Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a highly-skilled employee in Sweden? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.
Most non-EU highly-qualified workers who want to work in Sweden apply for residence/work permits under the general rules for employees. They must obtain:
- a work and residence permit; and
- a valid passport.
Workers in certain sectors need not apply for a work permit.
Depending on the circumstances, it is also possible to apply for an EU Blue Card or an Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) permit.
Where and how to apply
When applying for a work permit, you must prove that:
- you have a written offer of employment from an employer or a client based in Sweden;
- you earn enough money to support yourself.
Your employer must have fulfilled the following obligations:
- the job must have been advertised in Sweden and in the EU for ten days;
- the terms of the contract (salary, working conditions and other terms of employment) must be equal to or better than those provided under a Swedish collective agreement or those which are customary for the occupation or industry;
- the relevant trade union must have been given the opportunity to express an opinion on the terms and conditions of employment.
Applying from outside Sweden
In most cases, you must file your application for your permit in your country of origin or residence.
The application must be filed either electronically on the Migration Agency websiteSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN••• or with the Swedish consulate or embassy abroad. You just fill in the appropriate application form and pay a fee. The process can take several months to complete if you file the application at a Swedish consulate or embassy.
Applying from inside Sweden
You can apply for a work permit from inside Sweden in the following cases:
- you are a student at a university or college in Sweden and have a student residence permit changing status to a worker and have completed at least 30 higher education credits or one semester of postgraduate studies in Sweden;
- you are a job applicant visiting an employer in Sweden and there is a high demand for labour in this job category.
You may apply electronically or by post to the Migration Agency
Duration of validity of permits
The work and residence permit is valid for the period of employment, but for a maximum of two years at a time. It can be extended for a maximum of two additional years.
A permanent residence permit can be granted after four years of employment in Sweden within a period of seven years.
If the Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the date when you were informed of the decision. Information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in your decision. In order for your employer to be notified of the decision, they need to have power of attorney to represent you in your case.
Change of status
If your residence permit is granted for one year or longer, you will be registered in the Swedish population registry and have access to residence-based welfare.
If you want to change employer or move jobs during the first two years of your permit, you must first apply for a new work permit. This can be done from within Sweden.
If your residence and work permit is renewed after two years, it is only restricted to a certain profession. If you want to change profession, you must apply for a new work permit.
If you lose your job and do not get a new job within three months, the Migration AgencySearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN••• may withdraw your residence permit. The Swedish Employment Service can help and support you to find a new job in Sweden.
If you get a new job in a profession that is not covered by your original permit, you must apply for a new work permit. You can apply from within Sweden.
If you have lived in Sweden for a number of years, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit or for EC long-term residence status.
Permanent residence permit
If you have held a temporary work permit for 48 months (four years), you can be eligible for a permanent residence permit. When you have a permanent residence permit, you need not apply for a work permit.
EC long-term residence
After five years of legal and continuous residence, you may be granted an EC long-term residence status.
You must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family.
You must also have a permanent residence permit.
Your family members may be granted residence permits for the same period as your initial residence and work permit.
Family members include:
- your husband/wife or common law spouse;
- your children under 21 years or those of your husband/wife or common law spouse. If you have children who are 21 or older, they must be dependent on you or your husband/wife or common law spouse, for support.
If you have the right to work for more than six months, family members may also be granted work permits.
No information available at the moment.
- More information on the EU Blue Card in SwedenSearch for available translations of the preceding link
- Consult the list of exempted workers.Search for available translations of the preceding link
- Migration Agency website
- Swedish consulate or embassy abroad
- Migration AgencySearch for available translations of the preceding link
- More on work permitsSearch for available translations of the preceding link
- More on working in Sweden
- The Swedish Public Employment Service
- More on long-term residence
- More on bringing your family to SwedenSearch for available translations of the preceding link
- Swedish Migration Agency (Working in Sweden)Search for available translations of the preceding link
- Ministry of Employment
- Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Embassies and consulates
- Ministry of Justice
- Swedish InstituteSearch for available translations of the preceding link
- Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions