- Country Name: Kingdom of Sweden
- Capital: Stockholm
- Population: 9,858,794 (2016 estimate)
- Language: Swedish
- Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
- Dialing Code: +46
- Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Sweden. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
Timber, hydropower, iron ore, automotive industry, telecommunications, industrial machines, precision equipment, chemical goods and pharmaceuticals, home goods and appliances, forestry, iron, and steel all attract expats to Sweden.
The two options for working in Sweden are:
Work & Residence Permit – for non-EEA/Swiss/Nordic nationals wishing to live and work in Sweden
Blue Card (Blåkort) – An EU wide (with some exceptions) immigration process, implemented in Sweden in 2011 for highly skilled employees with a concrete job offer in the destination country and a salary at least 1.5x the average gross annual salary for the specific job to be done.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the type of work permit being applied for, the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants – particularly as in some instances the application can be done as either an in-country or consular application. We therefore recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
For The Work and Residence Permit Application onboarding the sponsoring company with the Swedish Migration Board effectively “activates” future fast track applications.
Both Work and Residence Permit Applications and Blue Card applications then follow a similar process – applications are submitted to the authorities in Sweden. Then biometrics are submitted at a diplomatic post overseas an entry visa application is submitted. Once granted the assignee enters and starts work. Local registration with the tax authorities and Work Environment Authority is also required.
For both Work & Residence Permit and Blue Card, the relevant Swedish trade union must sign off the application prior to approval.
Applications for Blue Card are subject to a local Labour Market Test and there is no fast track option
For the Work & Residence Permit, you will need to submit various documents which include, but are not limited to: Your original passport which must be valid for at least the length of validity requested in the work and residence permit application, plus a copy of the information page plus any pages with visa/permit endorsements, degree certificate, passport photos, job description, offer of employment, transparency letter summarising terms of employment, including salary, medical insurance, start and end date, marriage certificate and birth certificate for family dependants
For the Blue Card (Blåkort) you will need to submit various documents which include, but are not limited to: Your original passport which must be valid for at least the length of validity requested in the work and residence permit application, plus a copy of the information page plus any pages with visa/permit endorsements, Evidence of either a university degree or five years of relevant professional experience (in the form of certification from previous employers), offer of employment, marriage certificate and birth certificate for family dependants
Some documents may need to be legalised prior to submission. Some documents will also need to be translated.
Processing times will vary according to visa type, nationality and country of application. However an indication of processing times is as follows:
Work & Residence Permit – Typically takes 1 to 2 months until entry to Sweden, and a further 2-4 weeks before the whole process is completed.
Blue Card (Blåkort) – Typically takes 4 to 5 months until entry to Sweden, and a further 2-4 weeks before the whole process is completed.
Work & Residence Permit – valid for maximum initial duration of up to 2 years. Renewals can be issued in increments of two years, up to a total maximum validity of four years.
Blue Card (Blåkort) – valid for maximum initial duration of up to 2 years or the duration of the employment, whichever is shorter. Can be renewed for a maximum total duration of 4 years.
Nationals from specified countries can enter Sweden without a visa for tourism and business purposes, for short trips and restricted activities. Other nationals can enter Sweden on a business visa, for a short trip, to carry out business activities. Check with Newland Chase before you travel to find out whether you need a work permit to undertake proposed activities.
It is strictly prohibited to carry out any work related activity on a Schengen visa or under the visa-waver agreement. Therefore, although you can look for jobs during a visit, you would not be able to commence any form of employment until you have received a work permit, which involves returning to your country of residence to initiate the application process as above.
The applicant must not be in Sweden while the work and residence permit application is in process.
Work & Residence Permit – After five years’ uninterrupted legal residence in Sweden you can apply for permanent residence
The Blue Card will lead to permanent residency (EC long-term resident status) after five years, provided the Blue Card holder has spent the two years immediately prior to the application continuously residing in one EU member state (which would be the state where the permanent residency application would be submitted).
Requirements and procedures are subject to change, so please consult with your Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information.
Some documents may required legalisation and It is recommended that documents be translated into Swedish or English to avoid delays if not issued in one of these languages.
You would be advised to start the visa application process well in advance of the desired date of relocation.