The Swedish Migra­tion Agency answers: how many diffe­rent main­te­nance requi­re­ments are there?

This year, the government decided to raise the maintenance requirement for work permits, which has led to many questions for the Swedish Migration Agency. However, there are different types of maintenance requirements depending on what you are applying for. In this part of the Swedish Migration Agency Answers, we explain what the maintenance requirements are and who needs to meet them.

There are different maintenance requirements associated with different residence permits and they can be different in different situations. A certain monthly salary, a sufficiently large home, your own or a family member’s salary, one or more incomes – these are just some of the things that the Swedish Migration Agency looks at.

Please note that this article discusses the most common maintenance requirements, there are additional maintenance requirements that have not been included.

Work permit

Requirement: Work with a certain monthly salary
Total: 80 percent of Sweden's average salary
Family members: The employee must be able to support the whole family
Please note: This applies specifically to work permits in accordance with Chapter 6. Section 2 of the Swedish Aliens Act.

In order to be able to obtain a work permit in Sweden, you must have a job where the salary reaches a certain amount. On November 1, the requirement was raised to at least 80 percent of the median salary in Sweden. That currently means at least SEK 27,360 before tax. Previously, the requirement was SEK 13,000.

Read more about Increased maintenance requirement for work permits
Click here to read about what is required to obtain a work permit

Extended work permit

The salary requirement is the same when you apply for an extended work permit as when you apply for the first time.

Family member of an employee

If the person who has or applies for a work permit wants the family to accompany them to Sweden the employee must be able to support their family, which means that they must cover the cost of living and living expenses for the whole family.

The employee only needs to show that they can support their family members when they apply for a residence permit for the first time.

Read about maintenance requirement for employees who want to bring their family here

Self-employed

Requirement: Maintenance secured
Total: SEK 200,000 for the entire permit period
Family members: The business owner must be able to support the whole family

Business owners must show that they have their maintenance secured for two years at a time, which corresponds to approximately SEK 200,000. In order for an accompanying person to be granted a residence permit, the entrepreneur must have SEK 100,000 for a spouse and SEK 50,000 for each accompanying child. The maintenance requirement is the same in the case of an application for an extension.

Read about how to apply for an extended residence permit if you are a self-employed person
Read about permits for you as a family member of a self-employed person in Sweden

If the family applies for an extended residence permit at the same time as the business owner applies for and receives a permanent residence permit, the maintenance requirement changes. This means that the business owner must show that the income is enough to support the entire family and that you have a home that is of an adequate size and standard for all of you to live in.

If the family members apply for a permanent residence permit in connection with an application for extension, the business owner must first show that he/she can support his/her family in order for the family to be granted an extended residence permit, after which the Migration Agency checks that the family members can also support themselves in order for them to be granted a permanent residence permit.

Students and doctoral students

Requirement: Maintenance secured
Total: 18 percent of the current price base amount
Family members: Must be able to support themselves through their own money or with the help of the student – 7.5 percent of the price base amount for adults and 4.5 percent for children.

In order to obtain a residence permit to study at a higher education institution or for doctoral studies, you need to be able to show that you have your means of support secured throughout the permit period. This means that you must have money available through, for example, salary, scholarship, or bank assets. The amount must correspond to at least 18 percent of the year's price base amount, which for 2023 is SEK 9,450 per month. The same requirements apply to the extension application, but the amount may have changed as the price base amount changes every year.

Read about requirements for residence permit for studies in higher education
Read about requirements for residence permit for doctoral studies

Family of student or doctoral student

A family member of a student or doctoral student must show that he or she can support themselves during their stay, at least SEK 3,937.50 per month for an adult and SEK 2,367.50 per month for each child. The amount is based on the year's price base amount – 7.5 percent for adults and 4.5 percent for each child.

Permit for job search after completion of studies

Requirement: Maintenance secured
Total: 18 percent of the current price base amount
Family members: Must be able to support themselves through their own money or with the help of the student – 7.5 percent of the price base amount for adults and 4.5 percent for children.

If you have completed your higher education or doctoral studies and want a residence permit to remain in Sweden and look for work or start your own business, the maintenance requirement in 2023 is at least SEK 9,450 per month, which corresponds to 18 percent of the price base amount.

Read about requirements for a residence permit to seek employment after completed studies

Permit for job search after completion of research studies

Requirement: Maintenance secured
Total: SEK 9,700 per month
Family members: No maintenance requirement

If you have had a work permit as a researcher and completed your research and want a residence permit to stay in Sweden and search for employment or start your own business, the maintenance requirement is at least SEK 9,700 per month.

Read about requirements for residence permit after research studies

Moving to someone in Sweden

Requirement: The person in Sweden must support the person who wants to move here
Total: Standard amount + rent
Family members: The person who lives in Sweden must be able to support the entire household + those who want to move here

A person living in Sweden must be able to support their family members in order for them to be granted a residence permit to move here. Not only is there a requirement for a specific amount of money – but also the size and standard of the home. The size of the income a person living in Sweden must have depends on the size of the family and the cost of accommodation. For two cohabiting spouses or cohabitants, you must have SEK 9,445 left after the rent has been paid.

Exemptions from the maintenance requirement

Not everyone is covered by the maintenance requirement when family members want to move to Sweden. This applies, for example, if the person living in Sweden is a minor child whose parent wants to move here, or if there are special reasons, for example that the person in Sweden has a permanently reduced ability to work and therefore cannot meet the maintenance requirement, or the family applies to move to Sweden within three months of the person living in Sweden being granted a residence permit as a refugee. There is also no maintenance requirement when applying for an extended residence permit either.

Upcoming changes

The Riksdag has decided to tighten the requirements for residence permits on the basis of family ties. The changes mean, among other things, that exemptions from the maintenance requirement will be removed for people with subsidiary protection status, whose relatives apply for residence permits on the basis of family ties.

Read more about the stricter conditions for family reunificatio (in Swedish)
Read about what applies if you are a family member of someone who is applying for a residence permit to live with you in Sweden

Permanent residence permit

Requirement: Be able to support oneself financially
Total: Standard amount + accommodation cost
Family members: Be able to support themselves financially

In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must be able to support yourself through employment or as a self-employed person. There is no requirement to support your family members and you cannot add your family member's income to your own total amount. The Swedish Migration Agency assesses whether the monthly income covers accommodation costs and the so-called standard amount for a single adult, which for 2023 is SEK 5,717.

Exemptions from the maintenance requirement

In some cases, you may be exempt from the maintenance requirement when you apply for a permanent residence permit. This applies to children under the age of 18, pensioners and if you are unable to support yourself for other special reasons.

You can only apply for a permanent residence permit in connection with filing an application for an extended work permit. The requirements for a permanent permit must therefore be read in conjunction with the requirements for extension in each type of case.

Read about permanent residence permits under the Upper Secondary School Act

Persons who have a residence permit under the Upper Secondary School Act can apply for a permanent residence permit if they can support themselves as employees or self-employed persons. These rules differ slightly from the requirements for a permanent residence permit that apply to people who have a residence permit for other reasons.

Read about requirements for permanent residence permit under the Upper Secondary School Act

Citizenship

Requirement: No debts or payment defaults
Total: No maintenance requirement
Family members: No maintenance requirement

There is no requirement to support yourself in order to obtain Swedish citizenship. However, debts or records of payment defaults may mean that your application for Swedish citizenship is rejected.

Read about how debts or records of payment defaults can affect your ability to become a Swedish citizen

This is what a case with a maintenance requirement can look like

Work permit

Illustration: woman, child and man.

Amina is applying for a work permit because she has found employment in Sweden. According to the latest median salary, the monthly salary from employment must be SEK 27,360. Amina's husband and their three-year-old son are moving with her, so her salary must cover the entire family's accommodation costs and the so-called standard amount. For cohabiting spouses or common-law partners, the standard amount is SEK 9,445 and for children aged 0-6 it is SEK 3,055.

Close family ties

Illustration: two men.

Gustav lives in Sweden and his partner Dylan wants to move in with him. Gustav must then be able to support Dylan and have a home large enough for them to live in. The Swedish Migration Agency checks that Gustav's income covers the cost of living and the so-called standard amount. The standard amount for two cohabiting spouses or common-law partners is SEK 9,445. For two adults without children, an apartment is large enough if it has a kitchen or kitchenette and at least one room.

Permanent residence permit

Illustration: man and woman.

Olga is going to apply for an extended residence permit on the basis of family ties and also wants a permanent residence permit. When she first came to Sweden, her partner had to support her – now she has to support herself. Olga's income should cover the standard amount for one adult and half of the housing cost since there are two adults in the household. The standard amount for a single adult is SEK 5,717.