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Two people walk past each other on Skeppsholmen Bridge in central Stockholm.

Photo: Helén Pe

Categories: Before

Get residence permits in Sweden

Publish date: 30 November 2023

Find out which rules apply for you.

EU/EEA citizens 

As an EU/EEA citizen, you don't need a permit to work, study or live in Stockholm. You also have the right to start and operate a private business. If you can support yourself, you automatically have the right of residence in Sweden and do not need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency.

Non-EU citizens

If you’re a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA (or Switzerland) you will need a work permit. If you plan to work for a period longer than three months to start up or run your own business or become a part-owner of a company, you must have a residence permit for the self-employed. If you have already been granted a long-term residence status for an EU country (or Switzerland), the entry requirements are similar to those for EU/EEA citizens.

To get a work permit you must have an employment offer and your work permit must be granted before you arrive in Sweden. The fee for a first application is SEK 2,000, and for an extension (if the employment and terms don’t change) the fee is SEK 1,000. The permit is valid for the duration of the temporary employment or for two years. After 48 months of employment in Sweden, you may qualify for a permanent residence permit.

There are some exceptions, notably for students who have completed a number of postgraduate credits. In some cases, candidates who are in the country for an interview can get a permit, if employment starts immediately and if there is high demand in the sector.

As a self-employed person, you cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted. On the Swedish Migration Agency's website, you can read more about the requirements for obtaining a residence permit for the self-employed.

If you get a work or residence permit, your family members can apply for residence permits for the duration of your stay. Read more about how to apply here.

When granted a residence permit, you will be given a residence permit card which proves you have permission to be in Sweden. This card has a microchip containing your fingerprints and photograph. Always bring your card when you are in contact with the authorities and health care providers. Please note that your residence permit card does not replace a Swedish ID Card.

For more information about the application process, please visit the Swedish Migration Agency's website. You can also contact your local Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

Certified companies 

These companies are certified partners of the Swedish Migration Agency to process work permits: Nordic Relocation Group KB, Öhrlings Pricewaterhouse Coopers AB, Bird & Bird Advokat KB, Newcomers Relocation AB, Human Entrance AB, Advokatfirman Vinge KB, KEY Relocation Center AB, KPMG AB, Deloitte AB, EY AB, Alfa Quality Moving AB, Global Goes Local, K2 Corporate Mobility.

Good to know

Your work and residence permit must be obtained from outside Sweden. Please start the application process for a work and residence permit at least 12 weeks before your arrival. If you include all the required information and documentation at the time of application, you will generally receive a decision within a month. If you apply for a residence permit for the self-employed the application process takes more than seven months in 75% of cases.

If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it as you cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of your passport. 

A practical guide to smooth your move to Stockholm