Asylum seekers who have got a job and want to apply for a work permit

If your application for asylum has been refused and a deportation or refusal-of-entry order has enter into force, you may be able to apply for a work permit under certain circumstances without leaving Sweden.

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In order to work while you are an asylum seeker, you must have an AT-UND (exemption from the work permit requirement). You must meet certain requirements to obtain an AT-UND.

Requirements for a work permit

In order for you to receive a work permit:

  • the Migration Board must receive your application within 14 days after the decision concerning your application for asylum enter into force
  • you must have a valid passport
  • you must have had an AT-UND while you were an asylum seeker
  • you must have been working for six months for the same employer prior to the date that the Migration Board received your application for a work permit
  • your employer must offer you the opportunity to continue working for another 12 months
  • the terms of employment must be at least on the same level as Swedish collective agreements or that which is customary in the occupation or industry. The terms of employment include insurance coverage as well as salary. The requirements also apply to the previous six months.
  • you must be offered a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 13,000. The requirements also apply to the previous six months.

To obtain a work permit, you must fulfil the requirements for a work permit for one job. You cannot fulfil the requirements via a combination of several jobs.

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.

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

If the requirements are not met

All the above requirements must be met in order for the Migration Board to approve an application by someone who is in Sweden. Otherwise you must leave Sweden and wait for the decision in your country of origin or another country in which you have permission to live. You are subject to other regulations under such circumstances.

How to apply

Apply for a work permit online.

If you are unable or unwilling to apply online, fill out Application for Swedish work permit — for applicants currently in Sweden, no. 151011 and post or turn it in to a Migration Board permit unit.

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
  • a job offer and a statement concerning the terms of employment by the trade union concerned — to be obtained from your employer
  • wage specifications for the past six months.

Faster decision if complete information has been submitted

The Migration Board first processes applications for which complete information and all necessary documents have been submitted. In other words, you will receive a faster decision if you send everything we need together with your application than if you add information afterwards.

Remember that the Migration Board might have to investigate your application further even if you submit all the information and documents that we have asked for.

Once we have received your application

If you obtain a permit, 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 to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Because photos and fingerprints are not saved, you must go through the process again even if you have had a residence permit card before.

You may continue to work while you are waiting for a decision.

A deportation or refusal-of-entry order remains in force

If your application for asylum has been refused and you have received a deportation or refusal-of-entry order, it remains in force even if you apply for a work permit. Only under certain circumstances can the Migration Board allow you to interrupt your preparations to return to your country of origin until a decision about your application for a work permit has been made.

If you receive a residence and work permit, you have the right to remain in Sweden as long as it remains valid. However, your deportation or refusal-of-entry order will remain in force until you obtain a permanent residence permit. For that reason, it is very important that you apply to extend your permit before it expires. An application that arrives at the Migration Board after the expiration date will be considered according to the rules for impediments to enforcement and be subject to more stringent requirements.

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to your address in Sweden. Once the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to you within approximately one week. Read more under After the decision has been made.

If you are granted a work permit, you will be released from your reception unit and you must arrange for a place to live.

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 members of your family

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

  • your spouse, common-law spouse, or registered partner
  • unmarried children of you or your partner who are under 18.

How a member of your family is to apply

If a member of your family is also an asylum seeker in Sweden, a refusal of their application for asylum must have gained legal force in order for them to apply for a permit without leaving the country. They must apply within two weeks after the decision enter into force.

If a member of your family applies for a permit at the same time as you do, include them in your online application. If you are unable or unwilling to apply online, each member of your family must fill out Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, no. 133011 and send or turn it in to a Migration Board permit unit.

Members of your family must enclose the following documents with their application:

  • 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 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.

Appeals

You can appeal against a decision concerning a work permit. You must turn the appeal in to the Migration Board within three weeks after receiving the decision. If you do not receive a work permit, your previous deportation or refusal-of-entry order remains in force.

The decision enters into force when

  • you have signed a declaration of acceptance
  • three weeks have passed since you received the decision, assuming that you have not appealed against it
  • three weeks have passed since you received the Migration Court's ruling.

Last updated: 1 April 2014