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Sweden Work Visa: Types, Requirements And Application Process

Last Update: 11-06-2024

Sweden's flags raised against beautiful Swedish buildings

Do I Need a Sweden Work Visa?

Yes, as an Indian citizen, you will need a work permit to work in Sweden. This applies regardless of whether your employment is directly with a company based in Sweden, with an employment agency that assigns you to work in Sweden, or if you are being transferred within your company to a Swedish branch.

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Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Types of Sweden Work Visa
  3. Sweden Work Visa Requirements
  4. Sweden Work Visa without Job Offer
  5. How to Apply for a Swedish Work Visa?
  6. Sweden Work Visa Cost
  7. Sweden Work Visa Processing Time
  8. Sweden Work Visa Validity
  9. How Can I Extend my Sweden Work Permit?
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs

Introduction

Navigating the process of obtaining a work visa for Sweden can seem daunting, especially for those unfamiliar with the specifics of Swedish immigration laws.

This blog aims to simplify and demystify the procedures, providing a clear roadmap from initial application to potentially securing permanent residency.

Whether you're a job seeker, or an entrepreneur, this guide will equip you with the essential knowledge needed to embark on your Swedish work journey.

Types of Sweden Work Visa

Here are the different types of work-related residence permits available in Sweden, explained in a more conversational way:

  1. Work Permit: Indians who wish to work in Sweden typically need a work permit. This process involves securing a job offer from a Swedish employer who then initiates the application process. Your employment terms must adhere to Swedish labor standards.
  2. Residence Permit for Highly Qualified Individuals Seeking Employment or Entrepreneurial Opportunities: If you've recently completed an advanced level degree, Sweden offers a special residence permit for up to nine months. This permit allows you to move to Sweden to look for work or to explore the possibility of starting your own business. However, during this time, family members cannot join you in Sweden.
  3. Post-Study Work Opportunities for Graduates: For those who have studied in Sweden and completed higher education, there's an option to stay longer to seek employment or start a business. If this describes your situation, you'll need to switch your current student residence permit to another type that supports these activities.
  4. Residence Permit for Entrepreneurs: If you plan to run your own business in Sweden for more than three months, you'll need a specific residence permit for self-employment. This permit must be obtained before you arrive in Sweden, and you can apply online from your home country or any other country where you reside.

Each of these permits has specific requirements and processes, so it's important to ensure you apply for the one that best fits your situation and goals in Sweden.

Sweden Work Visa Requirements

  1. Employment Contract: You must have a signed employment contract from your employer in Sweden. If the contract is not in English or Swedish, it needs to be translated, and you must attach both the original and the translated version.
  2. Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. The Swedish Migration Agency will need to check your passport before making a decision. This might require you to present your passport at a Swedish embassy or consulate if you're applying from abroad, or at a service center if you're in Sweden. In some cases, a digital passport check might be available.
  3. Salary: Your salary should at least match the minimum set by Swedish collective agreements or the industry standard. Specifically, your monthly salary should be at least 80% of the median salary as reported by Statistics Sweden at the time of your application.
  4. Insurance: Your employer must provide insurance covering health, life, employment, and pension from the time you start working.
  5. Single Job Requirement: You need to fulfill all the Sweden work permit requirements through a single job. Multiple part-time jobs cannot be combined to meet these Sweden work visa requirements.
  6. Short-term Employment: If your employment is for less than three months, you might need both a work permit and a visa, depending on your nationality.
  7. Registration in the Swedish Population Register: To register, your work permit should be for at least one year, and you must plan to stay in Sweden for at least one year. If your permit is for less than a year, you won’t be registered and won't have access to social benefits, making personal insurance essential.
  8. Residence Permit for Job Seekers: If you’ve completed an advanced level degree, you can apply for a residence permit to look for work or to start a business in Sweden for up to nine months. During this time, family members cannot join you.

These details should help clarify what's expected when applying for a Swedish work permit. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and meet the specific conditions to ensure a smooth application process.

Sweden Work Visa without Job Offer

In Sweden, the standard work permit generally requires a job offer from a Swedish employer. However, there are specific circumstances and permit types where you can move to Sweden without a pre-arranged job:

  1. Job Seeker's Permit for Recent Graduates: If you have completed advanced level studies (equivalent to a master's degree or higher), you might be eligible for a residence permit to stay in Sweden for up to nine months to look for a job or start a business. To qualify, you need to have completed your degree within the past year and show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.
  2. Residence Permit for Self-Employment: If you plan to start and run your own business in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person. This requires a detailed business plan, proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself for the first two years, and relevant experience in the business you intend to start. The business must also be expected to support you financially within two years of starting.

Each of these options has specific requirements and limitations, so it’s important to thoroughly understand the criteria and prepare your application accordingly. If you don’t fit into these categories, securing a job offer remains the primary route to obtain a work permit in Sweden.

How to Apply for a Swedish Work Visa?

Step 1: Before Applying

  • Employment Contract: Secure a job in Sweden. Your employer must have advertised the position locally and in the EU/EEA for at least ten days. You'll need a signed employment contract in either English or Swedish.
  • Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay. If it's about to expire, renew it beforehand as your work permit cannot extend beyond your passport's validity.

Step 2: Application Initiation

  • Employer's Role: Your Swedish employer starts the application by submitting details about the employment online, including your personal information.
  • Receive an Email: You'll then receive an email with instructions on how to apply for your work permit online.

Step 3: Submitting Your Application

  • Online Form: Fill in the application form and ensure the employment details match what was agreed with your employer.
  • Attach Required Documents: Include your employment contract, passport pages with your personal details, and any power of attorney if applicable.
  • Family Applications: If your family is joining you, apply for their permits simultaneously, attaching their passports and other required family documents like marriage and birth certificates.

Step 4: Application Fee

  • Payment: Pay the application fee online using a Visa or Mastercard.

Step 5: Review and Decision by the Embassy

  • Document Review: Ensure all details are correct and documents complete to avoid delays. The Migration Agency might contact you if additional information is needed.
  • Passport Verification: Show your passport at a Swedish embassy or consulate. This may include fingerprinting and photography for a residence permit card.

Step 6: After Approval

  • Collecting the Decision: You’ll be notified via email once a decision is made. Collect the decision from the embassy or consulate specified in your application.
  • Residence Permit Card: If granted a work permit, you'll receive a residence permit card within four weeks of your embassy visit.

Step 7: Additional Points

  • Special Cases: Applications may differ for certain occupations, countries, or if you have previously sought asylum.
  • Extension and Permanent Residence: If applying for an extension or permanent residence, show proof that all work permit conditions have been met during your stay.

This guide outlines the necessary steps to ensure a smooth application process for a Swedish work permit. Always check the latest requirements on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website, as processes and requirements can change.

Sweden Work Visa Cost

Standard Application Fees:

  • Work Permit: SEK 2,200
  • EU Blue Card, ICT Permit, Seasonal Work: SEK 2,000
  • Extension of Work Permit: SEK 2,200
  • Residence Permit for Highly Qualified Persons (seeking work or starting a business): SEK 2,200
  • Permanent Residence Permit: No additional cost when applied for with an extension.

Special Fees for Specific Occupations:

  • Self-employed: SEK 2,000
  • Performer: SEK 1,500
  • Au Pair: SEK 1,500
  • Professional Athletes and Coaches: SEK 1,500
  • Working Holiday Visa for Young People: SEK 1,500
  • Researcher: SEK 1,500
  • Trainee (via international exchange program): SEK 1,500
  • Volunteer: SEK 1,500
  • Seeking Employment Post-Research: SEK 1,500

Fees for Family Members:

  • Adults: SEK 1,500
  • Children Under 18: SEK 750

Payment Methods:

  • Online: Fees can be paid with a credit card during the online application process. Ensure your card is enabled for internet transactions by consulting your bank.
  • At Embassies or Consulates: When applying in person, fees are paid at the time of application submission. Note that fees and payment methods may vary, so it's advisable to check with the specific embassy or consulate for precise information.

Sweden Work Visa Processing Time

The Sweden work visa processing time can vary depending on several factors, such as the completeness of your application, the time of year, and the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, for Indian applicants:

  • Standard Processing Time: The processing time for a work permit application for Indians can take about 1 to 3 months. However, it's important to note that times may vary based on the workload at the Swedish Migration Agency and the specific details of your application.

Sweden Work Visa Validity

In Sweden, the validity of a work permit generally depends on the length of your employment contract, but there are common guidelines:

  • For contracts shorter than two years, the work permit is usually granted for the duration of the contract.
  • For contracts of two years or longer, the work permit can be issued for a maximum of two years initially.

After the initial period, you can apply for an extension of your work permit. If you have had a work permit for four years within a seven-year period, you might also be eligible to apply for permanent residency, given that certain conditions are met, including ongoing employment.

It's important to ensure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of the permit, plus an additional three months, as the validity of your work permit cannot exceed that of your passport.

How Can I Extend my Sweden Work Permit?

If you want to continue working in Sweden after your current work permit expires, you need to apply for an extension. Here’s a simplified guide on how to do this and what to consider, including information on applying for permanent residence in conjunction with your extension.

Continue Working While Your Extension is Processed

  • If You’ve Worked Six Months or More: You can continue working while your extension is processed, as long as you apply before your current permit expires. This also applies if you change employers or jobs—just ensure your new application is in before the old permit expires.
  • Less than Six Months: If your current work permit is less than six months old, you cannot continue working while waiting for the decision on your extension.

Conditions for Extending Your Work Permit

  • Employment Requirements: You must continue to work in the job your initial permit was issued for.
  • Salary and Conditions: Your salary and employment conditions must meet or exceed those set by the relevant Swedish collective agreements or industry standards.
  • Sufficient Income: Your monthly salary should be at least 80 percent of the median salary as per the latest figures from Statistics Sweden.
  • Insurance Coverage: You must have been covered by health, life, occupational injury, and occupational pension insurance throughout the duration of your existing work permit.

Applying for an Extension

  • Timing: Apply online up to four months before your current permit expires but while your current permit is still valid.
  • Documentation: Include your employment contract and proof of insurance coverage in your application.
  • Working After Permit Expires: If you apply after your current permit has expired, you cannot work until your new permit is granted.

Special Considerations

Different rules may apply to certain groups such as athletes, coaches, au pairs, seasonal workers, performers, researchers, holders of an EU Blue Card or ICT permits, and self-employed individuals.

Applying for Permanent Residence

If you’re applying for an extension and have accumulated four years of work permit status within a seven-year period, you might also consider applying for permanent residency. This can typically be done in conjunction with your work permit extension application at no extra cost.

Remember, it’s crucial to maintain continuous legal status and comply with all requirements to avoid complications. Make sure you keep all your documentation up to date and submit your extension application on time.

Conclusion

As we've explored, obtaining and renewing a work visa in Sweden involves several steps and adherence to specific requirements, but with proper preparation, it's a straightforward process.

Remember, the key to a successful application lies in understanding the requirements, timely submissions, and maintaining eligibility through continuous employment.

With this guide, you're now better prepared to navigate the Swedish work visa landscape and take the next steps towards your career goals in Sweden.

FAQ

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