Immigration Categories

The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is the work permit. For details on non-typical categories (investors, special programs), please contact your representative.

Typical Process Overview

The following process overview is applicable to the work permit application process. The approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in Sweden is eight (8) to twelve (12) weeks. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. See the “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Job Advertisement
Processing Time:
Ten (10) business days

If the assignee is transferring to local payroll (local hire) in Sweden, then the job must be advertised in Sweden before submitting a Work and Residence permit application. The job must be advertised on the national job centre website, known as ‘Arbetsförmedlingen’ for at least ten (10) business days. The job advert reference number is required when submitting the Work and Residence permit application. If the assignee is remaining on home payroll, this step is not required and the process will start with the Work and Residence Permit Application in Step Two.

Step Two: Work and Residence Permit Application
Processing Time:
Five (5) to eight (8) weeks

Once all personal and corporate documents are obtained, the Work and Residence permit application is submitted to the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket). If the Swedish entity has a collective agreement with a trade union, we advise that the company approach the Union to sign off on the terms of the assignment. The Union has up to ten (10) days to give a positive opinion on the assignment offer. Obtaining the Union opinion will expedite the processing time to five (5) to eight (8) weeks.

Please note that applicants may not be in Sweden during the application process.

Step Three: Biometrics Submission
Processing Time: One (1) to six (6) weeks

Once the work and residence permit application is approved, the Swedish authorities will forward a copy of the approval letter to our local partner.

If the assignee is a visa exempt national, the assignee will be permitted to travel to Sweden and submit their biometrics in Sweden. About one (1) to two (2) weeks following the biometrics appointment, the residence permit card will be issued and sent to the assignee’s Swedish address. The permit may also be collected in person from the immigration office.

The assignee is eligible to work in Sweden once their biometrics are submitted to the Swedish authorities.

If the assignee requires a visa to enter Sweden, he/she must submit his/her biometrics at the Swedish Consulate/Embassy in their country of nationality or legal residence.  The residence permit card will be issued by the authorities in Sweden and then sent to the Swedish Consulate. The Swedish Consulate will then send the residence permit card to the assignee’s home address. With the residence permit, the assignee can travel to Sweden and commence their assignment.

Step Four: Residence Permit Approval (non-visa nationals only)
Processing Time: One (1) day

Once the residence permit has been issued, it will be either sent to the assignee’s home address in Sweden or they will be able to collect the permit in person at the Migration Board. The assignee is permitted to reside in Sweden during the validity period stated on the permit.

Typical Documents Obtained

Following the work and residence permit application process described above it will result in the obtention of the following immigration documents. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, “Renewal.”

  • Work Permit: Up to twenty-four (24) months
  • Residence Card: Same as the Work Permit

Renewal

Renewal is possible. Renewal processes take two (2) to three (3) months; please allow two (2) weeks of lead time for document gathering. If the original permits expire during the renewal process, the assignee may stay in Sweden but must not travel until the renewal permit has been granted.

Deregistration

The government of Sweden requires all applicants who depart Sweden before their work permit expires to deregister upon departing the country by notifying the tax authorities by filling out a form regarding the end of their assignment in the country, including their Personal Identification Number (PIN), Swedish address, destination address,  and date of departure. Applicants must also sign a work permit deregistration document.

Family members must deregister their residence permits.

Dependents

Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in Sweden under the work permit immigration category, the following rules apply for dependents:

  • Minimum age (spouses): Eighteen (18) years.
  • Maximum age (children): Eighteen (18) years.
  • Unmarried partners: Yes, if conditions are met.
  • Same sex partners: Yes, if conditions are met.
  • Non-traditional dependents (e.g. parents): No.
  • Work authorization granted? Yes, an application may be made, provided principal assignee is on assignment for at least six (6) months.

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We will advise you in detail regarding your specific case; however, general application materials for the Work and Residence permit are noted below.

  • A variety of personal and corporate documents will be needed to support the application.
  • Personal documents include: passports (valid for the duration of the assignment), updated curriculum vitae (resume), a power of attorney, and birth and marriage certificates for dependents.
  • Corporate documents include the offer of employment and hiring certificate from the Swedish company.
  • Note that the above mentioned documents are examples of what will be required and that additional documentation will certainly be necessary.
  • We can prepare all necessary forms and Powers of Attorney and will advise you of the exact documents required based upon the specifics of your case.
  • All documentation must be submitted in Swedish or English. We can assist with translations if required.

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted: Schengen Type C
  • Duration of stay: Ninety (90) days out of one hundred eighty (180) days
  • General activities permitted: “business only”, generally defined as attending business meetings and seminars. If you are unsure whether your assignment may be considered business or not, please contact your representative.

Change of Status

It is not possible to convert from visitor to employment status without leaving Sweden.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. In Sweden, salary must correspond to what a local resident would expect to receive.. Please contact your representative for more details for your specific situation.

Qualifications

Qualification requirements will vary from case to case and will depend on the immigration category under which the application is made.  However, in general, the immigration authorities do expect to see an undergraduate level university degree.  In some situations, a strong case may be made for applicants without a degree, as long as secondary level educational certificates can be submitted and provided their level of experience and industry specific qualification is high.  Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Absence of degree.
  • It is important to note that work permits cannot be granted beyond the validity of the passport. As permits are normally granted for up to two (2) years, passports should be valid for at least two (2) years.
  • Fast track applications currently processed five (5) to eight (8) weeks. Standard applications are processed six (6) to twelve (12) months
  • Insufficient compensation.
  • Processing times may be longer between June and August and again between November and December as there tends to be a high volume of student applications made at these times.
  • Absence of trade union opinion will result in longer processing times.
  • Local payroll / local hire applicants will require the employment position to be advertised.
  • Higher manegement positions could be considered for an exception from advertisement.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The government of Sweden takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance may include fines, deportation, and imprisonment.

Employee Penalties:

Foreigners who work in Sweden outside of the bounds of compliance with Swedish immigration law may be subject to revocation of work permit, deportation, and/or detention.

Employer Penalties:

Employers who hire foreigners in Sweden outside of the bound of compliance with Swedish immigration law may be subject to fines and imprisonment.

For more details, please contact your representative.

Bilateral Agreements

  • European Union: Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and European Free Trade Area (EFTA). EU member countries, European Economic Area (EEA) member countries, and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries maintain agreements that allow individuals from member states to travel and work freely within the region without prior authorization. However, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals will need to register post-arrival (for tax purposes only), and Swiss nationals will also need to apply for a residence permit. Nationals of new EU member countries that are within the two (2) to seven (7) year transition period following accession may still be subject to work permit or other additional requirements. For detailed information on process and requirements for nationals of EU/EEA/EFTA countries traveling to Country, please contact Emigra Worldwide.
  • Nordic Passport Union: Sweden is part of the Nordic Passport Union (member countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). Nationals of these countries may live and work in Sweden without the need to apply for a work permit, residence permit or any form of registration. A CPR number will be required to move on to Danish payroll, however.
  • Schengen Area: Sweden is a member of the Schengen agreement. Short term (type C) visas and residence permits in Sweden will allow travel in the rest of the Schengen zone.