Work permits for berry pickers

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and plan to come to Sweden to pick berries, you need a work permit. The work permit must have been issued before you travel to Sweden.

For employment that lasts less than three months, citizens of certain countries must also have a visa.

Countries whose citizens require a visa for Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about applying for a visa under Visiting Sweden.

Requirements for obtaining a work permit

In order to obtain a work permit, you must

  • have a valid passport
  • have been offered terms of employment on the same level as Swedish collective agreements or that which is customary in your occupation or industry
  • have been offered a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 13,000.

Employer requirements

There are special requirements for those who want to employ a person to work in the berry picking industry. These apply whether that person will be picking berries or working as an interpreter, chef, mechanic or providing supporting services to the berry pickers.

Among other things, the company must pay the salary you have been offered, even if there are few berries and/or you are unable to pick the required amount of berries.

Read more about the requirements and the terms of employment that your employer or client must offer you

If you are employed by a company in Sweden

LO (The Swedish Trade Union Confederation) has decided that the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union (SKAF) shall be responsible for the rights of berry pickers with regard to the right to join unions and matters concerning contractual law. This means that SKAF is to be given a chance to comment on the conditions of employment. If you work full time and are employed by a company with operations in Sweden, LO has decided that the framework agreement with the Federation of Swedish Forestry and Agricultural Employers shall be your collective agreement.

If you are employed by a recruitment agency based abroad

A Swedish company may purchase the service of berry picking from a foreign company. The foreign company that has employed you must have a branch in Sweden. The employer/client in Sweden must guarantee the terms of employment applicable in the offer of employment. If you are employed by a foreign staffing company that does not have operations in Sweden, the Staffing Agreement shall apply. This applies whether the employer has signed a collective agreement or not.

Read more about the requirements that apply to your employer or client

Your rights as a berry picker in Sweden

Everyone working in Sweden has the right to good terms of employment. Whether or not you are a Swedish citizen or you are working here for a limited period, you have the right to a good working life. It is therefore important that you know your rights.

You can obtain more information on your rights from the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority's websiteexternal link, opens in new window

It is important that you find out for yourself what terms of employment apply in the offer of employment you have received.

If there are problems with your employer in Sweden, you can contact the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union.

The Swedish Municipal Workers' Union's websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Important information regarding insurance

In order for you to receive a work permit, your employer must be planning to sign you up for health insurance, life insurance, occupational injury insurance, and occupational pension insurance when your employment begins. The insurance must be valid starting the day that your employment begins.

In order for you to extend your work permit, you need to have been covered by health insurance, life insurance, occupational injury insurance, and occupational pension insurance throughout the time you have had a work permit in Sweden.

If you need to seek medical care in Sweden, you may need to pay for the care yourself if you are not registered in Sweden in the Population Register, and do not have a Swedish Personal Identity Number. If you register in the Swedish Population Register, you can also be registered with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and covered by the country’s social insurance. However, to meet the insurance requirements that apply to work permits, it is not enough to be registered with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

To be registered in the Swedish Population Register and receive a Swedish Personal Identity Number, you generally need to have been granted at least a one-year residence permit in Sweden, and you generally need to be planning to live here for one year or longer. Therefore, you should register in the Population Register as soon as possible after moving to Sweden.

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

Last updated: 2017-09-25

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