How to Secure a Work Visa in Sweden: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Secure a Work Visa in Sweden: A Comprehensive Guide

Sweden has many job opportunities for foreigners and non-residents alike. However, non-EU citizens and even some European Union and EEA members must possess Sweden work visas to work there.

Besides the information on the Swedish Migration Agency website, you might be seeking more guidance regarding the application process.

We’ve got you covered, from the documents you must submit to the tips and tricks to help you get that permit that will allow you to find work in Sweden.

Let’s discuss everything you need when securing a work visa in Sweden.

Types of Work Visas in Sweden

Work permits vary depending on your career or your home country. The Swedish embassy or consulate issues these to allow people outside the European Union to work in an EU country.

When applying for a work permit, it’s possible to apply for the following:

  • EU Blue Card: An EU blue card functions as both a work permit and a residence permit for highly-skilled workers hired by a Swedish company. EU blue card holders can file for permanent residency after four years.
  • Intra-company Transfer (ICT) Permit: This permit is for expats working for a company outside the EU. An ICT permit is given to those being transferred to the Swedish branch of the company. These are only applicable to managerial or specialist positions.
  • Business Visa: This permit is given to a non-EU citizen who wants to stay in Sweden for a business trip. It’s usually valid for 90 days (comparable to a travel visa).
  • Self-Employment Visa: Sweden provides work permits if the employee is a freelancer or owns their own business, allowing them to enter Sweden and work for more than three months.
  • Student Visa: This work permit allows students to earn while studying for higher education.
  • Working Holiday Visa: This is a 1-year visa given to people from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea to work in Sweden.

A benefit of EU citizenship is that you can work in Sweden without a permanent residence permit.

Qualifications for a Work Visa to Sweden

When applying for a work permit, you must submit documents the Swedish Migration Agency will review.

Even some EU citizens need a few requirements to get approval to work in Sweden, depending on their contract and terms of employment. These are all based on the Swedish collective agreements.

Here are the documents to add to your checklist when applying for a work visa and the qualifications you need in terms of employment which you may have to coordinate with your employer for:

  • Application form
  • Valid passport
  • CV/Resume
  • Monthly salary of AT LAST SEK 13,000 (Swedish Krona) before taxes or a salary on par with your position
  • A job offer equal to the occupation’s standard or the Swedish collective agreements (not required for professional athletes and coaches) with the following information
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Email
    • Experience
    • Job title
    • Gross salary
    • Start and end date
    • Committing to Sweden’s four mandatory insurance policy
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Employment that covers health insurance, life insurance, and social security
  • Intention to leave the country when employment contract ends
  • Opinion from the relevant union (not required for professional athletes and coaches)
  • Copies of your passport pages (all pages, including front and back)

Depending on your employment contract type, you must consider your age, educational background, and even spoken language for more personal qualifications.


Applicants must be AT LEAST 18 years old to apply for a work permit, especially if you’re going for one that doubles as a residence permit.

However, specific visas exist for people aged 18-30, particularly for working holidays.


Employment in Sweden usually requires a university degree equivalent to 180 credits.

They also accept five years of relevant professional experience in the same industry.

You must show any certification of these qualifications to your employer and the consulate general.

Language Proficiency

With Swedish being the country’s official language, it’s a no-brainer to want to be proficient. However, given that you’re a foreign national from global hiring, it might take a while to pick up.

Other Swedish jobs can accept English speakers, especially in larger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Even if your job only requires English, it’s best to know the basics to help you integrate better, especially with smaller professional communities.

Application Process for Work Permit in Sweden

The application process for a work permit doesn’t mean just dropping by the consulate general with all your requirements. It takes time, though most of it is done online.

Here’s everything you need to consider when applying for a work permit:

  1. Get your job offer. You’ll need to contact a Swedish employer with a job advertised in Sweden, the EU/EEA, or Switzerland. They must submit a written job offer and obtain approval from the right trade union before seeding it out.
  2. Initiating application. Your employer initiates the application for your work permit. You’ll have to provide them with your personal information.
  3. Receive an email. You’ll receive an email from your employer on how to apply for a work permit. They’ll also provide information if you want to bring your family.
  4. Submit the necessary documents. Submit scanned copies of your application, passport pages, and a power of attorney to the relevant agencies.
  5. Pay and submit your application. Pay your application fee using a Visa or Mastercard.
  6. Wait for your application to be processed. The Swedish Migration Board will go through all your documents.
  7. Provide the information for your residence permit card. This is only applicable for stays longer than 90 days.
  8. Receive an answer from the embassy. You and your employer will receive a decision through email.

Once there, you must register with the Swedish tax agency to settle your taxation concerns.

Cost of a Work Visa to Sweden

The cost of a work visa depends on your profession.

Generally, you would need SEK 2,000 or $200 to apply for this. In some cases, the fees can be covered by your employer.

Application Fee

Most jobs have an application fee of SEK 2,000, including temporary workers.

However, some occupations only charge SEK 1,500.

Other Fees

Consider the following additional charges you can encounter while applying:

  • Work permit extension: SEK 2,200
  • Residence Permit: SEK 2,000

How to Extend a Work Visa to Sweden

When your work visa expires, you must return home and not overstay your validity.

However, there may be cases when you get another job offer, end up having a beau in the country, or have other personal reasons for wanting to extend your stay.

It’s not as simple as just putting your roots there. You’d have to go through the process and submit the necessary documents to stay in Sweden.

Here are the different requirements for extending your work visa in Sweden.


You can apply for a work permit extension four months before its expiration.

You can apply for it if:

  • Your permit is expiring
  • You’ve held a work permit for less than two years and want to change employer or career
  • You’ve held a work permit for more than two years and want to change employer or career

You won’t be eligible for a work permit if you have two or more jobs simultaneously.

Required Documents

You’ll need to pass the following documents for visa extension:

  • Payslips for the current year
  • Annual income statement from the tax agency
  • The position advertised on Arbetsförmedlingen’s website (if not changing employer or career)

You might have additional requirements for your residence permit or other legal concerns.

Application Process

You can easily apply online for work permit extensions through the Swedish Migration Agency website. You and your employer need to coordinate if there are any extensions to your employment contract.

After you pass the documents to the consulate general, wait for the response regarding your extension.

It should take 6-10 months unless a certified company passes it. If your company does handle your documents, it will only take 20 days. Passing by paper can cause additional delays.

Requirements for a Self-Employment Visa in Sweden

Sweden also provides a work and residence permit to self-employed workers who want to stay in Sweden for more than three months.

These are the documents you need to submit according to the Swedish Collective Agreements:

  • Valid passport
  • Application form
  • Documentation of your knowledge of Swedish and English
  • Show you’re running your business and have responsibility for it
  • Show your business’ services and goods are also produced and/or sold in Sweden
  • Show you have sufficient funds to support you and any family you wish to bring for the first two years of your stay
  • Documented budget
  • Established customers’ contacts and/or networks in Sweden
  • Show your company will have its finances balanced in the following 2-year probationary period, and you can support yourself and your family

Most of the process is similar between a self-employed person and someone with a contract in Sweden.

You must also inform them of where you’ll live in Sweden and what provisions you’ve made.


You might have more questions regarding work visas in Sweden.

We’ve gathered the most common ones to help you plan your work journey abroad.

Is it Easy to Get a Work Visa in Sweden?

Getting a work permit is relatively easy as long as you have all the required documents and are suitably qualified.

Processing time is usually around two months to 12 years, depending on the industry and your employment terms.

What Are the Main Types of Employment in Sweden?

There are two main types of employment to help you enter Sweden; permanent and temporary.

Permanent employees can continue to work until they quit, get dismissed by their employer, or retire. Work permits double as their residence permit, allowing them to stay in Sweden for longer.

Temporary employees are only there for a while, usually lasting 2-5 years. It can be a substitute position or seasonal work.

Can I Bring Family Members with a Sweden Work Permit?

Your Swedish work permit allows you to bring your family with you. They have their online application that will be passed when you apply for your work permit.

They will apply for residence permits with different requirements depending on their age, career, and more.

You must show that you can shoulder the living cost of your family members, especially if they move to Sweden without a job or clear path to employment.

You must also visit the Swedish embassy or consulate for approval. You also will have to bring the child’s passport to the embassy or consulate for children under five.


Sweden is one of the best Nordic countries to be in when building a career. They have the means to help you grow as an employee and as an individual.

While entering Sweden means meeting many requirements, it can be worth it in the long run.

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