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Swedish Migration Agency

Employing people from countries outside the EU

In most cases a person who is a citizen of a non-EU country needs a work permit to work in Sweden. As an employer, you have to check a person's right to be and work in Sweden before employing them.

Most non-EU citi­zens need a work permit

The great majority of citizens of non-EU countries need a work permit to be entitled to work here. The person concerned has to apply for and receive their permit before travelling to Sweden, but in certain circumstances an application can be submitted after the person has entered Sweden.

For work lasting for less than three months citizens of certain counties also need to have a visa.

Countries whose citizens need an entry visa when working less than three monthsexternal link, opens in new window

Employees of temporary-work agencies that provide Swedish businesses with personnel, and employees who are transferred within a group of companies and stationed in Sweden also need work permits.  

There are special rules for certain occupations and citizens of some countries.

Certain groups do not need to apply for work permits

The following groups do not need to apply for work permits to work in Sweden:

  • EU citizens and their families
  • citizens of Switzerland
  • persons with long-term resident status
  • citizens of Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland
  • persons who have permanent residence permits (PUT)
  • students who have residence permits for studies at higher education level
  • guest researchers who already have a special residence permit for research
  • asylum seekers who are exempt from the work permit requirement (AT-UND).

Certain occupational groups can also come to Sweden for a limited period of time and work without a work permit.

If you are uncertain as to whether a person is entitled to work with you, you are welcome to contact the Swedish Migration Agency.

Read more about work without a work permit for a limited period of time

Contact the Swedish Migration Agency

Your respon­si­bi­lities as an employer

If you employ a person who is a citizen of a non-EU country, you have to check that that person is entitled to be in Sweden and to work for you. You also have to notify the Swedish Tax Agency if you have employed a person from a non-EU country.

Read more about your responsibilities as an employer

Last updated: 2020-02-06

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