Work permit and visa

Various regulations apply depending on if it's a citizen of a Nordic country, an EU/EEA country or a non-EU country.

Work for less than 90 days

As a basic principle, you should assume that a work permit is needed if the person is a non-EU/EEA citizen even if the employment is for less than 90 days.

There is an exception to having to apply for a work permit for teachers/researchers in higher education if the work entails research, teaching or other lecture activities and if the employee will spend a total of 3 months over a 12-month period in Sweden. However, citizens of certain non-EU/EEA countries must still have a visa for entry into Sweden.

For other positions (e.g. administrative staff), work permits are required even if the person is employed for less than 3 months.

Visa

If a work permit is not needed, citizens of certain non-EU/EEA countries must have a visa for entry into Sweden. Usually the visa process needs to beinvestigated and initiated by the employee and applying for visas are usually done via a web based application. Information concerning visa can be found on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website (Migrationsverket): Fact about visas. external link, opens in new window

Work permit

Nordic and EU/EEA citizens

Citizens of a Nordic or an EU/EEA country can start to work immediately in Sweden, as they do not need a work permit or are required to register right of residence at  the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket). Remember to bring a valid passport or identity card stating your citizenship for entry into Sweden.

Nordic citizensexternal link, opens in new window

EU/EEA citizensexternal link, opens in new window

Non EU/EEA citizens

Most citizens of non-EU/EEA countries must obtain a work permit to work in Sweden. Before entering Sweden, a work permit must have been granted. Please note that the processing period for applications of work permits at the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) may vary depending on each specific case.

On the Swedish Migration Agency’s website you can find further information as well as a guide on work permits: Work permit requirementsexternal link, opens in new windowApplication guideexternal link, opens in new window

Visiting researcher

A visiting researcher, and citizen of a non-EU/EEA country, who will stay in Sweden for longer than 90 days and mainly conduct research must obtain a residence permit and have a hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden.

The directive is not applicable on third-country nationals who study in Sweden to carry out research to obtain a doctoral degree. Consequently, doctoral students cannot be considered as visiting researchers. See below for more information regarding doctoral students.

Doctoral students

Persons admitted to third-cycle education in Sweden aiming to obtain a doctoral degree/PhD must apply for a residence permit as a student. When applying, a certificate from Jönköping University must be attached, which the employer is responsible for to provide.

Information for doctoral students is available on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website: Studying at universiteties or university collegesexternal link, opens in new window

Content updated 2019-08-28

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