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 and apply before your current permit expires, you are entitled to keep working while waiting for a decision.

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If you have been granted a residence permit for other reasons, thereby gaining the right to work you must have had a permit for six months or more to be allowed to keep working while waiting for a decision. This applies to persons who have been granted residence permits for example, for studies or as a relative of someone in Sweden.

Sometimes other rules applies

Special rules apply for athletes or coaches, au pairs, berry pickers, performers, self-employed persons, trainees or visiting researchers.

Extending the permit for work with the same employer

To be able to extend your work permit your salary and other employment terms must have at least matched those in the offer of employment that you received the last time you applied for a work permit.

You must also have had health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance throughout the period in which you had a work permit in Sweden.

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. You must apply for a new work permit if you are offered a new job during this period of time. Your previous decision states which kinds of work your permit applies for.

If you have had a work permit for 24 months and are granted an extension, you are permitted to work for a different employer without applying for a new work permit, provided you are in the same occupation. If your new job is in a different occupation, you must apply for a new 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.

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

Permanent residence permit

When you have obtained a work permit as an employee and have worked for 48 months, you can be granted permanent residence. 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.

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 Board 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 and whether your have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • statement of earnings and deductions for income tax returns from the Swedish Tax Agency showing your income for the previous year.
  • any payslips for this year.

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.

If you have had a Swedish work permit for four years and want to apply for a permanent residence permit

When you have obtained a work permit and have worked for 48 months, you can be granted permanent residence.

What to send with your application

  • statements of earnings and deductions from the Swedish Tax Agency for all the years during which you have worked
  • payslip for the current year.

The document shall clearly state the employers for which you have worked. 

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 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 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.​

The documents should be translated to Swedish or English by an authorised translator. Copies of original documents should always be included.

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 Board will contact you if it needs more information.

Information about work permit fees

5

The Migration Board processes the application

If you have submitted an application for extension you are entitled to remain in Sweden until the Migration Board 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 Board before your previous permit expires.

The Migration Board prioritises applications where all required information is complete and all required documents have been submitted. This means that you will receive a decision more quickly if all required information is included when you submit your application and you do not need to supplement it later on. Note that the Migration Board may in some cases need to further examine your application even if you have included all the required information and documents.

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.

Waiting times for work permits

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 Board 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 Board 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 Board 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 for 48 months, 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

You can appeal a work permit decision. An appeal should be submitted to the Migration Board no later than three weeks after you have received the decision.

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

If you cannot apply online you fill in the form Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, no 151011 and submit it to one of the Migration Board's permit units.

If your family in Sweden also needs residence permits each family member must submit their own application.

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)

Addresses to the Migration Board's permit units

Migrationsverket

Last updated: 2014-05-23