The increased maintenance requirement for work permits is now in force
As of today, 1 November, work permit applicants are now subject to the increased maintenance requirement. The new requirement, which was decided by the Government, means that you must have a salary that corresponds to at least 80 per cent of the median salary in Sweden.
The Government has decided to raise the maintenance requirement for applicants for a work permit in Sweden. Now the requirement is coming into effect. Previously, you needed to earn at least SEK 13,000 a month. Starting on 1 November, you must instead earn a “good income”. The Government has decided that this corresponds to a salary of at least 80 per cent of the median salary in Sweden. Currently, that means you must earn a salary of at least SEK 27,360 per month (before tax).
In addition to meeting or exceeding that number, your monthly salary must also be in line with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry. This means that if, according to a collective agreement, the salary should be higher than what is required by the new maintenance requirement, you must earn the salary required under the collective agreement.
The median salary when you apply determines what you must earn
Your salary must be at least 80 per cent of the median salary in effect at the time you submit your application. This means that even if the median salary changes during the processing time, your application will be examined according to the prevailing median salary when you applied. It is the statistics authority Statistics Sweden (SCB) that publishes the median salary every year. The maintenance requirement will thus be adjusted on an annual basis. Statistics Sweden usually publishes a new median salary at the end of June.
The new maintenance requirement enters into force on 1 November, without transitional rules. This means that if you have already applied for a work permit but are still awaiting a decision, you must earn a salary that meets the new maintenance requirement. How high the salary must be (in SEK) depends on the median salary that applied when you submitted your application.
If you have applied for an extended work permit, you must be able to show that you have met the new requirement since 1 November, even if the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision about your application after that date. If you are a first-time work permit applicant, you must meet the requirement when the Swedish Migration Agency examines your application.
If you don’t meet the new requirement
If you have already submitted an application for a work permit or intend to do so, and you do not meet the new salary requirement, your application will be rejected. If you receive a new salary that fulfils the new salary requirement before the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision in the case, you can inform us about this. Send documentation of your new salary to the Swedish Migration Agency by post.
Applicants for an extension are affected
If you had already been granted a work permit before 1 November and your permit extends further into the future, then even after 1 November, the same maintenance requirement continues to apply as when you were granted the permit, i.e., a minimum of SEK 13,000 per month (before tax). Only when you apply for an extended work permit will you need to meet the new requirement to earn a good income.
This means do not need to earn a higher salary during the ongoing permit period in order to meet the new maintenance requirement. However, your salary must still comply with collective agreements or practices in the relevant profession or industry. When you apply for an extended work permit, the Swedish Migration Agency will check that your salary meets the new maintenance requirement. To be granted an extended work permit, you must meet the new maintenance requirement from the first day after your previous work permit expired.
The Swedish Migration Agency will conduct follow-up checks
The Swedish Migration Agency can conduct follow-up checks if there is reason to suspect that you do not actually receive the salary you report, or that the terms of employment stated in your application are inaccurate. For example, such a suspicion may arise if your application contains information indicating that you have met the new maintenance requirement, but your salary is higher than the sum stipulated by your industry’s collective agreement or common practice.
Facts about the new maintenance requirement
Applies to residence permits on the basis of work
The new requirement to earn a good income applies to residence permits granted on the basis of work, i.e., if you come to Sweden to work from a country outside the EU/EEA.
For example, this means that if you apply for or have already been granted a residence permit on the basis of protection, close family ties, or studies, you are not affected by the increased maintenance requirement. If you applied on the basis of the Temporary Protection Directive or the Upper Secondary School Act, you are also exempt. EU/EEA citizens and long-term residents who exercise their freedom of movement are likewise unaffected.
You are also unaffected if you meet all the requirements for a permanent residence permit.
On the other hand, the new requirement to earn a good income does apply if you make a so-called “change of tracks”, i.e., if your asylum application has been rejected and you apply for a work permit instead.
Professional coaches and athletes, au pairs, trainees within the framework of international exchange or trainees with traineeships related to higher education, and researchers will not be subject to the new requirement.
If you possess or are applying for an EU Blue Card or ICT permit, or if you are a seasonal worker, you are also unaffected.