Extending a work permit

If you have a work permit and want to keep working after your permit has expired, you need to apply for an extension of your work permit. If you have had a permit as an employee for six months or more and apply before your current permit expires, you are entitled to keep working while waiting for a 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.

If you have held a work permit or residence permit that has been granted for other reasons, but also entitles you to work, you must have held that permit for six months or more in order to continue to work while waiting for a decision. This applies to persons who have held a residence permit for studies, for example, or who have a close relative living in Sweden. If you change employer or occupation, and submit a new application for a work permit before your previous permit expires, you can start working before you have received your decision regardless of the time you have held a work permit in Sweden.

Extending your work permit

In order to extend your work permit, your salary and other terms of employment must have been at least equivalent to what is stated in the collective agreement or is considered the practice in your profession or industry. You must also have worked to the extent that your wages reached at least SEK 13,000 per month, before taxes. These conditions must have been met during the entire time that you have held a work permit in Sweden.

You must also have been covered by health insurance, life insurance, occupational injury insurance and occupational pension insurance for the entire period for which you have held a work permit in Sweden.

When you apply for an extension of your work permit, you will need to demonstrate that the conditions of the work permit have been met every month during the entire time you have held a work permit in Sweden. You must also show that you are being offered a job that satisfies the conditions for a work permit.

Change of employer or occupation

During the first 24 months, the work permit is only applicable to the specific employer and occupation indicated in your decision. If the company you are working at changes its corporate identity number, you change employers, are given new duties, or the conditions of your employment change, your work permit will no longer be valid. In such a case, you should submit a new application for a work permit. Your previous decision indicates the kind of work for which your work permit is valid.

Once you have held a work permit for 24 months and have received an extension of your work permit, you can change employers without filing a new application as long as you continue to work in the same occupation or profession. If your new job involves a change of profession, you must submit a new application. Your  previous decision indicates any limitations with regard to your work permit.

Once you have submitted your application, you are permitted to begin working before receiving a decision, provided that you submitted your application before the previous permit expired. Your new employer is required to have advertised the position in Sweden and within EU/EEA and Switzerland before you begin working.

When you apply for an extension of your work permit, you will need to demonstrate that the conditions of the work permit have been met every month during the entire time you have held a work permit in Sweden. You must also show that you have been offered a job that meets the conditions of your work permit.

Learn more about how your employer must have advertised your new job

Permanent residence permit

If you have had a work permit as an employee and worked a total of four years in the last seven years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. You must have worked for the employer and in the occupation for which you have received a work permit.

How to apply for an extension to your work permit

1

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 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.

Information for the employer

2

You receive an e-mail

When your employer has completed 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 you have a family which also needs residence permits you apply for their permits 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.

Learn more about permits for family members

3

Attach document

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, the bar code on the identification identity page and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • a summary of your income statements from the Swedish Tax Agency for each of the years you have worked in Sweden, showing both your total income and who paid your salary and what other income sources you have
  • documents showing your salary each month you have worked in Sweden
  • letters from each employer you have worked for in Sweden certifying that you worked there
  • a certified statement showing any absences from work, such as a notice of payment from Swedish National Insurance
  • a certified statement showing that you have been covered by medical insurance, occupational injury insurance, life insurance and pension insurance, during the entire time that you have held a work permit. If you changed employment during the period, you must show that you were covered by all the above types of insurance for each position
  • a power of attorney if you are representing the applicant.

If you have changed employer or occupation during the term of the permit, you must submit documents that apply to each of the jobs you have had.

If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it as you cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of your passport.

The Swedish Tax Agencyexternal link, opens in new window

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.

The Migration Agency is currently working to develop the web application and application forms that clarify which documents are required when applying for a work permit. If you apply for an extension of your work permit right now, you will need to attach more documents to the application than what is specified in the web application and the forms. You will need to submit documents showing that the conditions of the work permit have been met each month during all the periods you have held a permit to work in Sweden.


If you are also applying for your family

  • copies of the pages in your family members' 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.

If your family did not apply for permits when you applied for a work permit the last time and are now moving to Sweden you must also include

  • 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 your family and how they should visit the Swedish embassy or consulate general to receive residence permit cards. Applies for family members currently outside of Sweden.

4

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

5

The Migration Agency processes the application

If you have submitted an application for extension you are entitled to remain in Sweden until the Migration Agency has made a decision. You are also entitled to keep working for your employer if the application is submitted before your current permit expires.

Remember that you are only entitled to keep working during the waiting period if your application is received by the Migration Agency before your previous permit expires.

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

Travelling abroad during the processing time

If you are travelling abroad as your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden before your new permit is approved. You may need to await your new permit outside of Sweden. If you urgently need to return to Sweden before this, it is possible to apply for an entry visa. This visa allows you to travel back to Sweden and wait for the decision about your extension. Apply for a visa at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are now.

6

Information needed for residence permit card

If you receive a permit you will also receive a residence permit card. The card proves that you have permission to reside in Sweden and contains information such as your fingerprints and a photograph. You therefore need to book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted as soon as possible. You need to do this even if you have previously had a residence permit card, as your photograph and fingerprints are not saved.

Learn more about residence permit cards

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted

7

The decision is sent to you

You will receive an e-mail confirming that a decision has been made. The actual decision is then sent to your address in Sweden. Your employer will also receive a notification about the decision by mail.

You may be granted a work permit for the duration of the employment but never for longer than the validity of your passport. A work permit can be obtained for a maximum of two years at a time. If it is difficult for the Migration Agency to determine how long the employment will last, you may obtain a work permit for a shorter period of time. When the residence permit card is ready it is sent to you within about a week.

Permanent residence permit

When you have obtained a work permit as an employee and have worked a total of four years in the last seven years, you can be granted permanent residence. Your permanent residence permit is valid as long as you are living in Sweden. Keep in mind that if you have spent significant parts of the permit period outside of Sweden or not been working, this may affect your chances of receiving a permanent residence permit.

Appealing work permit decisions

If the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the date when you were informed of the decision. Your decision contains information about how to do so.

If you end your employment or if you are offered work by another employer

If you do not apply online

If you cannot apply online you fill in the form Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, no 151011. If your family in Sweden also needs residence permits each family member must submit their own application. The application form specifies which documents to enclose.

Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, form no. 151011PDF (in English)

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed person, form no. 133011PDF (in English)

Send your application to:

The Swedish Migration Agency,
Box 3100,
903 03 Umeå

In most cases you must pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 1 June 2015