Guide: work in Sweden

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
This guide provides an overview of work permits, jobseeking, authorisation, salaries, tax, and working conditions when you are planning to work in Sweden.

If you are considering looking for a job in Sweden, you should find out about what applies regarding jobseeking, authorisation, tax, social insurance, and working conditions.

Use the guide as a checklist of the most important things you must remember when you are planning to work in Sweden.

Work permits in Sweden

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden), you can live and work in Sweden without needing to apply for work and residence permits.

If you are a citizen of a country in the EU or EEA, you do not need to apply for a permit to work in Sweden. You can start to look for a job straightaway. You also have the right to start and run your own business.

If you are a citizen of Switzerland and want to work for longer than three months, you must apply for a Swedish residence permit.

If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU or EEA, you must have a permit to work in Sweden. There are different types of work permit depending on where you come from, how long you intend to stay in Sweden, and what job you were thinking of doing. You must contact the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) to find out what applies in your case.

Look for work in Sweden

You can find information about looking for work in Sweden on the Info Norden webpages. You can also read about jobseeking in Sweden on the website and on the website of the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen).

Look for work in Sweden with unemployment benefit from your home country.

If you receive unemployment benefit in another EU or EEA country, you may be able to receive the benefit for up to three months while you look for work in Sweden. Read more about this on the Info Norden webpages.

Authorisation in Sweden

Certain professional titles are protected in Sweden. This means you need a Swedish professional qualification or authorisation to practice this type of work in Sweden.

On the Info Norden website, you can find more information about which professions require authorisation to work in Sweden and which authority you should contact to obtain Swedish authorisation.

Salaries, employment terms, and trade unions in Sweden

The Nordic countries are similar, but employment conditions differ in the different countries.

When you start to work in Sweden, you should therefore find out what applies in terms of salary, employment terms, and rights and obligations as an employee in Sweden. This will ensure you proper working conditions in the Swedish labour market.

You can get information about salary statistics, and what your salary will be according to the collective bargaining agreement of the trade union that covers your business area.

The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) has information about rights and obligations as an employee in Sweden.

Tax in Sweden

When you are to start work in Sweden, you must either have a Swedish personal identity number or a coordination number in order to pay tax in Sweden, and to enable the payment of sickness benefit (sjukpenning) if you cannot go to work.

You must also have a tax card (A-skattesedel) so that your employer can deduct tax from your salary and pay social security charges (arbetsgivaravgifter).

Contact the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to get a personal identity number / coordination number and tax card.

Social insurance in Sweden

If you move to Sweden to work, you will generally be covered by Swedish social insurance.

You can be covered by the social insurance in another country if you, for example, are a posted employee or if you work in other countries than Sweden.

When you are covered by social insurance in a country, it is the regulations in that country that apply to you, such as unemployment insurance, pension, sickness benefit, family benefits, parental leave, healthcare benefits, and housing allowance. Read more about social insurance on the Info Norden webpages.

Work or live in other Nordic countries

If you commute to work in a Nordic country from your home in another Nordic country, you must check what applies in terms of your tax situation and your social insurance.

If you work in two countries, you should be aware that your employers in both the countries in which you work should generally pay social security charges in the country in which you are covered by social insurance.

If you are a citizen of a country outside the Nordic region, the EU or the EEA, and live in another Nordic country and wish to continue to live there while you work in Sweden, you must apply for a work permit in Sweden. You should also ensure that you can commute across the border to work in Sweden without this having consequences for your residence permit in the other Nordic country.

Seasonal work in Sweden

There are many good reasons to consider looking for seasonal employment in Sweden. It gives you a chance to learn new skills, try a new job, meet new people, and get to know another country.

Here you can read about Swedish job opportunities, contract terms, holiday pay, and work environment regulations, and what applies if you become sick while you have a summer job or other temporary employment in Sweden on the Info Norden webpages.

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Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.