How the increased maintenance requirement affects employers who hire workers from outside the EU
The Government has decided to raise the maintenance requirement for applicants for a work permit in Sweden. The new requirement comes into force on 1 November and means that employers must offer a monthly salary of at least SEK 27,360.
The Government has decided to raise the maintenance requirement for employees applying for a work permit in Sweden. Under the current requirement, you must offer a salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month when you hire someone from outside the EU. From 1 November, when the new requirement comes into force, you must instead offer a salary that corresponds to at least 80 per cent of the median salary in Sweden in order for your employee to be considered to have a good income. This currently means a salary of at least SEK 27,360 per month. The salary you offer must also be in line with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry. This means that if, according to a collective agreement, the salary should be higher than what is required by the new maintenance requirement, you must offer the salary required under the collective agreement.
The median salary at the time of submission applies
It is the median salary at the time the employee submits their application that applies when the case is examined. This means that even if the median salary changes during the processing time, the employee’s case will be examined according to the prevailing median salary when the application was submitted. It is the statistics authority Statistics Sweden publishes the median salary every year. The maintenance requirement will thus be adjusted on an annual basis.
The new maintenance requirement will enter into force on 1 November, without transitional rules. This means that anyone who has already applied for a work permit, or who applies before 1 November, must earn a salary that meets the new maintenance requirement. How high the salary must be (in SEK) depends on the median salary that applied when the applicant submitted their application.
Since the new requirement comes into effect on 1 November, you as an employer need to offer a salary that reaches the salary requirement as of 1 November. The median salary applied is the one that applied when the application was received. The Swedish Migration Agency checks that the employee reaches that salary level when the application is examined.
Employees who apply for an extension are subject to the requirement
If an employee has been granted a work permit before the new maintenance requirement comes into force and the permit extends further into the future, the same maintenance requirement still applies as when they were granted the permit, i.e., SEK 13,000 per month. It is only in connection with an application for an extended work permit that the new requirement for good income must be met in order for the permit to be extended.
As an employer, you do not need to offer a higher salary during the ongoing permit period in order for the employee to meet the new maintenance requirement. However, the salary must still comply with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry. When your employee applies for an extended work permit, the Swedish Migration Agency will check that their salary meets the new maintenance requirement.
Employees who have already applied
If an employee has already submitted an application for a work permit and does not meet the new salary requirement, their application will be rejected. As an employer, if you offer a new salary that meets the new salary requirement before the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision in the case, you or your employee can inform us about this.
Exemptions may be made
Certain people are exempt from the requirement to earn at least SEK 27,360 per month. An employee is exempt from the new requirement if they
- are exercising their freedom of movement (this applies to citizens of the EU/EEA or family members such citizens)
- have or are applying for an EU Blue Card
- have or are applying for an ICT permit
- are seasonal workers.
Professional coaches and athletes, au pairs, trainees within the framework of international exchange or trainees with traineeships related to higher education, and researchers will also not be subject to the new requirement.
Keep in mind that the salary must still be in line with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry.
More information, examples of how the new requirement is applied, and questions and answers can be found on the page Increased maintenance requirements for work permits.