy immigration documentation required for an assignment, whilst staying compliant with different countries’ immigration laws and regulations, can be a daunting task for relocating employees and their employers. Without trusted, expert guidance the processes can be unclear, often complex, and riddled with expensive delays and inefficiencies.


K2 has an expanding international team of in-house immigration experts who provide immigration services in their respective regions, and in global collaboration, for clients across a diverse range of industry sectors. Taking a holistic approach to managing the complexities, our experts offer support with a whole host of services including work permit and residency services, consular visa services and defining and submitting official documents for applications.


Each of our specialists has the experience and expertise to handle personal matters and information with the due care, sensitivity and attention that is required, with many of our consultants benefitting from direct personal experience of international immigration processes.


To enable us to meet client needs and deliver our services within a number of markets, our Global Immigration Team operates out of several different hubs worldwide. We caught up with Global Immigration Manager, Susanna Wang, and Senior Immigration Consultant, Patrik Tostemar, both of whom are based in the Malmö office, Sweden, to find out more about their experience of working within K2’s Immigration Team.


How long have you been with K2 and what was your background prior to joining the company?

Susanna: I joined K2 in March 2019. Before joining K2, I worked at the Swedish Embassy in Beijing, mainly as Migration Officer, but also as Cultural and Press Officer. When relocating back to Sweden in 2018, it was natural for me to move into the field of Global Mobility, coming from a long background in immigration.

Patrik: I have been working at K2 for 3 years. Prior to this I lived in China for almost 10 years where I was working with Immigration at the Swedish and Icelandic Embassy.


Which countries have you helped clients to relocate to?

Patrik: My focus is on the Scandinavian countries but I have experience with global relocation as I have also assisted with immigration services to locations such as China, France and Belgium.


Can you tell me a little bit about how the Immigration Team has developed over the last few years?

Susanna: Since I joined K2 in 2019 the team has grown immensely. K2’s immigration team has more than doubled in size during the past 3 years. We have expanded our knowledge of immigration practices across the globe and with expertise in more and more countries, we can also assist clients in a wider range of locations.


How does the Immigration Team in Sweden work with the rest of K2’s Global Immigration Team?

Patrik: We have re-occurring calls and catch ups where we share information and updates on a global level. These help to keep us connected and in regular communication.


What are the main challenges being faced in Europe at the moment from an immigration perspective?

Susanna: Our main challenge at the moment is the extended processing times in many countries in Europe. This makes it hard for us to manage expectations of the assignee and client; extended processing times can mean that start dates need to be pushed and other services are impacted so we need to make sure any delays are communicated very early on. The Ukraine-Russia war has also made us face new challenges as we need to find fast solutions for people in difficult situations.


How do you keep up to date with changes to legislation and immigration requirements?

Patrik: We stay up to date through newsletters from the Swedish authorities, following news reports and daily contact with the Migration Agency.


How has your personal experience of relocating overseas helped in your role at K2?

Susanna: I lived in China for 11 years, which had its challenges, but it was overall a great opportunity to understand a different culture and language. It also made me understand the challenges one has when trying to complete local registrations, finding an apartment, completing immigration procedures, and adjusting to a new country’s local practices. When I help people with immigration procedures, I always put myself in their shoes and try to find tailormade solutions for each individual, to alleviate the stress levels that can occur when you relocate. 


Can you tell me a bit about the most complex case you have dealt with and how you overcame any barriers?

Patrik: The most complex cases are usually due to expectations. Sometimes the required process is not what the assignee expected or what they have experienced in other countries. It is then important to identify this at an early stage and discuss the process with the assignee. Our goal is to simplify the process as much as possible by providing clear instructions and always being available if an assignee has any concerns. I find it important to highlight any potential risks as soon as these have been identified.


What sets K2 apart from other Immigration Service Providers?

Susanna: When I started at K2 in 2019, I quickly realized that we do things differently here. Our top priority is making sure that the assignee is informed and assisted through all steps of the immigration process until they have their permit in their hand. What really sets us apart is the personal touch and level of attention we provide to all assignees, to ensure that they feel supported and updated throughout the process.


Do you have any top tips for employers and assignees to make the immigration process as pain-free as possible?

Patrik: I would recommend that the employer initiates the Immigration Service well ahead of the planned start date in order to avoid any delays or unnecessary stress. It is also important that they highlight any potential risks with their dedicated Immigration Consultant so that we can try to identify the appropriate solution.


Can you describe the Immigration Team in Sweden in 3 words?

Susanna: Attentive, collaborative, knowledgeable.

Patrik: Flexible, agile and helpful.


Get in touch to find out more about how K2’s Immigration Team can support you.

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