Frequently asked questions about work permits

General ques­tions and answers about work permits

Yes, in order to get a work permit you must have a valid passport. You must enclose a copy of your passport with your application.

Read more about what the copy of your passport should look like

Yes, you have three months to find a new employment after your previous employment has ended if you have a valid permit to work during this period. If you want to apply for an extended permit you need to have an employment when you hand in your applicatoin in Sweden. It is important that you apply for a new work permit within that time.

Your employer or the client in Sweden starts the application for a work permit by providing information about the employment. Your employer needs the details of your name, date of birth, citizenship, your education and email address. Your employer then sends the information about the employment to the union organisation that is appropriate for the work you will be carrying out. When the employer receives an opinion, the employer completes the first part of the application. You will then receive an email with instructions for completing your part of the application.

Read more about applying for a work permit

In certain cases, the information about the employment is not necessary. This is the case if you are a visiting researcher, for example. Visiting researchers should instead submit a hosting agreement to the research coordinator (the organisation that hosts the visiting researcher).

Read more about special rules for certain occupations and citizens of certain countries

Yes, you may. If you want someone else to represent you in your case at the Swedish Migration Agency, you can give a power of attorney to that person. A power of attorney may, for example, give someone the right to apply, be informed of the reasons for a decision, or appeal against a decision on your behalf. The power of attorney must be signed by the person who gives their power of attorney to another person, and must be presented in the original if required by the Swedish Migration Agency.

Power of Attorney, form number 107011 Pdf, 550.4 kB, opens in new window.

Certain people can work in Sweden without a work permit.

Read more about exemptions from the requirement for a work permit

You should not submit your application more than four months before your work permit expires if your application concerns the same employer and profession that you already have a permit for. You need to submit your application before your work permit expires. If you do not apply in time you are not allowed to work during the processing time.

If you are changing occupation or employer, then it is sometimes necessary to submit an application before your work permit expires.

Read more in the question May I change my occupation or employer without notifying the Swedish Migration Agency?

If you feel that the processing of your application is taking too long, you are able to send in a written request that the Swedish Migration Agency conclude your case. For you to be able to send in a request to the Swedish Migration Agency, four months must have passed since you sent in your application. Then the Swedish Migration Agency has to either conclude your case or refuse your request within four weeks.

To request that the Swedish Migration Agency conclude your case, you must do so in writing. Feel free to use the form Request to conclude a case, number 271011, and send it to the Swedish Migration Agency.

You can only send in one request in each case.

Request to conclude a case, number 271011 Pdf, 911.4 kB, opens in new window.

For the first 24 months, the work permit is only valid for the employer and the job that are specified in your decision. Your work permit will no longer be valid if the company you work for changes its organisation registration number, if you find a new employer or are given new work duties, or if the working conditions change. In this case, you must submit a new application for a work permit.

When you have had the work permit for 24 months and have been given an extension of your work permit, you may change your employer without submitting a new application as long as you work in the same profession. If your new job means you are changing profession, you must submit a new application.

Your previous decision describes the limitations to your work permit.

Read more about work permit if you intend to change jobs

If you do not begin your employment within four months from receiving your work permit, then your work permit should be revoked. This means that you no longer have the right to work in Sweden.

If the Swedish Migration Agency has not yet made a decision in your case, it is possible to postpone the start date for your permit. Notify the Swedish Migration Agency of what changes you want to make to your application.

If you have already received a decision from the Swedish Migration Agency, no changes can be made. You can instead request that the permit be revoked and then re-apply at a later date.

If you have a residence and work permit for work in Sweden, you can run your own company alongside your employment. Your employment must be the main purpose of your stay in Sweden and the conditions for your work permit must be fulfilled. The income from the company will not be taken into account in assessing whether the conditions for the work permit have been met.

Ques­tions and answers about salary and other employment condi­tions

To be granted a work permit, you must have a salary that is at the level of a Swedish collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry. You must also work to such an extent that your salary amounts to at least SEK 13,000 a month before tax.

If you are applying for a work permit, you must prove that your salary is in line with current collective agreements or what is customary in your profession or industry. You do this by enclosing your employment contract to your application.

The Swedish Migration Agency is able to compare your salary with current collective agreements with the opinion from the relevant union that is submitted along with your employment contract and the information about the employment provided by your employer.

If your salary is lower than what is specified by current collective agreements, you will need to prove that your salary is in line with what is customary in your profession or industry. You can, for example, submit information or documentation that shows this.

If your basic salary is not sufficient, the Swedish Migration Agency checks if there are other payments or benefits in the employment contract that should be counted as salaries. Pure salary supplements are counted as salaries, but paid leave and payment for additional hours or overtime are not counted. Long-term allowances to reimburse personal expenses or other expenses are also counted as salaries. However, this does not include payments for short trips in connection with your work. Free accommodation is counted as salary if the employee is taxed for the accommodation, provided that it is not just free accommodation for work-related travel. Other benefits that are not linked to your work or work-related travel can also be counted as salaries. These can be food, travel to and from work, or a car that is used for private purposes.

For the payments or benefits to be counted as salaries, these must be specified expressly in the conditions for employment and be regularly recurring. There must also be sufficient information to enable the Swedish Migration Agency to evaluate the payments or benefits that you receive. As the applicant for the work permit, you must show that you receive a payment or benefit that should be counted as salaries.

The Swedish Migration Agency has adopted a legal approach to the assessment of whether the salary, including any benefits, is sufficient to meet the requirements for a work permit.

Read the legal position paper, RS/007/2021 (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

The Swedish Migration Agency needs to know what occupation you are working in and also what your work duties are. This information is important for the assessment of whether the salary corresponds to a collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry. Your work permit will only be valid for the type of work that you state in your application.

The Annual Leave Act, Semesterlagen, applies to all employees in Sweden and gives you the right to five weeks paid holiday leave each year. How much leave you can or have to take depends on how long you have worked for your employer during the year. Check with your employer or union what applies to you.

The Annual Leave Act can be found on the Swedish Parliament’s website (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Questions and answers about insurance

You should be covered by insurance policies that are in line with Swedish collective agreements or what is customary for your profession or industry.

In order to have insurance policies that are in line with Swedish collective agreements, you will need to have health insurance and life insurance coverage, workers' compensation insurance and an occupational pension scheme. If your employment is covered by a collective agreement, these insurance policies for you will be included in the agreement.

If your insurance coverage is different from the above stated, your employer may compensate by giving you (for example) a higher salary, provided that your terms of employment are not worse than what is customary in your profession or industry.

When you apply for a work permit for the first time, your employer must state what insurance policies will be taken out for you.

If applying for an extension, you must state what insurance cover you had during your previous work permit. The Swedish Migration Agency may sometimes make further checks regarding insurance policies taken out. In such cases, the Swedish Migration Agency sends supplementary advice about this.

Your employer must take out insurance policies for you and these must be valid from when you start your job. If you have not been covered by the insurance policies throughout the period of your employment, you must state this in your application and explain why.

Foreign insurance schemes can also be taken out. It is important that the insurance schemes that your employer has taken out are as good as those specified in a collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry. Insurance details must be given therefore with the application.

Questions and answers about advertising

When recruiting for new staff, the employer must advertise the post so that all residents of Sweden, the EU/EEA and Switzerland can apply for the job. The requirement for advertising only applies when recruiting new employees. No advertising is required for persons who are employed by an employer abroad and who have been assigned work tasks in Sweden. Nor is it required if an employee is transferred within a group of companies, provided that the post abroad remains.

Read more about how your employer must have advertised your new job

Your employer does not need to advertise the position if the application concerns a job that you have held from before.

If you are employed abroad and coming to work in Sweden as part of an outsourced contract, in a temporary employment agency or as a result of a group or company transfer, then the employer does not need to advertise the position. The reason for this is that the position is one that you already hold. If you become locally employed on a later occasion, then your employer will have to advertise the position at this time.

An employer do not need to advertise a position that is not normally open to the regular labour market. This might include, for example, a position as an imam, priest, senior manager in a company or employee at a foreign state institution.

If the company that you work for changes owner, then this may be constitute a so-called company transfer. This means that the new owner is obliged to take over existing personnel under the existing employment conditions. In such a case, the position does not need to be advertised again.

If you have a work permit which is only restricted by profession, then you can change employer without needing to apply for a new work permit so long as your new job is within the same profession. In such cases, your employer does not need to advertise the position.

If you are already employed by a corporation in another country and will be stationed with the company in Sweden for a certain period of time before then returning to your employment in your country of origin, the post is not required to be advertised. If it is a matter of a new recruitment to a post in Sweden, the post is required to be advertised even if you have been employed in another position within the group. The post must also be advertised if your post is transferred to the company in Sweden.

If you have a work permit which is only restricted by profession, then you can change employer without needing to apply for a new work permit so long as your new job is within the same profession. In such cases, your employer does not need to advertise the position.

When recruiting for new staff, the employer must advertise the post so that all residents of Sweden, the EU/EEA and Switzerland can apply for the job. By advertising on the situations vacant site of the Swedish Public Employment Service, advertisements also become visible on the European situations vacant site, EURES, meaning that persons resident in Sweden, the EU/EEA and Switzerland are able to apply for the job.

The position can be advertised through channels other than the Swedish Public Employment Service, provided that the advertisement is made available in the EU/EEA and Switzerland in another way; e.g. through advertisement in another established European channel for situations vacant. It is not sufficient to advertise the position on the employer’s website or in a number of widely circulated newspapers. If the advertisement has been made available in another way other than through the Swedish Public Employment Service or EURES, it is important that your employer can demonstrate that the advertisement has been disseminated in the EU/EEA and Switzerland in a corresponding manner.

In the case of positions that are only relevant to a limited circle of people who can be reached through targeted recruitment measures, then it may be sufficient to advertise the position on a recruitment database used by the circle of people concerned. When assessing which recruitment measures are required, the employer should consider, for example, whether the position is specifically regulated, if the position places high demands on education or experience, or if, due to its particular nature, the position may only be relevant to a limited group of people.

The advertisement should be available for a period of ten days before an employment contract is signed. It should be published within a reasonable time from the beginning of the position.

If the end date of the advertisement is more than six months before the position is due to begin, this may mean that the application for a work permit will be rejected.

Questions and answers on trade union statement

The reason why a union organisation should have the opportunity to state its views on the employment conditions is to ensure that salary and employment conditions are no worse than those specified in a collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry.

The employer is responsible in the first instance for obtaining a union statement. If the employer has not obtained a union statement, the Swedish Migration Agency sends the information about the employment to the union organisation concerned. This will delay the processing time. It is important therefore that the employer obtains the union statement themselves.

If the union organisation refuses to state its views of the employment conditions, the Swedish Migration Agency will take a position on whether the terms of employment offered correspond to the collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry.

Questions and answers about the employer

There are higher investigative requirements for some industries, but employers with more than 50 employees are exempted from these requirements. This information is also important when the Swedish Migration Agency looks at whether the employer has paid the employers’ fees that are due. If the company belongs to a corporation, it is the number of employees in the company in Sweden that must be given.

The Swedish Migration Agency needs to know when the current business started to be able to assess whether it is a newly established company. There are special investigative requirements for newly established companies, which means that further documents must be submitted with the application.

Read more about certain industries that are subject to more stringent control

The Swedish Migration Agency needs to know the date when the agreement was signed in order to be able to see how long you have been covered by the collective agreement. The date that must be given is the date on which the agreement was signed.

Questions and answers about extensions

You must submit a PAYE tax return from the Swedish Tax Agency when you apply for an extension. In order to show that you satisfy the conditions for a work permit, you must submit a summary of your PAYE tax return from the Swedish Tax Agency for all the years you have been working in Sweden, showing your total income as well as who has paid your salary or other sources of income.

Read more about PAYE tax return when you apply for an extension

If you have not paid taxes in Sweden, you must attach a month-by-month summary of your salaries and allowances, instead of the PAYE tax return. State the equivalent of your salary in SEK per month. Also state how many days per month you have been working in Sweden. The Swedish Migration Agency may need additional documents that show the salary you have been receiving.

When applying to extend your work permit, you will need to show that the conditions for the work permit have been satisfied for the entire period for which you have had a work permit for Sweden. An acceptable break from work is being ill or on parental leave. State in the application whether you have been absent from your work and why. Enclose certificates to confirm your absence, for example, payment advice from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

If you have not worked at all, or have only worked for a very limited period of time, your application for a permanent residence permit may be rejected.

It is possible to have certain interruptions in your employment that are not due to parental leave or sick leave. Some examples include a leave of absence from your work (e.g. a holiday), or travel to your country of origin. In your application, indicate whether you have been absent from your work and why.

Also see the question What if I have been absent due to sickness or parental leave?

If you have a residence permit for another Schengen state or have visited another Schengen state during the period for which you have had a work permit for Sweden, you must state this in your application for an extension. This is important for when the Swedish Migration Agency assesses whether you satisfy the requirements for a permanent residence permit. The Swedish Migration Agency will then look at how much time you have spent outside Sweden and what significance this has for your connection to Sweden.

When you apply to have your work permit extended, the Swedish Migration Agency checks whether you have met the conditions for the permit during your previous permit period, and whether you meet the conditions for being granted a new work permit.

When you apply for an extension, the Swedish Migration Agency will perform an overall assessment of the terms of employment over time.

No, as long as the terms of your employment contract are not worse than what is customary in your profession or industry.

An employer is not required to offer terms that are entirely in line with collective agreements. Employers who have not signed a collective agreement will be able to word their terms in a way that deviates from collective agreements provided that the terms are not worse than what is customary in the profession or industry in question.

Terms of employment can change over the course of a permit period, and certain terms may sometimes be agreed to retroactively. It is also possible for some employees to enter into individual agreements with the employer regarding terms relating to (for example) time off and pension payments.

It is you who are applying for a work permit who have to prove that your terms of employment are in line with what is customary in your profession or industry. You can, for example, submit information or documentation that shows this.

Your employer may be obliged to notify the Swedish Migration Agency if any of your terms of employment change compared to the information that your work permit was based upon. The changed terms of employment should be notified no later than one month after that they started to apply.

If your employer only rectifies a deficiency after the Swedish Migration Agency has taken action in response, we will take this into consideration in our overall assessment.

We perform an individual assessment and check to ensure that, among other things, the terms have been in line with collective agreements or what is customary in your profession or industry, and what measures your employer has taken to compensate for the deficiency.

We also look at other circumstances that speak for or against granting approval of your application.

If, for a certain period, your terms of employment were not in line with collective agreements or what is customary in your profession or industry, but your employer has rectified the deficiency before the Swedish Migration Agency has taken action in response to it, then we will take this into consideration in the overall assessment.

We will then look at what the deficiency is and why it occurred. Minor deficiencies, for example, may be permitted in a general assessment. The Swedish Migration Agency also looks at whether it would be unreasonable to revoke your permit or refuse an extension of your work permit.

The important question is whether the deficiency has been addressed by the employer, and whether you have been compensated for the deficiency, if that is possible. The deficiency also needs to have been addressed very soon after it was discovered.

The Swedish Migration Agency looks at when the deficiency occurred during the employment period. For example, if your salary payment has been delayed or you have not been able to take out an insurance policy because of difficulties in getting registered in the population register, or in setting up a bank account, when you first started working at your position, this can usually be accepted if you have been compensated for these things.

In order for you to be entitled to work while your application for extension is being processed, you must have had a work permit for at least six months and have submitted your application before the validity of your previous work permit expired.

There is no obstacle to leaving Sweden, but if you have not received a decision regarding your new residence and work permit, you risk not getting into Sweden if you are outside the country's borders. Therefore, you always need to balance the risk of not being granted a decision in time against the necessity of travelling outside Sweden.

If you travel abroad in connection with your permit expiring and you have applied for an extension, it can be difficult for you to return to Sweden before you have been granted your new permit. You may then need to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.

If you have to travel back to Sweden before that for urgent reasons, it is possible to apply for a national entry visa at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are located, provided that the authority issues entry visas. You must be aware that such an application requires that there are special grounds for issuing an entry visa and that the Swedish Migration Agency cannot control how the embassy or consulate decides in the application.

If you need to make a business trip outside Sweden during the time that your application is processed, you have the possibility to apply for a visa, a so-called D-visa. Please note that if you come from a country that does not need a visa to travel to Sweden and the Schengen area, you do not need to apply for a D-visa. You can then travel into Sweden without a visa even if your application for an extension of a work permit has not yet been granted.

Read more about entry visa for business trips

Yes, you may reapply for a work permit once you have returned to your country of origin.

Questions and answers about my family

Yes, family members who are granted a residence and work permit may work in Sweden. They are not limited to an occupation or an employer.

Yes, you may. If you want someone else to represent you in your case at the Swedish Migration Agency, you can give a power of attorney to that person. A power of attorney may, for example, give someone the right to apply, be informed of the reasons for a decision, or appeal against a decision on your behalf. The power of attorney must be signed by the person who gives their power of attorney to another person, and must be presented in the original if required by the Swedish Migration Agency.

If the whole family is to be represented by a legal representative, a power of attorney must be enclosed for all members of the family.

If you are over 18 years old and want another family member to represent you, you will also need to submit a power of attorney.

Power of Attorney, form number 107011 Pdf, 550.4 kB, opens in new window.

No, a birth certificate must also be attached.

No, if you and your family members are applying for permanent residence permits, then you do not need to attach your birth certificates. If the Swedish Migration Agency needs to check the population register, we can collect this information ourselves from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

Questions and answers about permanent residence permits

Once you have had a work permit as an employee and worked for a total of four years over the past seven years, can support yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person and are living an orderly life, you can be granted a permanent residence permit. You must have worked for the employer and in the profession for which you had the work permit.

The Swedish Migration Agency checks to ensure that you have been staying in Sweden, and working here, during the period for which you have had a work permit. You will also need to have met the conditions for the work permit during the permit period.

Read more about how we evaluate terms of employment under the question When an application for an extension is being considered, how are the terms of employment evaluated?

The Migration Agency checks that the conditions for a work permit have been met during the periods of validity of your previous work permits through the PAYE tax returns from the Swedish Tax Agency and payslips that you submit. We also check that you have been covered by insurances during your permit period.

Your salary and other terms of employment must have been at least equivalent to what is stated in the collective agreement or is considered the practice in your profession or industry. The Migration Agency makes an overall assessment over time. If there are deficiencies we check why there is a deficiency and if it has been rectified.

You must be able to support yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person.

You must be living an orderly life, which means that your application for a permanent residence permit may be rejected if, for example, you have committed a crime.

If you cannot or do not want to get a permanent residence permit after four years, you may receive a work permit for another two years if the requirements for an extended permit are met.

If you have interrupted your employment due to illness or parental leave, you must submit payment information from Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency). If you can show that you have been ill or on parental leave, these interruptions will be accepted, but if you have only worked for a limited period of time it may be difficult for you to get a permanent residence permit.

Other types of interruptions in your employment are not accepted to the same extent.

Yes, you can get a new work permit if the conditions for an extended work permit are met.

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