New rules for work permits
On 1 June 2022, new rules for work permits in Sweden began to apply. The new rules affect several different types of work permits, and concern both employees and employers. On this page we have gathered information and links about the new rules.
The new rules for work permits are part of several upcoming proposals for changes to the regulations that cover labour immigration. Among other things, the rules that came into force on 1 June mean that
- an employment contract is required to obtain a work permit (previously, an offer of employment was sufficient)
- a maintenance requirement has been introduced for those workers who want to bring their family here
- a new residence permit has been introduced for highly qualified people who want to come to Sweden to look for work or explore the conditions for starting their own business here
- it is now possible to apply for an extended work permit multiple times, for two years at a time. Previously, the limit for work permits was four years
- an obligation has been introduced requiring employers to report changed conditions for the employee, along with a penalty for breaching this reporting obligation.
Brief description of the new rules
Here we list some of the changes that have been made to the rules for work permits.
An employment contract is required to obtain a work permit
One of the changes is that from 1 June 2022, a signed employment contract is required in order for a person to be granted a work permit. In the past, an offer of employment was sufficient. There are some exceptions. For researchers, seasonal workers and au pairs, among others, an offer of employment is still sufficient.
More checks to ensure that agreed working conditions are met
Other regulatory changes concern checks regarding working conditions. If the working conditions for a job change for the worse, the employer now has an obligation to report this to the Swedish Migration Agency. An employer who does not report changes in working conditions may be subject to a fine. The Swedish Migration Agency will also carry out more follow-up checks than in the past, to ensure that the agreed working conditions are met.
Maintenance requirement for workers who have accompanying families
Since 1 June, an employee must be able to support any family members who want to come to Sweden. This means that her/his income must be sufficient to cover the entire household’s housing and living expenses. The maintenance requirement applies the first time family members apply for a residence permit, not in the event of an extension.
Residence permits can be extended several times
Anyone who does not meet the requirements for a permanent residence permit after having had a work permit for four years can instead get an extended residence permit for another two years. As long as the requirements for obtaining an extended permit are met, it is possible to obtain an extension multiple times, for two years at a time.
New residence permit for highly qualified people to look for work
A completely new residence permit for highly educated people has also been introduced. Those with an advanced degree now have the opportunity to apply for a residence permit to look for work in Sweden, or to investigate the possibility of starting a business here. Such a residence permit may be granted for a minimum of three months and a maximum of nine months. In order to be granted the permit, you need to have enough money to support yourself while in Sweden and to pay for your trip home, as well as a comprehensive health insurance.
Changes relating to the revocation of residence permits
Another change concerns the rules for when a permit is revoked. Since 1 June, workers will no longer be deported due to minor mistakes or deviations during their period of employment. A permit also will not be revoked if it can be regarded as unreasonable to do so.
New entry visa for business travel during the processing time
A new entry visa known as a D-visa has been introduced. The entry visa makes it possible for a person who has applied for an extension to their residence permit to go on a business trip outside Sweden during the processing time. A D-visa can only be issued for a business trip, not for travel for other reasons. Family members cannot apply for a D-visa to accompany the employee on a business trip.
Information for employees
You can find more information about what applies on the “Working in Sweden” pages. The affected web pages have been updated with what applies from 1 June. Under the “News” heading you will also find the news articles that have been published about the changes.
Information for employers
You can find more information about what applies on the “Employers” pages. The affected web pages have been updated with what applies from 1 June. Under the “News” heading you will also find the news articles that have published about the changes.