How to apply for a work permit

The main rule is that you should apply for and have been granted a work permit before entering Sweden. When applying online you are given clear instructions about how to fill in your application and what you should send with the application. This makes it easier for you to apply correctly and increases your chances of a quick decision.

Information for holders of work permits who wish to apply for an extension

When you apply for an extension of your work permit, the Migration Agency checks that the conditions for a work permit have been met during the periods of validity of each of your previous work permit periods. For applications to be complete, you need to submit documents that show that salary and insurance requirements have been met for each month you have held a work permit in Sweden.

Sometimes other rules apply

Special rules regarding work permit applications exist for certain occupations and countries. Other rules also apply to those who have been asylum seekers and are now applying for a work permit, or to persons visiting an employer in Sweden.

Application for work permit for certain occupations and countries

Application for work permit for persons who have been asylum seekers

Application for work permit for persons visiting an employer in Sweden

Application to extend your work permit

1

Offer of employment

To obtain a work permit, you must have an offer of employment in Sweden. Your employer must have advertised the job in Sweden and the EU/EEA and Switzerland for at least ten days before the offer of employment was made.

Learn more about how the employer must advertise the position

2

The employer initiates the application

Your employer in Sweden initiates the work permit application by completing an offer of employment. Your employer needs information about your name, date of birth, citizenship, education and your e-mail address.

It is important that you have access to the e-mail address you give your employer until you have received a decision regarding your application. The Swedish Migration Agency will use this e-mail address to communicate with you throughout the application period.

3

You receive an e-mail

When your employer has complete an offer of employment you will receive an e-mail with information about how to apply for a work permit.

In the application you provide information about yourself. If your family is coming with you to Sweden you apply for permits for them at the same time. You should also check that the information about your employment terms in the offer of employment corresponds with what you and your employer have agreed on.

4

Attach documents

The following documents are to be scanned or photographed and sent with your application

  • copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the passport's period of validity, bar code on the identification page and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • a power of attorney in the event you are representing the applicant.

If you are applying for an extension of work permit, you will need to attach additional documents to your application.

Learn more about how to apply to extend your work permit

Power of attorney to represent you

A power of attorney can be a signed letter in which the applicant for a permit authorizes any other person to represent him or her. A power of attorney, for example, may grant the other person the right to apply, learn the reasons for a decision or appeal a decision on behalf of the applicant. The power of attorney should be written and signed by the applicant and grant the authority to represent the applicant. The power of attorney must be presented in original if the Migration Agency so requests. A power of attorney must be presented even if a family member is representing another family member who is over 18 years.

If your family will accompany you and you are applying for them at the same time, you will also be required to submit the following

  • copies of the pages in their passports which show their personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport's validity, bar code on the identification page and whether they have permission to live in countries other than their country of origin.
  • copies of marriage certificates or the equivalent (applies to married couples or registered partners)
  • documents showing that you have lived together in your country of origin (applies to common-law spouses)
  • birth certificates for children
  • consent from the other custodial parent, if they are not also coming to Sweden, stating that the child is allowed to move to Sweden
  • documents showing that children above the age of 21 are financially dependent on their parents
  • adoption documents if the child was adopted
  • power of attorney if you are representing all members of the family who are over 18 years and who are co-applicants.

The above-mentioned documents should be translated into Swedish or English by an authorized translator. You should always submit both a copy of the original document a copy of the translation.

A statement of consent is a signed letter from the parent who has custody but will not be accompanying the child to Sweden, in which he or she agrees that your child shouldbe granted a residence permit to settle in Sweden. The statement of consent should contain

  • the name, date of birth and address of the parent who consents
  • the name and date of birth of the child to which the statement of consent relates
  • a statement that the parent agrees that the child should be granted a residence permit to settle in Sweden
  • the signature of parent consenting, along with his or her name in printed letters.

Learn more about permits for family members

5

Pay and submit your application

In most cases you must pay a fee. You can pay using Visa or Mastercard. When the fee is paid you submit your application. You and your employer will receive an e-mail confirming that your application has been submitted. The Migration Agency will contact you if it needs more information.

Information about work permit fees

6

The Migration Agency processes the application

For the Swedish Migration Agency to make a decision about your application, all the details need to be filled in and all necessary documents attached. This means that the processing time will be shorter if all the necessary information is included from the start than if information is added afterwards. Note that the Migration Agency may in some cases need to further examine your application even if you have included all the required information and documents.

Waiting times for work permits

7

Information needed for residence permit card

If you are granted a permit for more than three months you will receive a residence permit card. The card proves that you have permission to reside in Sweden and contains information such as your fingerprints and photograph.

If you need an entry visa for travel to Sweden you should therefore visit the Swedish embassy or consulate-general as soon as possible to be photographed and fingerprinted. You need to do this even if you have previously had a residence permit card, as the information is not saved. If your family is also applying for permits, the family members also need to be photographed and fingerprinted at the embassy or consulate-general. Always contact the embassy or consulate-general prior to your visit.

If you do not need an entry visa for travel to Sweden you can submit information for the residence permit card at the Migration Agency after arriving in Sweden. However, you must request and have your work permit issued before you travel to Sweden.

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Learn more about residence permit cards

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8

Receiving the decision

You will receive an e-mail confirming that a decision has been made. You are given the actual decision by the embassy or consulate-general that you have specified in your application. Your employer will also receive a notification about the decision by mail.

You need to bring your passport when collecting your decision. If you have been granted a work permit you will receive the residence permit card within four weeks of being photographed and fingerprinted at the embassy or consulate-general.

The residence permit card will be produced at the time the decision is made, but no earlier than three months before the residence permit becomes valid.

We cannot speed up the production or delivery of the card.

If you do not apply online

If you are unable to apply online, fill out Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently outside Sweden, number 149011, and turn it in to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are living. The application form indicates the documents you need to attach.

If there is no possibility to apply in your country, you should apply at the embassy or consulate-general nearest to the country where you live. Before you submit your application you should contact the embassy or consulate-general.

Each member of your family who plans to accompany you to Sweden must turn in an application of their own to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently outside Sweden, form number 149011 (in English)PDF

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed person, form number 133011 (in English)PDF

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Last updated: 19 April 2016