Former asylum seekers who have found employment and want to apply for a work permit

If your application for asylum has been refused and you have received a decision of refusal of entry or expulsion that has become valid (entered into legal force)  you can, in certain circumstances, apply for a work permit without leaving Sweden. This also applies if you have had your reasons for asylum reviewed the first time and have already received a decision on refusal of entry or expulsion in another case.

If you want to work during the period you are an asylum seeker, you must have AT-UND meaning you are exempt from the requirement to hold a work permit. If your application for asylum has been refused but you have an offer for continued employment, in certain circumstances you can apply for a work permit and therefore remain in Sweden and continue working.

Read the requirements for AT-UND

Requirements for obtaining a work permit after your application for asylum has been refused

To obtain a work permit

  • your 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 (entered into legal force)
  • you must have a valid passport
  • you must have had AT-UND whilst you were an asylum seeker
  • you must have been employed for the past four months
  • you must have an offer of employment for the same employer for at least a further 12 months
  • the employment conditions in your offer of employment must be at least on the same level as Swedish collective agreements or that which is customary within the industry or occupation in Sweden. In addition to a salary, the employment conditions also include health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance. The requirements must have been met during the most recent four months of your employment
  • if you have worked part-time, your part-time employment meets the salary under collective agreements in your profession and is at least SEK 13,000 per month before tax. These requirements also apply to the previous four months.

The decision becomes valid (enters legal force) if

  • you have accepted and signed a declaration of acceptance
  • three weeks have passed since you received the decision from the Migration Agency and you have not appealed the decision
  • three weeks have passed since you became aware of the Migration Court's judgment and you chose not to appeal to the Migration Court of Appeal.
  • The Migration Court of Appeal does not grant leave to appeal.

In order to obtain a work permit, you must fulfil the requirements for a work permit for one job. The requirements cannot be fulfilled by having two or more jobs at once.

If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it as you cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of your passport.

If the Migration Agency received your passport during the asylum seeking process and we still have it, you do not need to submit a copy of your passport with your application.

Read more about the requirements placed on your employment beneath the heading "For employers"

If you do not fulfil the requirements

To be eligible to receive a work permit while you are still in Sweden all of the requirements above must be met. In other cases, you must leave Sweden and submit your application and wait for a decision in your country of origin or any other country where you have permission to live.

Read more about the process under How to apply

Important information regarding insurance

You will need insurance that covers costs that may arise if you are ill or have an accident when you are living in Sweden. If you are officially registered, you are covered by Swedish social insurance. If you are not registered, it is important that you have your own health insurance.

To be registered in Sweden, you must normally have a residence permit for at least one year and plan to live here for one or more years.

Learn more about population registration on the Swedish Tax Agency websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Permits for your family

Your family can receive a permit for the same period as you. Family includes:

  • your partner (cohabiting partner, husband/wife or registered partner)
  • your, or your partner's, unmarried children under the age of 18.

How your family members can apply

If your family are also asylum seekers in Sweden, their application must have been refused and the decision must have become valid (entered into legal force) to be able to submit an application in Sweden without leaving the country. The application is to be submitted within two weeks of the date the decision has become valid (entered into legal force).

If you are applying together with your family, include them in your own online application.

If they are going to apply after you, they can make their own online application

How to apply for a work permit

1

The employer initiates the application

Your employer in Sweden initiates the work permit application by creating an offer of employment. Your employer needs information about your name, date of birth, citizenship, education and your email address.

It is important that you have access the email address you give your employer until you have received a decision regarding your application. The Swedish Migration Agency will use this email address to communicate with you throughout the application period.

Information for employer

2

You receive an email

When your employer has created an offer of employment you will receive an email with information about how to apply for a work permit.

In this application you provide information about yourself. If you have a family which also needs residence permits you apply for their permits at the same time. You should also check that the information about your employment terms in the offer of employment corresponds with what you and your employer have agreed on.

Read more about permits for the family

3

Enclose documents

The following documents are to be scanned/photographed and sent with your application:

  • Copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport-issuing country, the passport's period of validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin. If the Migration Agency received your passport during the asylum process, you do not need to send in a copy of your passport
  • the offer of employment and a statement from the applicable trade union organisation that you have received from your employer
  • payslips from the most recent four months.

If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it as you cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of your passport.

If you are also applying for residence permits for your family

  • copies of the pages in your family members' passports that show personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport-issuing country, the passport's period of validity and whether they have permission to live in countries other than their country of origin. If the Migration Agency received your family members’ passports during the asylum process, you do not need to send in a copy of the passports
  • copies of marriage certificates or the equivalent (applies to married couples or registered partners)
  • documents showing that you have lived together in your country of origin (applies to cohabiting partners)
  • birth certificates for children
  • permission from the other custodian, if this person is not coming to Sweden, stating that the child is allowed to move to Sweden.

The documents should be translated into Swedish or English by an authorised public translator. Copies of original documents should always be included.

Family members who are outside of Sweden and applying for a residence permit must visit a Swedish embassy or consulate-general to receive a residence permit card.

Read more about permits for the family

If you are applying for a work permit to keep working for the same employer that you have previously been working for

  • statement of earnings and deductions for income tax returns from the Swedish Tax Agency showing your income for the previous permit period
  • any payslips for this year.

4

Pay and submit your application

In most cases you must pay a fee. You can pay using Visa or Mastercard. When the fee has been paid, you submit your application. You will receive an email confirming that your application has been submitted. The Migration Agency will contact you if it needs more information.

Fees for work permits

5

The Migration Agency processes the application

If you have applied for a work permit before your residence permit expires you are entitled to work while waiting for a decision.

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.

Please note that in certain cases, even if you have sent us all the necessary information and documents, the Migration Agency may need to investigate your application further.

Processing time for work permits

6

Information needed for residence permit card

If you are granted a permit for more than three months you will receive a residence permit card. The card proves that you have permission to reside in Sweden and contains information such as your fingerprints and a photograph. You therefore need to schedule an appointment at the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted as soon as possible. You need to do this even if you have previously had a residence permit card, as your photograph and fingerprints are not saved.

Read more about residence permit cards

Schedule an appointment at the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted

7

The decision is sent to you

You will receive an email confirming that a decision has been made. The actual decision is then sent to your address in Sweden. Your employer will also receive a notification about the decision by mail. When the residence permit card is ready it is sent to you within about a week.

Decision for refusal of entry or expulsion continues to apply

If your asylum application has been refused and you have received a decision for refusal of entry or expulsion, this continues to apply even if you submit an application for a work permit. Only in certain cases can the Migration Agency decide that the work to prepare for your journey home will be postponed until you have received a decision regarding your application for a work permit.

If you have a residence and work permit, you have the right to remain in Sweden for as long as the permit is valid. However, your refusal of entry or expulsion decision continues to apply for up to four years after it became valid or until the decision is revoked. Therefore it is highly important that you apply for an extension of your permit before your existing 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.


If the Migration Agency refuses your application

You can appeal a decision to refuse a work permit. An appeal must be submitted to the Migration Agency no later than three weeks after you have received the decision. If you do not receive a work permit, the previous decision of refusal of entry or expulsion remains valid.

Read more under the heading “After the decision has been made”

We have disturbances in our online payment service and receipts are not provided at all times. However, your payment will reach us even if you do not receive a receipt.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you do not apply online

If you cannot apply online, fill in the form Application for a permit to work in Sweden – for applicants currently in Sweden, number 151011. If your family in Sweden also needs residence permits, each family member must submit their own application. The application form specifies which documents you must send with your application.

Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, form number 151011PDF

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, form number 133011PDF

Send your application to

The Swedish Migration Agency,
Box 3100,
903 03 Umeå

You will normally have to pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 27 December 2017

Was the information on this page helpful to you?