20 May 2019

Legal position paper on calculating the total work permit period

The Swedish Migration Agency has drawn up a legal position paper concerning work permits. According to the paper, an employee who does not receive a permanent residence permit may not be granted a new work permit immediately after returning to their country of origin. Normally a new work permit may not be granted until seven years after the first one.

The legislation states that a work permit may be granted for a total of four years. Following that period, the employee may apply for a permanent residence permit.

If the permit is not granted, the employee must return to their country of origin. If the employee wishes to reapply for a temporary work permit, they must wait seven years after having received their first one.

For example, an employee who has had a work permit in Sweden for the past four years and reapplies from their country of origin cannot receive a new one for another three years. On the other hand, a new work permit may be granted if the employee had one for four years but three or fewer of them were during the past seven years.

Periods during which the employee had an Intra Corporate Transfer (ICT) or seasonal permit, etc., are not included in the total. Thus, such a permit may be granted even if the employee has already had a work permit for four years during the past seven.

Find out more about ICT permits

Find out more about seasonal permits

Examples of how the period is calculated

Samir has had a work permit in Sweden for the past four years. For various reasons, he does not receive a permanent residence permit when he applies to renew his work permit. Since he has had a work permit for as long as the legislative allows, his application is also denied. He must return to his country of origin. He reapplies for a work permit from his country of origin but is denied one this time as well. That is because he may have a work permit for no more than four years during a period of seven. He must wait for three years before reapplying.

Elena worked in Sweden from 2010 to 2014 but decided to return to her country of origin afterwards. She has not had a work permit in Sweden since that time. She has received a new job offer and is applying for a work permit. Given that she worked in Sweden for only two years from 2012 to 2019, she is granted a new work permit.

Find out more in our legal position paper about calculating the total work permit period pursuant to Chapter 6, Section 2a, Aliens Act (Swedish Code of Statutes 2005:716) (In Swedish)external link, opens in new window