Employing an asylum seeker

Here, you can read what is required of you as an employer if you have employed or want to employ a person who is an asylum seeker, or a person who recently received a rejection to his or her application for asylum.

A person who seeks asylum may have a right to work without a work permit during the waiting period. A person who has received a rejection to his or her application for asylum can in some cases have the possibility of applying for a work permit without leaving Sweden.

Asylum seekers

An asylum seeker who is exempt from the requirement of a work permit (has an AT-UND) has the right to work in Sweden without a work permit. You can use the asylum seeker’s LMA card to see if he or she has an AT-UND.

LMA cards issued after 1 January 2022 have a QR code that you can scan to see if the card is valid and if the asylum seeker has an AT-UND. No more personal information about the asylum seeker is shown and the search is not logged. The information on the card is updated digitally, and you always get current information when you scan the card.

The check is easily done with a QR reader on, for example, a smartphone or the hand scanner of a cash register. If you do not have access to a QR reader, the check can be done by entering the unique web address found on the back of each card.

It is every employer’s obligation to regularly check an employed asylum seeker’s right to work. Therefore, scan the QR code regularly to ensure that the person you have employed still has the right to work in Sweden.

LMA cards issued before 1 January 2022 do not have a QR code and instead have printed information about the card’s period of validity and AT-UND. To check that the information on an older card is still accurate, you should contact the Swedish Migration Agency. During the first half of 2022, there will be both old and new LMA cards in parallel before all of the old cards are phased out.

Register the employment with the Swedish Migration Agency

When you employ an asylum seeker, you must complete the form Registration of employment or end of employment of an asylum seeker, number 152011 (in Swedish Pdf, 2 MB, opens in new window.). You send the form to the reception unit at the Swedish Migration Agency where the asylum seeker is registered. You must also notify the Swedish Migration Agency when the employment ends.

The employee must have his or her own bank account

You cannot pay salary to the bank card that an asylum seeker receives from the Swedish Migration Agency. There is an agreement between the Swedish Migration Agency and most major banks in Sweden intended to make it easier for an asylum seeker to open a bank account even though the person’s identity documents are at the Swedish Migration Agency. The agreement means that the asylum seeker presents certified copies of his or her identity documents, and then the bank office contacts the Swedish Migration Agency to confirm the information. However, it is always up to each individual bank office to accept the documents or not. Some banks also require the asylum seeker to be able to present a certificate of employment to open a bank account.

Registration of employment or end of employment of asylum seeker, number 152011 (in Swedish) Pdf, 2 MB, opens in new window.

Asylum Seeker card (LMA card)

Addresses for the Migration Agency Reception Units

People who have had their appli­ca­tion refused

If you have employed a person who has had their asylum application refused and the decision has entered into legal force, they may, in certain cases, apply for a residence and work permit in Sweden without needing to leave the country.

Requi­re­ments for obtai­ning a work permit

To obtain a work permit

  • the application must have been received by the Migration Agency no later than two weeks (14 days) after the decision regarding the asylum application becomes valid (enters into legal force)
  • the person has a valid passport
  • the person is to have been your employee for at least four months and the employment must last a further 12 months from the date the application is submitted
  • the person must have been an asylum seeker and held an AT-UND during the employment period
  • the employment conditions are at least on par with Swedish collective agreements or that which is customary within the occupation or industry. In addition to a salary, the employment conditions also include insurance. These requirements also apply to the previous four months
  • the employment must be of such an extente that the person achieves a good income, which corresponds to 80 percent of the median salary published by Statistics Sweden (SCB) and which was valid at the time of application. It is the median salary that was published at the time of application that the Swedish Migration Agency will use as a starting point when examining the case. The requirement also applies four months back in time from the application date. Read about current maintenance requirements here
  • the appropriate trade union has been given the opportunity to make a statement about the employment conditions.

In order for the Swedish Migration Agency to assess whether the employment meets the conditions for a work permit an employment contract should contain, among other things, the following information:

  • the employee’s name and address
  • the employer’s name and address
  • information about the workplace
  • brief description of tasks and title
  • form of employment (permanent, fixed-term or probationary employment)
  • start date of employment or time of start 
  • notice period, length of probationary period or end of employment
  • salary, other salary benefits and how often the salary is to be paid
  • working hours
  • what applies to overtime or additional hours and payment for such work
  • vacation days or vacation pay
  • which collective agreement applies if the employer has signed a collective agreement.

You can avoid extra proces­sing through a flex­ible start to the employment

If the processing of your case takes time, the start date you specified in the employment contract may be passed. Then the Swedish Migration Agency may need to obtain a new start date from you - something that risks extending the processing time.

To avoid this, you can formulate the employment contract so that it does not specify a specific start date, but instead states that the employment starts from the day the Swedish Migration Agency grants the work permit.

Within certain industries, more stringent requirements can be placed on the employer for accounting matters

To obtain a work permit after an application for asylum has been rejected, the employee must have established him/herself on the labour market during his/her time as an asylum seeker. If the employee have previously had a temporary residence and work permit and worked in Sweden before applying for asylum, he/she cannot obtain a new work permit while in Sweden. In such a case, the employee must leave Sweden and apply for a new work permit. He/she can then return to Sweden after the Migration Agency has granted a work permit.

Read more about the requirements for former asylum seekers who want to apply for a work permit

If the requi­re­ments are not met

For the Migration Agency to be able to grant an application that has been submitted whilst the person is in Sweden, all of the above requirements must be met. In other cases, the person must leave Sweden and submit their application and wait for a decision in their home country or any other country where they have permission to live. Other rules then apply to employers. For more information see Employing people from countries outside the EU.


Provide information about the employment

Log in using e-identification to provide information about the employment. When you have started the e-service, you can log out at any time and log in again later to continue.

In e-service you provide information about the company, the position and the person you intend to employ. You must specify the name, date of birth, citizenship, education and email address of the person you intend to employ and the SSYK code (according to SSYK2012) for the profession in question. SSYK codes can be found on the Statistics Sweden (SCB) website. External link, opens in new window.

It is important that you provide a valid email address for your intended employee as this will be the address through which he or she will subsequently apply for a work permit.

It is also important that you state the correct name and date of birth for the person you will employ. If these details are incorrect, then the person you will employ will not be able to complete their part of the application.

For a company with a subsidiary branch in Sweden, the branch is responsible for documenting the applicable terms of employment, as well as providing further information to the Swedish Migration Agency where necessary.

Read more about e-identification External link, opens in new window.

Statistic Sweden website External link, opens in new window.


Send the information about the employment to the relevant trade union

Once you have provided information about the employment in the e-service, select the trade union that is relevant to the work that the employee will perform. You submit the information for a statement via the e-service. The trade union reviews the terms of employment and sends its statement to you via the e-service.

Once you have provided information about the employment via the e-service, an email with a link will be sent to the person you wish to hire. The employee then submits an application for a work permit via the link.

As an employer, you can track the case by logging in to the e-service.

If you do not use the e-service, send the form Information about the employment and the union statement form to the trade union organisation that is relevant to the work that the employee is to perform. They will then send their statement back to you.

LO trade unions External link, opens in new window.

SACO trade unions External link, opens in new window.

TCO trade unions External link, opens in new window.

Find trade unions based on occupation (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.


Enclose documents

When you receive the trade union statement, scan or photograph it. Then log in again and upload the statement.

As agent for the employer

If you are the employer's agent you should include a power of attorney from the employer stating that you are authorised to represent the employer.

Power of Attorney, form number 107011 Pdf, 1.1 MB, opens in new window.


Complete the employer's part of the application

When you have attached all the documents, you finalise your part of the application. The person who is to work for you will receive an email with instructions on how to fill in their part of the application. När du är inloggad i e-tjänsten kan du se om arbetstagaren har påbörjat sin ansökan och när den är inskickad.

Please note that your application has not been sent to the Migration Agency until the employee has completed their part of the application, paid the fee and sent in the application.


The Migration Agency processes the application

You and the intended employee will receive an email once the employee's application is received by the Swedish Migration Agency. The Migration Agency will contact you or the employee if we need more information.

Before the Migration Agency can make a decision on your case, you must have provided all the information we have asked for and sent us all the necessary documents. The processing time will be shorter if you send us all the information we need when you first submit your application. Note that the Migration Agency may in some cases need to further examine the application even if you have included all the required information and documents.

The Swedish Migration Agency may need to check the employee's passport before a decision can be made. The employee will then need to visit one of the Swedish Migration Agency's service centres to show their passport.

If the employee's family also applies for a residence permit, the Swedish Migration Agency may need to check their passports as well.

Processing times for work permits



As the employer you are notified by post once a decision is made. If you want to know the reasons for the decision, you will need a power of attorney from the employee. If the employee is in Sweden, the decision will be sent by post to the address they have stated.

If the person will continue working with you for a longer period than they have received a permit for, an application for an extension must be submitted. As the previous decision regarding a refusal of entry or expulsion continues to be valid for four years, or until the person receives a permanent residence permit, it is essential that the application for extension is submitted before the previous permit expires. If the application is received after the permit has expired, it will be considered in accordance with the rules concerning impediments to enforcement. In such a case, the requirements for obtaining a permit are completely different and are also stricter.

Read more about rules that apply when you have employed a person who has obtained a work permit as a result of work at your company

You must provide insu­rances

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.

Health insu­rance

Health insurance is insurance that provides financial support if the insured becomes ill or injured. A health insurance should not be confused with a healthcare insurance, which helps the insured to get faster access to care.

Life insu­rance

Life insurance provides financial security if the insured dies. The money that is then paid out can for example ensure that the family can afford to stay in the house or cooperative home.

Occu­pa­tional injury insu­rance

Occupational injury insurance means that the insuranceholder can receive compensation in the event of unemployment or sick leave for a longer period. The insurance provides compensation if the insuranceholder is injured at work or on the way to or on the way home from the workplace. Occupational injury insurance is often referred to as insurance for occupational injury and is abbreviated as TFA.

Occu­pa­tional pension insu­rance

Occupational pension insurance is an insurance solution to secure an occupational pension. It can be signed by the employer for the benefit of the employee, or signed by the employee, but then paid by the employer. When occupational pension insurance is taken out can vary between different collective agreements.

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.


Notify the Swedish Tax Agency

When you employ someone from a non-EU country, you must notify the Swedish Tax Agency. This is done by completing the form “Notification – Employment of a foreigner SKV 1160” with the name, address and employment period of the person who will be working for you. The form can be found on the Swedish Tax Agency's website.

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

Form for notifying the Swedish Tax Agency External link, opens in new window.

Read more about rules that apply when you have employed a person who has obtained a work permit as a result of work at your company

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If you cannot provide infor­ma­tion about the employment in the e-service

If you cannot provide information about the employment online, you will have to use the form Information about the employment, number 232511. If the employment concerns several persons with the same work duties and terms of employment, you should also use the List of names form, number 234011 and attach it. Send the form(s) to the employee, who is to submit it together with their application for a residence permit.

Information about the employment, form number 232511 Pdf, 818.4 kB, opens in new window.

List of names, form number 234011 (in Swedish) Pdf, 1.2 MB, opens in new window.

Notification of employment or termination of employment of an asylum seeker. For employers employing asylum seekers or who had asylum seekers as employees, form number 152011 (in Swedish) Pdf, 2 MB, opens in new window.

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