Workpermit (work visa), Arbetstillstånd.

It is crucial for businesses to find the right person when recruiting. In many cases, the right person is someone that is currently residing in a country outside of the European Union. In such a situation, the person must obtain a working permit to have the right to work in Sweden.

To apply for a work permit can feel, both from the employer and employees’ point of view, like a overwhelming and time consuming process. There are strict requirements that the employer must understand and conform to, but you can reduce the risk of sending in an insufficient application by obtaining the right guidance and information beforehand.

Some of the most important requirements are the following:

  1. You need to make the position available for any European worker to apply

To be able to recruit someone from outside the EU, you need to first make the position available for any worker that currently resides in the European Union. This requirement is part of Sweden’s obligation to the European common market.

The easiest way to oblige to this requirement is to post the job offer on the site of the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) for a minimum of 10 days and let any EU worker apply during this time. Only after these 10 days can you chose to hire a person from outside of the European Union.

  1. You need to be able to offer the same terms as a domestic worker would receive

To avoid wage dumping and possible exploitation of foreign workers, Sweden has a requirement that the employer need to offer a non-EU worker a wage and terms that corresponds to the Swedish standard in your specific field of business. If your field of business has collective agreement (kollektivavtal), it should be carefully followed. If you are unsure what the standard terms for your field of business is, any relevant workers union can help you with information. If you don’t offer a wage and terms that corresponds to the Swedish standard, the application for work permit will be rejected.

Included in the terms of the employment is any relevant insurance for your field of business. Most often is the requirement a healthcare insurance, life insurance, swedish employment security insurance (trygghetsförsäkring) and occupational pension insurance (tjänstepensionsförsäkring).

  1. The employee must be able to support him/herself with the employment

Another requirement is that the employee will make enough money that they can support him/herself. Even if you provide a wage and terms that are equal to the Swedish standard in your line of business, there are situations where the employee will make less money than what is reasonable to be able to support themselves. For example, the employee will work a insufficient number of hours or have a contract with irregular working hours.

Sweden has a requirement that the employee must make at least 13 000 kr/months before taxes to be able to support him/herself.

When these formal requirements are met is the employee ready to apply for the work permit. Askari Law Firm can handle the application from start to finish or have a guiding role in a specific step of the process. We have experience of first-time applications and extension-application alike.

A well-prepared application minimizes the chances that the process time at Migrationsverket will be delayed, or that the application will be rejected.

What happens if the application gets rejected?

If the application gets rejected it is most often because the employer or the employee does not fulfil the formal requirements, or because the application was insufficient.

You have always the right to appeal a negative decision regarding work permit. It is important to remember that there is a time limit for when you can appeal, this is usually a maximum of three weeks after the decision has been handed to the applicant. An appeal is done by letter/mail to the Migration Authority, where the applicant should write which decision they want to appeal and why. The case will then be tried by a court.

If you are unsure about how to formulate this letter of appeal, it could be a good idea to contact a lawyer that can write it for you. A lawyer at Askari Law Firm can fast get involved in the case and provide a letter of appeal that is substantiated by law.

Do you want to know more about the process of receiving a work permit? Do you need help with appealing? Contact us for free legal counselling at 08-58625862 or

It is important to keep in mind that the immigration laws which govern work-permits (arbetstillstånd) are amended from time to time, as such it is highly recommended to keep yourself updated and follow the latest developments.