Working while you are an asylum seeker
You will need to support yourself while you are waiting for your asylum application to be processed. You can do this either by using money you have saved or by working.
In order to have the right to work while you are an asylum seeker, you must have a certificate (AT-UND) stating that you are exempted from the requirement to have a work permit.
Conditions for working as an asylum seeker
You are exempted from the requirement to have a work permit if you fulfil the following conditions:
- You provide proper identity papers or in some other way help to prove your identity.
- Your application is to be considered in Sweden.
- There are solid reasons for your application for asylum. You will not be granted AT-UND if you have been issued a refusal of entry with immediate effect.
If you fulfil the conditions above, you will receive an Asylum Seeker Card (LMA-kort) stating that you have AT-UND. This means that you are exempt from the requirement for a work permit. Your AT-UND status normally lasts until either you are granted a residence permit or until you leave the country. Contact your reception unit if you are not sure whether you have AT-UND.
If you have AT-UND, you can contact the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) to find a job.
Prepare for a job
You can prepare for working while you are waiting for a decision on your application for a residence permit. At Jobskills.se you can enter information in your mother tongue about what you used to work at, what education and training you have and what you want to work at in the future. Then you can choose to share your skills profile with different employers and have it translated into Swedish.
If you have a qualification from another country
If you have a qualification from a country other than Sweden and you need to have your qualification evaluated so as to continue your studies in Sweden or to start working at what you have trained for, you can, in certain cases, apply to already have your qualification evaluated while you are applying for asylum. You can get more information for the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR).
What jobs are there in Sweden?
At Yrkesguiden you can find information about around 350 occupations in Sweden. Here you can read about the prospects for different occupations in the future as well as about what the occupations involve and what education or training you should have to get a job in them.
Yrkesguiden is available in several languages.
Start your own business?
You can learn more about how to go about starting a business on Verksamt.se. Verksamt is a website where you can find all the information about starting and running a business in Sweden. Verksamt is available in Swedish and English.
If you get a job while you are an asylum seeker
If you get a job while you are an asylum seeker, you must show your employer proof that you are exempt from the requirement for a work permit (AT-UND). This proof is given under Item 7 on your Asylum Seeker Card (LMA-kort).
Your employer must inform the reception unit where you are registered that you have a job. Your employer must also inform the reception unit when the job ends. Notification that you have been given a job must be made using a special form, number 152011.
If you have a daily allowance (dagersättning), you must always report your income to the Migration Agency. You must also contact the Swedish Tax Agency to be given a coordination number. The coordination number is for those of you who do not have a personal identity number; you need it to be able to pay taxes when you work. You will also need the coordination number to be able to receive sickness benefits if you become sick and cannot go to work.
If you want to open a bank account
It is only the Swedish Migration Agency that can transfer money to the debit card you get from the Swedish Migration Agency. If you want to open a bank account that your employer can transfer your salary to, you must contact a bank. Each bank branch makes its own decision as to whether you meet the requirements to be able to open an account with them.
All banks require you to present identity documents so that they know who you are. The bank itself decides which identity documents they accept. Some banks let asylum seekers open a bank account even though their identity documents are being held by the Swedish Migration Agency. Then you must be able to present a valid Asylum Seeker card (LMA card) and copies of your identity documents on which the Swedish Migration Agency has certified that each is a true copy of the original document. The Swedish Migration Agency does not certify that the identity document is genuine, only that the copy you get matches the original held by us. We cannot give you a copy like that if you have only submitted copies to us.
The bank then contacts the Swedish Migration Agency to check that the information you have given is correct. The Swedish Migration Agency can only confirm the information if you have already consented to this, i.e. if you have signed a document in which you allow the Swedish Migration Agency to talk to the bank about this. If you have not already given that consent to the Swedish Migration Agency, you can contact the reception centre closest to you and say that you want to do so.
Some banks also require you to present a certificate of employment in order to open a bank account. You get the certificate of employment from your employer.
If you are under 18
If you are 16 or older, you need AT-UND to be allowed to work in Sweden. This applies both if you came to Sweden along with your family or if you came as an unaccompanied minor.
If you are under 16, you do not need to have AT-UND for a holiday work placement, simple work or individual tasks. The Migration Agency does not need to approve your employment, but your custodian (or your appointed representative, if you have one) must give their consent to you working.
Bear in mind that not only pay but also other compensation such as a gift voucher, for example, may affect the right to financial assistance from the Migration Agency.
If you have received a refusal or deportation decision
You still have your AT-UND as long as you cooperate to leave the country. If you do not cooperate to leave the country, your AT-UND is no longer valid.
If your asylum application is rejected
If you worked while you were waiting for a decision on your application for asylum, you can apply for a work permit if your application is rejected.