Frequently asked questions about work permits

Questions and answers - general
  • Do I need a passport when applying for a work permit?

    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

  • Who starts the application?

    Your employer or the client in Sweden starts the application for a work permit by completing an offer of employment. Your employer needs the details of your name, date of birth, citizenship, your education and e-mail address. Your employer then sends the offer of 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 e-mail with instructions for completing your part of the application.

    Read more about applying for a work permit

  • May I be assisted by a legal representative?

    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 107011PDF

  • When do I not need to have a work permit?

    Certain people can work in Sweden without a work permit.

    Read more about exemptions from the requirement for a work permit

  • Which application form should I use if I am located in Sweden and have a residence and work permit and am now going to change employer?

    You can submit an application online. The employer initiates the application in most cases.

    If you are unable to apply online, you will need to complete the form Application for Swedish work permit – for applicant currently in Sweden, number 151011.

    Apply for a work permit

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

    Read more on what may apply when changing jobs

  • May I change my occupation or employer without notifying the Swedish Migration Agency?

    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 what changing your job involves

Questions and answers about wages and other employment conditions
  • What is the requirement regarding wages?

    To be granted a work permit, you must be offered a wage 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 wages amount to at least SEK 13,000 a month before tax.

    The Swedish Migration Agency first finds out what wage is the lowest acceptable wage for the actual work according to a collective agreement or industrial practice. The Swedish Migration Agency will then assess whether the wage you are offered is sufficient for you to be able to be granted a work permit.

  • What if I receive other payments and benefits apart from my wages?

    If your basic wage is not sufficient, the Swedish Migration Agency checks if there are other payments or benefits in the offer of employment that should be counted as wages. Pure wage supplements are counted as wages, but paid leave and payment for additional hours or overtime are not counted as wages. Allowances to reimburse personal expenses or other expenses are also counted as wages. However, this does not include payments for short trips in connection with your work. Free accommodation is counted as wages, 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 wages. 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 wages, 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 wages.

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

    Read about the legal approach, SR 52/2016external link, opens in new window

  • Why should I state what my work duties are?

    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 wages correspond to a collective agreement or what is normal for the profession or industry.

Questions and answers about insurance
  • What insurance policies are required?

    You should be covered by health insurance, life insurance, occupational injury insurance and an occupational pension insurance. You are covered by these insurance schemes if you are covered by a valid collective agreement.

  • What insurance details must be submitted?

    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.

  • When must the insurance be taken out?

    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.

  • What if I am covered by foreign insurance schemes?

    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 must the job be advertised?

    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 advertising on the page If the person will apply for a work permit

  • When does an international corporation need to advertise a post?

    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.

  • Does the post have to be advertised if I have a residence permit that is limited to occupation and I change my employer within the same occupation?

    No, the requirement for union preference and advertising does not apply in the case of changing employment within the same occupation if you have a work permit for occupation only. Thus the post does not need to be advertised.

Questions and answers on trade union statement
  • Why is a union opinion necessary?

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

  • Who is responsible for giving a union opinion?

    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 offer of employment to the union organisation concerned. This will delay the processing time. It is important therefore that the employer obtains the union statement themselves.

  • What happens if the union organisation does not give an opinion?

    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
  • Why does the employer have to provide details of the number of employees in the company?

    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.

  • Why does the Swedish Migration Agency want details of when the company started its current business?

    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 under Certain industries are subject to more stringent control

  • Why does the Swedish Migration Agency need to know on what date the employer became bound by a valid collective agreement?

    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
  • When do I need to submit verification data from the Swedish Tax Agency?

    You must submit verification data 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 verification data 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 wages or other sources of income.

    Read more about income statements

  • What if I receive a wage from my country of origin?

    If you have not paid taxes in Sweden, you must attach a month-by-month summary of your wages and allowances, instead of the verification data. State the equivalent of your wage 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 wage you have been receiving.

  • What if I have been absent on grounds of illness or parental leave?

    When applying to extend your work permit, you will need to show that the conditions for the work permit have been satisfied for each month of the entire period for which you have had a work permit for Sweden. An acceptable break in the employment 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).

  • What if I have a permit for or have visited other Schengen states during the permit period?

    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.

Questions and answers about my family
  • May my accompanying family also work in Sweden?

    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.

  • May I be assisted by a legal representative?

    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 107011PDF

  • Is it possible to demonstrate a relationship with a family member by submitting a passport that includes the family?

    No, a birth certificate must also be attached.

  • Is it possible to send the child's passport instead of a birth certificate if the parents' names are included in the passport?

    No, a birth certificate must also be attached.

Last updated: 2017-12-07

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