fact sheet work and residence permits and entry visas 1/3 Work and residence permits and entry visas How do international staff apply for permission to in brief work in Sweden? How long can they live and work • Sweden is part of the Schengen zone in Sweden? This fact sheet guides international • No work permit needed for citizens of EU/EEA states • Work permits for non-EU/EEA citizens require a written investors through the rules and procedures for offer of employment seeking entry visas and residence and work permits. EU/EEA citizEns EU/EEA citizens who are in employment or self-employment, Visits of up to 90 days or who are students or possess sufficient funds to support As Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU) and a themselves, have a right to reside in Sweden. A right to reside signatory to the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, means that, as an EU/EEA citizen, the person and his/her citizens of EU/EEA countries only require a valid passport or family members are permitted to stay in Sweden for more identity card to enter Sweden for periods of up to 90 days. An than 90 days without a residence permit. A right to reside agreement between Switzerland and the EU also gives Swiss must be registered with the Swedish Migration Board (Migra- citizens the same freedom of movement. tionsverket) within 90 days of entering the country. Family members who are not EU/EEA citizens must apply for resi- eu/eea countries dence cards. EU member states are: Documents required when registering a right to reside: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, E • U/EEA citizens planning to work in Sweden must enclose Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, a certificate of employment from their employer stating Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. the duration and type of employment. EEA countries: T • o be registered as self-employed applicants must be able The EEA consists of the EU member states and Norway, Iceland and to produce the registration certificate for their company Liechtenstein. and/or other documents that prove business ownership. I • ndividuals who provide a service, for instance as a consultant or freelance, need to confirm this, by means of stays of more than 90 days a certificate, agreement or similar documentation. The EU/EEA citizens and their family members do not require a document must be written and signed by the person residence permit to stay in Sweden for more than 90 days. receiving the service. Published in January 2010 fact sheet work and residence permits and entry visas 2/3 • ersons falling outside the above categories can register P Qualifying grounds for work permits a right to reside if they have sufficient funds for their up- Executives or specialists from non-EU/EEA countries normally keep. When registering they should enclose documents have no difficulty obtaining work and residence permits if confirming that their finances are secured, for instance employed by Swedish or foreign-owned companies. Executives through a pension from their home country or via other are normally defined as people in leading roles (for example, financial means. in charge of marketing, sales, export, purchasing, human resources, production or R&D). no work permit required A work permit may also be granted for a limited period to Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not need a work permit in cover a labor shortage, normally for an initial term of two Sweden and can start working the day they enter the country. years. The permit covers limited-term employment in areas where the employer is experiencing a labor shortage. non-EU/EEA citizEns Visas required for temporary visits of up to 90 days Residence permit required for stays of more than 90 days Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries will require a “Schengen Non-EU/EEA citizens require a residence permit to stay in visa” to enter Sweden. However, visas are not required for Sweden for more than 90 days. The permit must be obtained citizens of countries with which Sweden has visa agreements and stamped in the person’s passport before arrival in Sweden. (the US, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, among others). As with work permits, residence permits are applied for at the A complete list of countries for which visas are required is Swedish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of available at www.migrationsverket.se/english.jsp under the origin or residence. The consulate or embassy forwards the Entry Visas section. application to the Swedish Migration Board for adjudication. Foreign citizens can apply for a visa at a Swedish embassy A residence permit of more than 12 months entitles the foreign or consulate in any country where Sweden has a diplomatic citizen to the same social and welfare benefits and taxpaying mission. Applications can also be made to any other embassy responsibilities as a Swedish citizen and the same taxes. representing a Schengen country (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Family members of a person granted a residence permit Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, (for example, spouse or cohabitant and children under 18) Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, may also be granted residence permits for the same period. Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Family members may also be granted work permits where the Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain). term of employment is for more than six months. Applicants must be able to show that the visit will be A person who has worked and held a residence permit in temporary, that they can support themselves financially during Sweden for four years may be granted permanent residence. the stay or that they have an invitation from a Swedish resident, medical travel insurance, and tickets or funds to return home. Non-EU/EEA citizens who are long-term EU/EEA residents Non-EU/EEA citizens who have held a residence permit in an Work permit procedures EU/EEA country for more then five years may acquire the status Non-EU/EEA citizens who intend to work in Sweden require of long-term resident in that country. Long-term residents in a work permit before entering the country. Work permits are an EU country acquire certain rights which are similar to those applied for at the Swedish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s of EU citizens. These entail greater freedom of movement to country of origin or residence. The consulate or embassy work in the EU, start new companies or study in other EU forwards the application to Swedish Migration Board for countries, such as Sweden. Family members are entitled to adjudication. Work permit applications can also be sent accompany the individual. electronically to the Swedish Migration Board. The permit Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not covered application must include a written offer of employment in by the rules for long-term residents. This means that a person Sweden, which is issued by the Swedish employer and must cannot acquire the status of long-term resident in these three include information on salary, insurance and housing arrange- countries. ments in Sweden. fact sheet work and residence permits and entry visas 3/3 A person with the status of long-term resident in an EU member Exemption from work permit state (who has been granted the special EC long-term residence Non-EU/EEA specialists employed by an international company permit) and who wants to spend more than 90 days in Sweden or group and who travel to and from Sweden for periods of needs to apply for a residence permit. Applications are either temporary work do not require a work permit. This exemption posted to the Swedish Migration Board or handed in to a applies if the total stay in Sweden does not exceed 12 months. Swedish diplomatic mission abroad. However, if the stay is longer than 90 days at a time a residence When moving to Sweden from another EU/EEA country, permit will be required and must have been granted prior to an applicant must provide additional information with the arrival. Citizens of some countries must hold a visa in order to residence permit application. enter Sweden (see “Visas required for temporary visits.”) This information depends on the purpose of the move to Sweden: Requirements when setting up as self-employed in sweden L • ong-term EU/EEA residents planning to work in Sweden Non-EU/EEA citizens seeking to set up a business in Sweden must enclose a certificate of employment from their employer as self-employed do not require a work permit but must have stating the duration and type of employment. a residence permit stamped in their passport on arrival in T • o be registered as self-employed the applicants must be Sweden. The application must be submitted at least 90 days able to produce the registration certificate for their company before the permit is needed. and/or other documents that prove business ownership. As a rule, residence permits are granted for one year at a I • ndividuals who provide a service, for instance as a time for a period of two years. After that, the Swedish Migra- consultant or freelance, need to confirm this (for example, tion Board can grant a permanent residence permit – provided by means of a certificate, agreement or similar documen- that the business performs according to plan. tation). The document must be written and signed by the person receiving the service. P • ersons outside the above categories may apply for a residence permit if they have sufficient funds for their upkeep. When applying they should enclose documents that confirm that their finances are secured, for example through a pension from their home country or other fi- nancial means. useful contacts further information Government agencies at www.isa.se swedish Migration Board swedish embassies and consulates Running a business in Sweden (Migrationsverket) www.swedenabroad.se – an introduction SE-601 70 Norrköping Sweden has 104 missions abroad, including Setting up and registering as +46 771 194400 embassies, representations, delegations and self-employed www.migrationsverket.se consulates. Useful information sources The Migration Board is responsible for permits for people visiting and settling in Sweden, citizenship affairs, repatriation, international work and other collaborative bodies. External experts have reviewed this fact sheet. However, the contents should not be viewed as legal or financial advice but only as an overview of current conditions in Sweden. These may change and thereby render descriptions of laws and other frameworks inaccurate. In all individual cases we request that advice always be sought with relevant organizations and businesses on specific issues.