Working while you are an asylum seeker

You will need to support yourself while you are waiting for your asylum application to be processed. You can do this either by using money you have saved or by working. Below are the regulations for working while waiting for asylum.

In order to have the right to work while you are an asylum seeker, you must have a certificate (AT-UND) stating that you are exempted from the requirement to have a work permit.

Conditions for working as an asylum seeker

You are exempted from the requirement to have a work permit if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • You provide proper identity papers or in some other way help to prove your identity.
  • Your application is to be considered in Sweden.
  • There are solid reasons for your application for asylum. You will not be granted AT-UND if you have been issued a refusal of entry with immediate effect.

The country which examines your application is decided in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

Information about refusal of entry with immediate effect.

If you fulfil the conditions above, you will receive an Asylum Seeker Card (LMA kort) stating that you have AT-UND. This means that you are exempt from the requirement for a work permit. Your AT-UND status normally lasts until either you are granted a residence permit or until you leave the country. Contact your reception unit if you are not sure whether you have AT-UND.

Read more about the Asylum Seeker Card (LMA kort)

If you have AT-UND, you can contact the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) in the town where you live in order to see what job vacancies there are.

You can read about job vacancies and find other information on the Arbetsförmedlingens website.external link, opens in new window (mostly in Swedish)

If you get a job while you are an asylum seeker

If you get a job while you are an asylum seeker, you must show your employer proof that you are exempt from the requirement for a work permit (AT-UND). This proof is given under Item 7 on your Asylum Seeker Card (LMA kort).

Your employer must inform the reception unit where you are registered that you have a job. Your employer must also inform the reception unit when the job ends. Notification that you have been given a job must be made using a special form which you will find below.

If you receive a daily allowance (dagersättning), you must report this income to the Migration Board. You will also have to contact the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) in order to receive 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.

You can read about how to get a coordination number (samordningsnummer) on the Swedish Tax Agency's website.external link, opens in new window

If your asylum application is rejected

If you worked while you were waiting for a decision on your application for asylum, you can apply for a work permit if your application is rejected.

Read more about what you need in order to apply for a work permit after your asylum application has been rejected.


Last updated: 25 March 2015