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What do I need before leaving?

SE SWEDEN
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.


There is no specific scheme for highly-skilled workers in Sweden. General rules for employees apply. You must obtain:
  • a work and residence permit; and
  • a valid passport.
Workers in certain sectors need not apply for a work permit.

Consult the list of exempted workers.

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Where and how to apply Work permit

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.
Employer obligations

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 Board website 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;
  • 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 Board or at any Migration Board Permit Unit.
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 if the applicant has been continuously employed during this period.
Appeals Decisions to reject an application cannot be challenged at present, unless you have also been given a decision refusing your entry or on deportation.
Further information More on work permits

More on working in Sweden

The Swedish Public Employment Service

 


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Change of status 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.
Unemployment If you lose your job and do not get a new job within three months, the Migration Board 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.
Long-term residence 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.

More on long-term residence
Family reunification 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.

More on bringing your family to Sweden

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