I got an answer from Socialstyrelsen. It seems that according to the new Swedish legislation (April 2016), Socialstyrelsen isn't allowed to issue a licence to practise without having assured that the applicant has 'sufficient language skills'. However, 'sufficient language skills' are not legally defined yet. From this point of view, the C1 level mentioned on Socialstyrelsen's site becomes more of a recommendation, rather than a mandatory requirement. At least this is what I understand.
At this moment, I think it's better to get in contact with employers and establish their requirements (including language skills level) and then discuss about the licence to practise issue. What do you think?
Your plan to contact your future employer sounds like a good one! Since they have stated that they "only" require B2 to begin with, and also might offer you additional help learning the language, they might be able to certify your language skills.
The guidelines from Socialstyrelsen states that
Perhaps it is sufficient if your employer certifies that you know enough Swedish to be employed by them, that may qualify you for a Swedish medical licence.You can also prove your language skills by letting a health care provider confirm that you have reached Swedish at Level C1
Please keep us posted, and the best of luck to you!
Since I posted the last time, I got my M.D. and I dedicated myself to Swedish. I'm working towards B2 and I'm really satisfied with my progress.
I did not apply for a Swedish licence yet, given the new C1 level requirement. As I said, I'm not sure I can reach C1 without being there and speaking Swedish on a regular basis.
However, I think it's time to get in touch with some employers in Sweden. I prepared my CV and a cover letter, in which I shortly explained my situation. I plan to apply through e-mail to each landsting I'm interested in.
Do you have any advice on this?
Do you think I'll get rejected right away given that I don't have the Swedish licence yet? In the cover letter, I expressed my willingness to work as underläkare until I fullfill all the necessary requirements for having a Swedish licence.
If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to express them.