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 an offer of employment from a company in Sweden. The Swedish employer initiates the application and fills out a written job offer. This gets submitted to the Swedish Migration Agency for approval, who will then email the expat with the information required to continue the work permit application. At this stage the expat fills in their information and submits the necessary documents for approval.

If the position is for longer than three months, the applicant is entitled to a residence permit. Those who can enter Sweden without a visa can apply for and obtain the residence permit once in Sweden, while those who require a visa to enter must make the residence permit application at their nearest embassy or consulate before leaving for Sweden.

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.

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.