Work permits for athletes and coaches

If you are the citizen of a non-EU country and have obtained a contract with a club or association that belongs to the Swedish Sports Confederation, the information below applies to you.

If you have been offered employment by somebody else, you are subject to other regulations for obtaining a work permit.

You need a permit to work as an athlete or coach Apply for a work permit when you are in your country of origin or another country outside Sweden in which you are living.

Exceptions

If you are a professional athlete or functionary, you can participate in international competitions for up to three months over  the period of 12 months without having a work permit. However, citizens of certain countries need a visaexternal link, opens in new window to enter Sweden. For more information see Visiting Sweden.

Requirements for obtaining a work permit

In order to obtain a work permit:

  • you must have a valid passport
  • you must play in Division 2 or higher for men and in Damallsvenskan or Elitettan for women if you are a football player
  • you must have obtained a contract with a club or association that belongs to the Swedish Sports Confederationexternal link, opens in new window
  • you must have been offered a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 14,300
  • you must have the type of health and accident insurance coverage that is customary for your sport and level
  • the Swedish Sports Confederation must certify that your job is essential to the development of your sport

Read more about the requirements to which your employer is subject.

How to apply

Apply for a work permit online when you are in your country of origin or another country outside Sweden in which you are living.

If you are unable or unwilling to apply online, fill out the form Application for Swedish work permit — for applicants currently outside Sweden, no. 149011 and turn it in to a Swedish embassy or consulate general. Before you submit your application you should contact the embassy or consulate-general.

Find your closest embassy at Swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  • copies of the pages of your passport that show personal data, period of validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • a contract signed by you and your club in Sweden

Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire — you cannot obtain a work permit for longer than your passport's period of validity.

Once we have received your application

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Contact the embassy or consulate generalexternal link, opens in new window before your visit.

If you need a visaexternal link, opens in new window for travel to Sweden, you should go to the the embassy or consulate general as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden you should visit the Migration Board to be photographed and fingerprinted.

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate general to which you turned in your application or to which you referred in your online application. Take your passport along when picking up your decision. You can obtain a permit for the period during which the contract is in force or for two years at a time but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. The permit applies only to the club that has offered you a job and the sport specified by the contract. If you want to continue working in Sweden or switch clubs, apply to extend your permit.

The Swedish embassy or consulate general will hand over or send the residence permit card to you once it is ready. Don't forget that it might take up to four weeks to make and send the card to the embassy or consulate general after you receive  your decision. You must show your residence permit card along with a valid passport when entering Sweden.  

If your permit is valid for less than three months, you will need to show the decision together with your passport.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should be able to show a copy of the decision when you arrive. As soon as possible after you have arrived in Sweden, you should book an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Important information about insurance

You will not be registered in Sweden, which means that you will not be eligible for social benefits if you receive a permit for less than one year. Make sure to have an insurance policy that will cover any costs that may arise in connection with illness, injury, etc.

Permits for family members

Members of your family can obtain permits for the same period of time as yours. Family members include:

  • your partner (spouse, common-law spouse, or registered partner)
  • unmarried children of you or your partner who are under 21.

Unmarried children age 21 or older can obtain a permit under certain circumstances. They must be financially dependent on you or your partner.

If you have a permit for at least six months, your partner can also obtain a work permit.

How your family is to apply

If your family plans to accompany you to Sweden, you can include them in your online application.

If your family applies after you do, each member must fill out their own application. They must fill out the form entitled Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, no. 133011 and turn it in to the embassy or consulate general.

A member of your family must enclose:

  • copies of the pages of their passport that show personal data, period of validity and whether they have permission to live in countries other than their country of origin
  • a copy of a marriage certificate or the equivalent if they are married or have a registered partner
  • a document proving that you have lived together in your country of origin if you are common-law spouses
  • birth certificates for children
  • consent from the child's other guardian if they are not coming to Sweden
  • a document proving that a child over 21 is financially dependent on your or your partner
  • a brief letter by you confirming that you and the member of your family will be living together in Sweden (if the two of you do not apply for a permit at the same time)

Extending your permit

If your contract with the club is extended, apply to extend your work permit. You must also apply for a new permit if you switch clubs. Make sure to submit your application before your current permit expires. If you have had a work permit for at least six months and you apply before it expires, you have the right to continue working while waiting for the decision.

You can obtain a permit for the period during which the contract is in force but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. A work permit as an athlete or trainer can be granted for up to two years at a time for a total of four years. If you still have a contract at the end of four years, you can obtain a permanent residence permit. A permanent residence permit remains in force as long as you live in Sweden.

How to apply

Apply for a work permit online. If you are unable or unwilling to apply online, fill out the form entitled Application for Swedish work permit — for applicants currently in Sweden, no. 151011 (Application for a Permit to Work If You Are In Sweden), and post or turn it in to a Migration Board permit unit. Apply at the earliest 30 days before your current permit expires.

If members of your family are living with you in Sweden and also need to extend their permits, apply for them online at the same time. If you do not apply online, each member must submit a separate application. They must fill out the form entitled Application for permit for family members of employees/visiting researchers, athletes and self-emplyed persons, No. 133011.

You will probably be required to pay a fee.

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  • copies of the pages of your passport that show personal data, period of validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • the contract
  • certificates of employment from all your employers with information about the periods you have worked in Sweden if you have had a permit to work in Sweden for almost four years and you want to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Once we have received your application

If you submit an application for an extension before your previous permit expires, you have the right to remain in Sweden while the Migration Board makes a decision.

If you go abroad when your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden until your new permit is granted. In that case, you might have to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Book an appointment as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Your photo and fingerprints cannot be saved, so you need to go through the process even if you had a residence permit card before.

After the decision has been made

The decision and residence permit card will be sent to your address in Sweden. The permit applies only to the club that has offered you a job and the sport specified by the job offer.

If the Migration Board refuses your application

If the Migration Board refuses your application, you can appeal against the decision within three weeks from the date you received it. Information on how to do this is found in your decision.

Migrationsverket

Last updated: 2014-10-09