Work Permit/Visa Requirements for Sweden

So, there is a lot of other requirements of a work permit in Sweden that people don’t think about. Whether or not it is the employer’s fault or not, you, the employee, will pay the price. We wrote a step by step guide to how to get your work permit. You can consider this as part 2 to that article. A work permit is different from a work visa. We talk about both Sweden work permit/visa requirements, but in this article we will focus of work permit requirements.

Whether you are reading this as an employer or an employee, these are the things that need to be kept in mind work permit/visa Requirements for Sweden. Unfortunately, the Swedish regulations are set up that all mistakes made (caused by either the employer or employee) will in the end only really affect the employee. It is therefore very important to ensure that all requirements are met.

Not meeting the requirements will more often than not cause issues with a potential future extension application and may result in a rejection. Below you will find common reasons why applications are rejected:

work requirements sweden salary


The basic salary requirement is that the received salary should be “on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements or which are customary within the occupation or industry”. Before a work permit application the offer of employment form (containing salary details) is sent to the local union for their approval. The union should then comment on whether or not the salary is acceptable or not.

If the union says the salary is too low, it is very likely that the application will be rejected. If the union approves the salary, it is important that the salary that is paid out is not lower than what was stated in the offer of employment form.

I have been paid less, what do I do?

If you have been paid less than what was initially offered, there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Please see if any of the below scenarios are applicable:

  • I was on paternity/maternity leave
  • I was on sick leave
  • The hours I was working were reduced

If you have been paid less due to any other reasons, there is a risk that your application can be rejected. If you have been paid less due to perhaps an administrative error it is important that the employer pays this back retroactively before the work permit application is submitted or before the Migration Agency makes a comment about it.

sweden permit work leave travel 6 months

Leaving Sweden for more than 4 months during the 4 year work permit period

In order for a person to be granted permanent residence the must have created a strong connection with Sweden and the Swedish work force. The Migration Agency therefore considers more than 4 months of absence from work to mean that the connection with Sweden and the Swedish work force is not strong enough to grant permanent residence.

This is usually only relevant to people who leave Sweden to go on assignments to other countries for many shorter periods or a few longer ones. It is, however, also important for people who have held work permits at previous periods during the past 7 years. The reason for this is that the Migration Agency will review all work permits that you have held during the past 7 years. If you have had absences that when combined add up to be 4 months then there is a high risk that the work permit will be rejected.

insurance sweden work

Must be covered by the mandatory insurances

To be granted an extension the following mandatory insurances must have been in place during the entire work permit period:

  • Health insurance (must cover loss of income)
  • Life insurance
  • Occupational Injury insurance
  • Pension insurance (only required for people over the age of 24)

These must all be in place from day one of the employment. The employee should therefore not start the employment itself before these are in place. It is also not acceptable for any of these insurances to be negotiated away or for them to be covered by the Swedish social security system. These are all private insurances that must be signed for all employees with work permits in Sweden.

If there has been a gap in insurance coverage (1-2 months) this is usually accepted by the Migration Agency due to recent rulings stating that smaller mistakes by employers should be tolerated. However, the main rule is still that the insurances must be in place from day one of starting the employment – if the insurances are not in place, the employment shouldn’t start.

sweden mandatory holiday 20 days

Mandatory holiday

Mandatory holiday is something that many people have questions about. The Migration Agency used to require work permit holders to take at least 20 days of paid holiday every year. However, this is something that is no longer required as per a court ruling (here:

You can therefore take as much or as little holiday that you like and still be granted an extension of your work permit.