- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Sweden Guide (PDF)
Applying for a work permit for Sweden shouldn’t be a difficult process, provided expats have received a firm job offer and have all the necessary documentation ready. The only problem an expat might run into is actually finding a job in the first place.
Swedish employers tend to favour Swedes, EU or EEA citizens, and foreigners already in the country over expats looking for work in Sweden from their home countries. However, there are several trades that are lacking in expertise and this is where new expats can find their niche.
Work permits for Sweden
Expats who want to work in Sweden should apply for a work permit before they arrive in the country. All non-EU and non-EEA citizens will need a work permit to legally work in Sweden.
Work permit applicants will first need to have received an offer of employment from a company in Sweden. The Swedish employer will have to fill out a written job offer and obtain approval from the relevant trade union on the working conditions and salary. The written offer should contain details about the expat’s role in the company, the salary they will be earning and how long they will be employed in Sweden.
Once an expat has received a job offer they can apply for a Swedish work permit. This can be done online or at their local Swedish embassy. Once their application has been submitted to the embassy, an applicant may not enter the country until their work permit has been granted or denied.
In order for the work permit to be granted, expats need to have arranged accommodation in Sweden and must also show that they are prepared to leave Sweden when their employment contract is over. If expats wish to bring their family with them to Sweden they should apply for residence permits for their family at the same time as applying for their work permit.
It is important to note that once a work permit has been granted it is only valid for the profession stipulated in the job offer and for that specific employer. Expats who need to renew their work permit should do so at the Swedish Migration Agency.
EU citizens working in Sweden
EU or EEA citizens do not need a work permit for Sweden. They are free to work in Sweden without additional documentation. They should, however, register their residency with the Swedish Migration Board within three months of arriving in the country.
►For information on the Swedish working world, see Working in Sweden
Are you an expat living in Sweden?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sweden. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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