Employing visiting researchers

A visiting researcher who is the citizen of a non-EU country needs a permit to work in Sweden.

They do not need a permit to work for less than three months. However, citizens of certain countries need a visaexternal link, opens in new window.

What is a visiting researcher?

A visiting researcher is a person who has taken a doctoral degree or is qualified to start doctoral studies and who has been invited by a research principal approved by the Swedish Research Council to do research in Sweden. A research principal can be a Swedish higher education institution, an institution or a company.

A person who has been admitted to postgraduate education in Sweden in order to take a PhD or is going to do part of their postgraduate education in Sweden is not counted as a visiting researcher. A person who has been admitted to a postgraduate education in Sweden in order to take their PhD has to apply for a residence permit as a student. A person who has been admitted to a postgraduate education in another country and who is going to do part of their education in Sweden has to apply for a visitor's permit.

Learn more about how to apply for a residence permit for studies

Learn more about how to apply for a visitor's permit

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit

If you want to employ a visiting researcher, you must

  • have been approved as a research principal by the Swedish Research Council (only in Swedish)external link, opens in new window
  • fill out the form entitled Hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden, number 231011, signed by you and the researcher.

Send the agreement to the researcher, to be submitted along with their application for a residence permit.

Applying for a residence permit

The visiting researcher must apply for a residence permit on their own. The permit must be issued before they enter Sweden. However, a person who is currently in Sweden with a valid residence permit for studies may submit an online application while in Sweden. Additional information is available under Working in Sweden.

After the decision has been made

Once the decision has been made, it will be sent to you and the researcher, indicating whether or not a permit has been granted. If you want to know the reasons for the decision, you must obtain a power of attorney from the visiting researcher. Any permit will be valid for the period covered by the agreement but not past the time for which the researcher's passport is valid. A person with a residence permit as a visiting researcher is exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit and may take a job in addition to the research they are conducting.

Visiting researchers who receive permits for three months or longer are also given a residence permit card, which is handed over or sent by the embassy or consulate general. The card, which the visiting researcher must show when entering Sweden, is proof of their right to be in the country. Making and sending the card takes up to four weeks.

Notify the Tax Agency

When you hire someone from a non-EU country, you must notify the Tax Agency. You do this by filling in the form “Notification – Employment of a foreigner SKV 1160” with details of the name, address and employment period of the person who will be working for you. You will find the form at the Tax Agency websiteexternal link, opens in new window.

You must keep copies of documents that show that the person has the right to stay and work in Sweden. The documents must be kept on file during the entire employment period and for 12 months after the employment has ended.

Extending a permit

If the agreement is extended, the researcher must apply to extend their permit. A researcher who still has an agreement with a research principal after four years can obtain a permanent residence permit.

If the Migration Agency refuses the application

A decision concerning a work permit can be appealed against within three weeks. Information on how to do this can be found in the decision.

Important information regarding insurance

In order for an employee to receive a work permit, the employer must provide health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance for the employee when they begin working.

In order for an employee to extend their work permit, they must have been provided with health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance for the entire period in which they have had a work permit in Sweden.

To show that the insurance has been valid throughout the employment period, the document must state the start date of the policies and their terms and conditions.

Someone who has been in Sweden for less than one year does not have the same rights to social benefits as someone who is a resident of Sweden. For this reason, it is important that the person in question has been provided with insurance to cover any costs that may arise in the event of illness or an accident.

Last updated: 2019-06-27

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.