Working while seeking asylum

It is preferable that you support yourself while you are waiting for your asylum application to be processed. You can do this either by using your own savings or by working. In this section you can read about the conditions for working during the asylum period.

In order to have the right to work while you are an asylum seeker, you must have received a certificate of exemption from the obligation to hold a work permit (AT-UND).

Conditions that must be fulfilled in order to work while an asylum seeker

You are exempt from the work permit requirement if you meet the following criteria.

  • You help with clarifying your identity.
  • Your case is to be considered in Sweden.
  • Your application is well-founded. You are not allowed to work if you have received a Refusal of Entry with Immediate Effect.

If you qualify you will receive an LMA card that says you have an AT-UND. This means that you are exempt from the requirement to have a work permit. An AT-UND is normally valid until you are granted a residence permit or leave Sweden. Contact your Reception Unit if you are unsure of whether you have an AT-UND.
If you have an AT-UND you can turn to the Employment Service in the municipality where you live to see what vacancies are notified there. Job opportunities and other information is also available at the Swedish Public Employment Service's website. external link, opens in new window
If you get a job while you are seeking asylum                                                                           
If you get a job while you are an asylum seeker, you should
Show proof that you are exempt from the obligation of a work permit (AT-UND) to your employer. The proof can be found on your LMA card under section 7.
Your employer must notify your Reception Unit that you have found employment. The employer must also notify the Reception Unit when your employment expires. The notification must be made on a special form that you will find by following the link to the right.
If you have a daily allowance, you must always report your income to the Migration Board. You must also contact the Swedish Tax Agencyexternal link, opens in new window to obtain a coordination number. You need the coordination number to show that you have worked and paid taxes during your asylum period. You will need to prove this if you would like to apply for a work permit later on. You will also need the coordination number in order to receive social benefit if you become ill and unable to work.

Last updated: 10 June 2014