Work permit in Sweden

Have you got a job offer in Sweden? Contact us to ensure that the terms of the employment are in line with the Swedish migration agency’s requirement.

or Call 0046 10 179 69 00

How do you apply for a work permit in Sweden?

Step 1

Contact us if you have been or will be offered a job in Sweden.

Step 2

Our lawyers will inform you of the documents that need to be sent to us to undergo an examination of the intended employment..

Step 3

After we have made a preliminary assessment of the terms of employment and the company’s financial situation, we ask you and the employer to sign a power of attorney so that we can start the process.

Contact us today and talk to one of our lawyers.

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How to apply for a work permit in Sweden.

A foreigner who does not have a permanent residence permit or right of residence and is not a citizen of another Nordic country must apply for a work permit to work in Sweden. According to the main rule, such an application must have been applied for and granted permission within entry. Exceptions apply, for example, if the applicant has the right to a residence permit as a refugee or other person in need of protection or if the applicant has already received a temporary residence permit and must apply for an extended residence permit for his employment. Below follows a description of our work from the first contact to the completed application.

The basic requirement for starting an application for a work permit is that the applicant must have received an offer of employment from an employer in Sweden. The offered employment must be in line with the conditions and requirements that follow from Swedish collective agreements or practice within the profession or industry. In addition, the employer must offer comprehensive insurance for the employee, which means occupational pension insurance, health insurance, life insurance and security insurance. Therefore, it is of central importance for such a comprehensive application to be thoroughly reviewed and done correctly. When a work permit is granted, it is valid for two years and only applies to the specific employment and the employer. We at H I Juristbyrå help our clients with the entire work permit process from the beginning until the application has been sent and some follow-up of the case after an application has been made. Specifically, our work means that we represent both applicants and employers during the process.
We initially review relevant information; We also make a preliminary overview of the company’s general financial situation based on the company’s current balance sheet and income statement. In this way, we can at an early stage of the process if there are correct conditions to meet the requirements for a work permit and submit a complete application. Getting along well with both clients and employers is the key to an effective communication process.

Call 0046 10 179 69 00

How does the work permit process work in practice?

Below is a description of the three most important steps during the process and which are interdependent. They are interlinked in that the previous one must be correct to proceed with the next level.

  • Application – After an approved union opinion, we can start the registration process. In this part, we provide personal information about the applicant’s education and previous work experience. If there are co-applying family members, they are also included in the application.
  • The job offer – As a legal representative, we begin applying for a work permit by creating an employment offer where the terms of employment, which have been reviewed by us at an earlier stage, are also submitted to the Swedish Migration Board.
  • The union opinion – Once an employment offer has been created, it must be sent to the relevant trade union, which must submit a union opinion on the employment conditions presented. It is a prerequisite that the union approves the job offer to proceed with the application.
Call 0046 10 179 69 00

Work Permit – FAQ

Do I need a work permit in order to work in Sweden?

Yes, a work permit is required to work in Sweden.

A work permit is required in the following situations: 

  • You are employed in Sweden, either by the employer itself or through an agency that provides personnel to a company in Sweden; and/or

  • You have been transferred within an organization.

Do I need a contract in order to obtain a work permit?

Yes, you need to obtain an employment contract to qualify for work permit.

The contract of employment must be duly signed by both parties (the employee and employer).

If the employment contract is drafted in a language other than Swedish or English, it must be translated. A copy of the original document must also be attached to the application.

Is a collective agreement (kollektivavtal) required at the workplace?

No. It is, however, required that the terms of employment as stated in your employment contract are at least on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements, or which are customary within the occupation or industry.

Does the employer need to offer me insurance? If so, which ones?

Yes. The employer must have various insurances in place at the commencement of your employment, including:

  • Health insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Security insurance; and

  • Occupational pension insurance.

What salary do I need in order to obtain a work permit?

The basic rule for a grant of work permit is that the person is self-sufficient and does not become a dependent on the social security system in Sweden. This entails a minimum salary of 13.000SEK per month before tax as an absolute minimum. In addition to this, the salary needs to be on pair with, or higher than, the salary standard set by collective agreement or at the level set by the relevant trade union for the particular sector or industry.

Are there any language requirements for a work permit?

There are no language requirements according to Swedish law, but the the Swedish Migration Agency may require you to have a certain level of knowledge in the Swedish or English language, depending on the importance of communication in your profession.

How long is the work permit valid for? Does the contract period affect the validity time of the work permit?

The main rule is that The Swedish Migration Agency grants a work permit for a maximum of two years in the first instance. It is possible to apply for an extension (an additional two years) before the expiry of the permit, as long as the grounds on which the first permit was granted (regarding salary, insurance and other terms of employment) have been met during the course of the employment.

The length of the work permit may be decreased under some circumstances:

  • If you work contract is shorter that two years, the permit will be issued for the duration of your contract.
  • If your passports validity is under two years at the time of decision, your permit will be issued to match the validity of your passport.

Is it possible for me to change employer or profession during the time of my work permit?

You cannot change your employer or profession during the first two years because the work permit is based on your employment contract. Therfore, you will be tied to a specific employer and profession during the validity time of your work permit.

However, when you have been working in Sweden for a duration of two years, the eventual extension of your work permit will be tied only to a specific profession. You are then, after receiving a positive decision on your extension, free to change employer as you see fit. If your new job involves a change of profession, you must submit a new application.

How does the process work?

Your position needs to have been advertised for a total of 10 days through the Swedish Public Employment Service before you sign your work contract.

When you have a signed work contract with your employer, the process of applying for a work permit can begin. If you hire H I Law Firm to assist you in the application process, we will take care of all necessary steps for you.

The process will commence when we file an offer of employment to the relevant trade union who will make an utterance regarding the salary and insurance your employer offers. If the salary and insurances are acceptable, we can start the application process. At the time of registration, you will have to pay the Swedish Migration Agency’s application fee or have us pay it if that suits you better.

After about 9-18 months you will receive a summon to the Swedish embassy in your home country to show them your passport and leave biometrics. After approximately two weeks a residence permit card will be issued that you must retrieve by visiting the embassy in person.

You have to travel to Sweden and commence you work within 4 months from receiving your residence permit.

How long will the process take, from my application to a positive decision?

When we have submitted the completed application, the processing time at the Migration Agency varies depending on your chosen profession.

The processing time is generally between 9 and 18 months. For further information on the processing time for applications regarding the same profession as yours, please visit the Migration Agency’s website.

It is also important to note that this timeline may be shorter or longer depending on the Migration Agencies workload at any given time. Unfortunately, this is something that we cannot influence.

If the application needs to be amended, this will greatly affect the processing time. Since H I Law Firm always ensure that the application is complete before we submit it, the processing time is minimized while using our assistance in this matter.

Can I bring my family? Do I have to provide for my family and how high does my salary need to be?

Yes. Your wife/husband/co-habitation partner and unmarried children under the age of 21 can be given a permit if they are being financially supported by you. This maintenance requirement means that your salary needs to cover the costs of housing and so-called ‘normal living expenses’ for you and your family members. The amount varies depending on your type of housing and which/how many family members you bring with you.

After the cost for your housing is covered you need the following amount left after tax:
(Normal amount)

  • 9 445 SEK for you and your partner

  • 3 055 SEK for any child 0–6 years old

  • 3 667 SEK any child 7–10 years old

  • 4 279 SEK any child 11–14 years old

  • 4 889 SEK any child 15 years or older.

Are there any specific housing requirements? How are they affected if I bring my family?

There are no specific housing requirements for a single person wishing to obtain a work permit in Sweden.

If you receive a temporary residence permit to work in Sweden and want your family to come and live with you in Sweden, you are subject to a maintenance requirement. This maintenance requirement means that you must have a monthly income that covers the cost of housing and living expenses for yourself and your family members, the so-called “normal amount”.

The “normal amount” varies depending on which, and how many, family members you are bringing. The housing costs will also vary depending on which type of housing you choose (rented flat, tenant-owned flat or freestanding house).

If you choose to bring your family, you also need to ensure that your housing is of a certain size and standard, which in turn will affect the housing expenses. The size and standard required also varies depending on which, and how many, family members you are bringing with you. You need at least one room for you and your partner, and at least one room per two children.  Note that you need to be the only one registered as living at the address if you bring your family. Renting a room/rooms in a house will not suffice, you need to have a contract for an apartment or a house where you and your family will live alone.

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