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Work permits for athletes and coaches

If you are the citizen of a non-EU country and have obtained a contract with a club or association that belongs to the Swedish Sports Confederation, the information below applies to you.

If you have been offered employment by somebody else, you are subject to other regulations for obtaining a work permit.

Learn more about the regulations if you have been offered employment by other than a club or association that belongs to the Swedish Sports Confederation

You need a permit to work as an athlete or coach. Apply for a work permit when you are in your country of origin or another country outside Sweden in which you are living.

Exceptions from the work permit requirement

If you are a professional athlete or functionary, you can participate in international competitions for up to three months over the period of 12 months without having a work permit. However, citizens of certain countries need a visa to enter Sweden.

Countries whose citizens require a visa for visits shorter than three monthsexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about applying for a entry visa

Requirements for obtaining a work permit

In order to obtain a work permit:

  • you must have a valid passport
  • you must play in Division 2 or higher for men and in Damallsvenskan or Elitettan for women if you are a football player
  • you must coach in Division 1 or higher for men and in Damallsvenskan or Elitettan for women if you are a football coach
  • you must have obtained a contract with a club or association that belongs to the Swedish Sports Confederation
  • you must have been offered a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 14,300
  • you must have the type of health and accident insurance coverage that is customary for your sport and level
  • the Swedish Sports Confederation must certify that your job is essential to the development of your sport.

The website of the Swedish Sports Confederationexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about the requirements to which your employer is subject

How to apply

You can apply online in the country you are living in.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

Fees for work permits

Enclose the following documents with your application

  • copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport's validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin. Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire – you cannot obtain a work permit for longer than your passport's period of validity.
  • a contract signed by you and your club in Sweden.

Once we have received your application

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Contact the embassy or consulate general before your visit.

If you need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should go to the embassy or consulate general as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden you should visit the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted.

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about residence permit cards

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your case

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate general to which you turned in your application or to which you referred in your online application. Take your passport along when picking up your decision. You can obtain a permit for the period during which the contract is in force or for two years at a time but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. The permit applies only to the club that has offered you a job and the sport specified by the contract. If you want to continue working in Sweden or switch clubs, apply to extend your permit.

The Swedish embassy or consulate general will hand over or send the residence permit card to you once it is ready. Don't forget that it might take up to four weeks to make and send the card to the embassy or consulate general after you receive your decision. You must show your residence permit card along with a valid passport when entering Sweden.  

If your permit is valid for less than three months, you will need to show the decision together with your passport.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should be able to show a copy of the decision when you arrive. As soon as possible after you have arrived in Sweden, you should book an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your case

The Swedish Institute's website Working in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Useful links if you have recently moved to Sweden and have a residence permit

Guide for you who will work in SwedenPDF

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency in Sweden to be fingerprinted and photographed if you can travel without a visaexternal link

Learn more about how to extend your permit

Important information about insurance

You can be registered in the Swedish population register if you have received a permit for at least one year and will stay in Sweden for at least one year. If you are not registered in Sweden you are not eligible for social benefits, so make sure to have an insurance policy that will cover any costs that may arise in connection with illness, injury, etc.

Permits for family members

Members of your family can obtain permits for the same period of time as yours. Family members include

  • your partner (spouse, common-law spouse, or registered partner)
  • unmarried children of you or your partner who are under 21.

Unmarried children age 21 or older can obtain a permit under certain circumstances. They must be financially dependent on you or your partner.

If you have a permit for at least six months, your partner can also obtain a work permit.

How your family is to apply

If your family plans to accompany you to Sweden, you can include them in your online application.

If they not apply at the same time as you, they can do their own online application.

Learn more about how family members can do their own online application

Extending your permit

If your contract with the club is extended, apply to extend your work permit. You must also apply for a new permit if you switch clubs. Make sure to submit your application before your current permit expires. If you have had a work permit for at least six months and you apply before it expires, you have the right to continue working while waiting for the decision.

You can obtain a permit for the period during which the contract is in force but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. A work permit as an athlete or trainer can be granted for up to two years at a time for a total of four years. If you still have a contract at the end of four years, you can obtain a permanent residence permit. A permanent residence permit remains in force as long as you live in Sweden.

How to apply

You apply online to extend you permit. Apply no earlier than 30 days before your current permit expires.

In most cases you need to pay a fee.

Fees for work permits

If you have family members living with you in Sweden who also need to extend their permits, you apply for them in the same online application.

What you have to send with your application

  • copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport's validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • a contract signed by you and your club
  • certificates of employment from all your employers with information about the periods you have worked in Sweden if you have had a permit to work in Sweden for almost four years and you want to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

Once we have received your application

If you submit an application for an extension before your previous permit expires, you have the right to remain in Sweden while the Migration Agency makes a decision.

If you go abroad when your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden until your new permit is granted. In that case, you might have to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Book an appointment as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Your photo and fingerprints cannot be saved, so you need to go through the process even if you had a residence permit card before.

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed

Learn more about residence permit cards

After the decision has been made

The decision and residence permit card will be sent to your address in Sweden. The permit applies only to the club that has offered you a job and the sport specified by the job offer.

If the Migration Agency refuses your application

If the Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal against the decision within three weeks from the date you received it. Information on how to do this is found in your decision.

If you do not apply online

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently outside Sweden, no. 149011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently outside Sweden, form no. 149011PDF (in English)

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, form no. 133011 (in English)

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

If there is no possibility to submit an application in your country, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general closest to your country of residence. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application for further information.

If you are applying at an embassy or consulate-general, you pay the fee when you hand in your application. For more information about the fee, contact the embassy or consulate-general where you are applying, as they do not have the same fees and terms of payment as the Migration Agency.

If you want to extend your permit, fill out the form Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, no. 151011. The application form specifies which documents to enclose.

Send your application to the Swedish Migration Agency, Box 3100, 903 03 Umeå.

Application for Swedish work permit – for applicants currently in Sweden, form no. 151011PDF (in English)

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, form no. 133011 (in English)

In most cases you must pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Migrationsverket

Last updated: 2015-07-07