Visa & Immigration

Citizens from outside the EU and the EEA require a valid Swedish Work Permit to work in Sweden. 

You must have received an official offer of employment and signed an employment contract from a Swedish employer to obtain a work permit. Work permits usually need to be applied for (and approved!) before entering Sweden. Exceptions can be made in specific cases, contact us for further information.

Human Entrance is a Fast Track partner with the Swedish Migration Agency and can apply on behalf of your company directly. A regular work permit application can take up to 12 months or longer. Using a Fast Track partner means the work permit application will take only a few months to be approved. We only work with companies directly to submit work permits so talk to your employer about using our services.

Make sure your employees get their permit application right the first time. Let us help!

Salary requirements for Swedish work permits

A crucial consideration for a work permit application is the salary level. Regulation on acceptable salary levels for obtaining a work permit is regulated in the Aliens Act which states that the salary level must correspond with current collective union agreement levels or what could be considered practice within your occupation. Although there is no requirement for a company to have such an agreement in place, salaries still need to correspond with these levels.

This is reviewed during the permit application process and a statement from the relevant labor union is obtained. Should the union decline to provide a statement of the applicable employment conditions, the Swedish Migration Agency has the right to assess the salary level, based on statistics from SCB – Statistics Sweden.

Current legislation also includes a condition which states that an employee with a work permit may not earn less than SEK 13 000 per month. It is important to note, however, that this minimum amount is still applicable for employees who, for example, do not work full-time. This salary level is currently under scrutiny and expected to be raised considerably in the near future.

Swedish companies have a long tradition of working with collective agreements as opposed to minimum wages, which is common in many other countries. This can potentially become a hurdle for companies employing foreign labor, as it might be difficult to get clear information on appropriate salary levels.

Yearly salary reviews are conducted in Sweden.

Important things to consider during a salary review are: 

  • Significant salary increases do not need to be reported to the Migration Agency
  • It is important to ensure salaries remain above the current collective agreement level, if there for any reason is a wage reduction.
  • Salary growth and development must be aligned with the current and relevant collective agreement.
  • Delayed salary reviews or inadequate salary increases may result in a regulation violation. Potential violations are examined by the Swedish Migration Agency, in connection with permit extension applications. Depending on the severity of a violation, an application may be rejected, and the employee be forced to leave the country.

Permanent residence permit 

After you have had a valid work permit at least 48 months, you meet the basic prerequisite to qualify for a permanent resident permit. The permanent residence permit can only be granted in connection with an application for an extended residence permit.  

Requirements for obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit as a previous work permit holder: 

  • Must fulfill the requirements for a continued work and residence permit
  • Be financially independent
  • Lead a law abiding life in Sweden

There are special requirements for obtaining permanent residency on a dependent permit.

Business visa 

A Swedish work permit is different from a business travel visa- otherwise known as a Schengen visa. The Schengen visa is required for citizens of countries not on the visa free list to enter Sweden for up to 90 days. Visa free nationals can enter Sweden for up to 90 days without the need for a Schengen “business” visa. 

To find out if you need a visa, please consult this list of foreign citizens who require a visa to enter Sweden: List of Foreign Citizens who Require Visa for Entry into Sweden

Visa requiring individuals need to apply for a Schengen visa through your local embassy. As embassies have different processes, please contact the Swedish embassy in your country/region for more information. For contact details, see Sweden Abroad.

Swedish identity card

You will be asked to submit biometrics to receive a Swedish Residence Permit Card (otherwise known as your UT card). This includes submitting your fingerprints and having your photograph taken. Typically, this needs to be done at the embassy in your home country, however visa free nationals can enter Sweden and submit their biometrics here.

Your UT card (Uppehållstillstånd) is not the same as the Swedish Identity Card. You will obtain a Swedish Identity Card at a later stage after you have relocated to Sweden. Read about the Swedish Identity Card and obtaining a Swedish Personal Number here.