If you have applied for asylum, have received a temporary residence permit, and are self-employed

If you have applied for asylum, have received a temporary residence permit, and are able to support yourself, then you can receive a permanent residence permit in some cases. In order to receive a permanent residence permit as a self-employed person you must demonstrate that you can support yourself now, and that you have sufficient capital available for you to run your business and support yourself for at least two years. It is important that you apply for an extension before your temporary permit expires.  

If you have applied for asylum and received a temporary residence permit, you have the right to work and start your own business. This also applies to those of you who have a temporary residence permit due to exceptionally distressing circumstances, or due to impediments to enforcement. If you submit an extension application before your earlier permit has run out, you have the right to continue working and run your business until the Swedish Migration Agency has made a decision. If you meet all requirements, you will receive a permanent residence permit.

Guide for you who are or have been an asylum seeker and who will start your own business in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

In order to receive a permanent residence permit you must

  • show that you have significant experience in your field and previous experience of running your own business
  • have documented and relevant knowledge in Swedish and/or English
  • show that you are running the business, that you have the ultimate responsibility for it and that you own at least half of the business
  • show that your company will have its finances in balance and have the ability to support yourself now and for a two year period. (Income support is calculated according to the Swedish national standard for Income support plus housing costs. You can combine the incomes you may have from more than one job and/or company.)

The Swedish Migration Agency will assess your business plans from a financial perspective.

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Contract of sale
  • any loan documents for the purchase of the company
  • partnership agreement or stock register
  • bank document which shows that you have paid the purchase sum or your part of the purchase sum
  • contracts with customers/suppliers and for premises
  • annual accounts/reports for the previous 2 years (if the business has been in operation earlier)
  • balance sheet and income statement (report) for the current financial year, up to and including the previous month
  • tax account statements from the date you purchased the company until today
  • bank statement listing all transactions from your company account from the date you purchased the company until today
  • payslips for yourself for the last six months, if you are running a limited company
  • copy of tax return documents for yourself and your business
  • course certificate or other evidence that you speak Swedish and/or English
  • certificates to substantiate your educational background
  • certificates from previous employers
  • certificate of registration for companies you own or have own outside of Sweden
  • any permissions for your specific business (eg, taxi license).

Apply before your residence permit expires

It is important that you apply for an extension before your temporary residence permit expires, but no earlier than three months before. If you do not apply for an extension before your residence permit expires, you will not have the right to work while waiting for a decision, and you will be at risk of losing certain benefits, such as establishment support, study grants or parental benefits.

At the earliest, the Swedish Migration Agency can make a decision on a permanent residence permit the day after your temporary residence permit expires.

Read more on how to apply for an extension based on need for protectionexternal link

If you do not qualify for a permanent residence permit based on work or self-employment, you can still have your temporary residence permit extended if you are still in need of protection.

Last updated: 2017-11-16

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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.