Work and residence permits
Citizens of the EU/EEA states and their next of kin only need a valid passport or ID indicating their citizenship to enter Sweden. Those intending to stay for more than three months need a residence permit. EU/EEA citizens and their next of kin can apply for a residence permit after entering Sweden.
Attached to the application, in addition to ID documents, a certificate of employment stating the employment period and place of employment shall be submitted. The certificate of employment shall be written and signed by the employer. In addition to the business’ name, address and phone number, it should also clarify who the contact person at the business is.
The residence permit is valid for five years if the employment lasts for one year or longer. If the employment period does not span a full year, the permit is valid for the same length as the employment period. Individuals who retire while living in Sweden may stay if they have lived here for at least three years and worked for the last 12 months.
EU/EEA citizens and their next of kin are exempt from needing a work permit to work in Sweden.
Citizens from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may, in certain cases, be granted a permit to work in Sweden. A prerequisite for this to happen is that it is impossible to fill the need for labour by recruiting from within Sweden using the means of the labour market or by utilising the option to hire citizens from other EEA countries. A person wishing to work in Sweden needs a work permit.
The permit must be finalised and registered in the passport before entering Sweden. If the work is set to last for longer than three months, a residence permit is also required.
Citizens from many countries also need a visa in order to enter and reside in Sweden for periods shorter than three months (90 days). For information about which countries this applies to, see www.utrikes.regeringen.se! Read more about visas on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website.
In order to obtain a work permit, the following is required:
- A written offer to work in Sweden. There is a specific form for job offers which can be downloaded from the county labour board website.
- a guaranteed salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month before tax.
- accommodation arranged in Sweden.
- that the employee is fully set on leaving Sweden once the employment ends.
The Swedish Migration Agency makes the final decision regarding work permits after consultation with the county labour board. Applications are submitted to a Swedish embassy or consulate in your native country 6-8 weeks before you enter Sweden.
Permits are usually granted on a one-year basis or for the employment period outlined in the offered position, provided it is shorter than one year. If the work is dependent on a need for labour, a permit may be granted for a maximum of 18 months. If the nature of the work is one of international exchange, the permit may be extended for up to four years.
The permit applies to work done for the employer who offered the position and only the profession specified in said offer.
There are different kinds of permits
- Permanent residence permits (PRP) become relevant when a person is offered indefinite or permanent employment. These permits are however only granted in exceptional cases and primarily to individuals in key positions or other specialised professional activities.
- Temporary work permits for labour market reasons (TB) are granted temporarily to compensate for a lack of other qualified staff with the appropriate vocational training and experience.
- Temporary work permits for international exchange (IE) may be granted to managerial or specialist staff working for international businesses in need of service in Sweden for a specific period of time. IEs can also be granted for work within culture, pedagogy, sports activities and research.
- Permits for international traineeship (IT) can also be granted within the scope of special exchange programmes or bilateral agreements. Special agreements exist for receiving trainees from the Baltic states.
- Work permit for seasonal workers (SW) are granted between 15 May and 15 October and are valid for three months from the date of entry. The applicant must be 18 years of age or older.
As part of the EEA agreement, persons who receive employment in Sweden have the same rights as Swedish citizens in terms of salary, working conditions, access to housing, education, social security and trade union membership. Spouses and children who depend on their parents income have the same social rights as the gainfully employed.
Employment of foreign guest lecturers at Linnaeus University
Regarding the involvement of foreign teachers who take a more continuous role and who participate in teaching/reasearch for longer periods of time, there are different options for solving the issue of employment.
One option is for the University to sign an agreement with the guest lecturers employer. This is then used to regulate which conditions apply to our costs pertaining to travelling and salary. In other words, the guest lecturer is not hired by the University, but we compensate the guest lecturer for these expenses. Another method is for Linnaeus University to hire the guest lecturer through an employment decision. In order for a salary to be paid, the guest lecturer must have a Swedish personal identity number, and the terms and conditions for taxation must be in order. This decision is made by the tax authority. It is also important to clarify which compensation rules apply for travels between Sweden and the lecturer’s home country, as well as the terms and conditions in cases of illness or accidents. Contact your HR partner for every individual case for more information.
No written employment agreement is produced for foreign guest lecturers who come to Sweden for a single appointment. A statement of account with the correct home address and a photocopy of the passport is submitted to the Office of Human Resources. The office will apply for a decision regarding tax deduction and personal identity number from the tax authority, after which the salary will be paid.
Special Income Tax for Non-Residents (SINK)
Income for services carried out by natural persons living abroad are taxed in accordance with the Income Tax on Non‑Residents Act. The principle is that the employee is living abroad and is not permanently staying in Sweden (no more than 6 months per year).
Decisions concerning SINK are made by the tax authority in the county where the salary-paying party is registered as an employer. The special income tax is charged at a rate of 25 % of the taxable income.
Paid remuneration for per diem is equated with taxable income. According to SINK, travel expenses incurred when travelling to and from Sweden at the start and end of the employment, as well as for accommodation, are exempt from taxation.