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Work Visa in Sweden.

Learn about work visas in Sweden thanks to Horizons’ up-to-date guide.

Horizons is where real, local hiring expertise meets world-class customer service. Quickly and compliantly hire employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, without the need to open a local entity.

Types of work visas in Sweden

There are several types of visas which will allow an applicant to legally work in Sweden; however, only one is relevant for the majority of applicants: the Sweden employer-sponsored work visa. See below the full list of visas which allow applicants to work.

Sweden Work Permit (Employer-sponsored)‍

Employees who have found a job with a Swedish employer need this Swedish work permit. As an employer, you must sponsor this work visa. For employers who hire non-EU employees through an employer of record, this is the visa they are most likely to apply for.

Intra-company Transfer (ICT)

The ICT permit is for employees who are transferred from a non-EU branch to the Swedish branch. The employer must apply to the Swedish Migration Board or the closest embassy/consulate to be considered for this permit.

Business visa

This visa is for non-EU citizens who want to enter Sweden temporarily – for a business trip or a converence, for example. A business visa is usually valid for 90 days.

Self-employment visa

Freelancer, entrepreneurs, or self-employed workers who plan to live and work in Sweden for longer than 3 months must apply for a self-employment visa. This visa is also a residence permit, and applicants must apply for it before travelling to Sweden.

Working Holiday visa

The Sweden Working Holiday visa is a 1-year visa for citizens from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Applicants must be aged 18–30 to be considered for a Sweden working Holiday Visa.

Student visa

Students are permitted to work alongside their studies. You can see the Sweden immigration website for details of the visa application depending on level of studies (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral).

 

There are exceptions for Sweden work permit requirements depending on the manpower needs of the country. These needs change year to year, but the list on the official Sweden immigration website is kept up to date.

It should also be noted that EU citizens, citizens of Nordic countries, and EU Blue Card holders do no need a work visa to compliantly work in Sweden; Swiss citizens, however, do need a work visa if they plan to work in Sweden for longer than 3 months. 

Required documents for a work visa in Sweden

This section will cover the Sweden employer-sponsored work visa. Required documents include:

  • Copy of passport (all pages, including front and back cover)
  • Copy of highest diploma
  • CV / Resume
  • Advertisement code (all jobs must be advertised for EU applicants for min. 10 days)
  • Contract information:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Email
    • Job title
    • Experience
    • Start & end date
    • Gross salary
    • Committing to Sweden’s 4 mandatory insurances

Process to get a work visa in Sweden

The process for getting a work visa in Sweden can be long. Currently, there are no opportunities to fast-track such visa applications. On average, the process will take between 6 and 12 months to complete, whether the applicant is based inside or outside of Sweden. 

Getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of Sweden

This is the process for getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of Sweden:

  1. Documents collection by the applicant
  2. Job advertisement in Sweden and EU/EEA: 10 days
  3. Offer of Employment completion
  4. Work Permit application: 6 to 12 months
  5. Entry Visa application: 1 week
    (only for applicants needing a visa to enter Sweden)
    (with fingerprints and photograph taken)
  6. Arrival in Sweden: 1 day
  7. Residence Permit Card issuance

Getting a work visa when the employee is based inside of Sweden

For applicants based inside of Sweden, the process is:

  1. Documents collection by the applicant
  2. Job advertisement in Sweden and EU/EEA: 10 days
  3. Offer of Employment completion
  4. Work Permit application: 6 to 12 months
  5. Residence Permit Card issuance
    (with fingerprints and photograph taken)

Special notes about work visas in Sweden

  • EU citizens, citizens of Nordic states, and EU Blue Card holders are all exempt from the Sweden work visa requirement.
  • Citizens from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are elligible to apply for a 1-year working holiday visa.
  • The application process for a Sweden working visa can be long; be sure to plan for a 6 – 12 month delay in local operations if you need to hire a foreign-national to work in Sweden. You can also consider hiring a local Swedish citizen.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

The EU Blue Card allows holders to work and reside in Sweden or in any EU Country. Applicants of the EU Blue Card must have spent 3 years completing higher education in the EU, or have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the EU. Holders of the EU Blue Card must have a salary that is 20%-50% higher than the average.



Sweden work visa holders can generally bring their non-EU family members. For non-EU family members, the Sweden work visa holder can make a residence permit application for the family member for the same duration as the work-visa holder’s work visa. If there is more than 6 months left on the work visa, then the family member may also apply for a work visa.

For EU citizen family members, there are virtually no restrictions on travel and work in Sweden.

Sweden work visas are usually valid for 2 years. After 1 renewal (total: 4 years working in Sweden), Sweden work visa holders may apply for permanent residency.

 

A global employer of record can provide work visa assistance for Sweden. If your business has a candidate, contact us today for a free consultation of your case.

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