If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can work in Sweden without needing to apply for a work permit.
If you are not a citizen of a Nordic country, an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you must apply for a work permit to work in Sweden. You must apply for the work permit from your home country or the country in which you last lived, and the application must be approved, before you travel to Sweden. Your employer in Sweden must check that you have a work permit.
Looking for work in Sweden
On the website of the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) you can find vacancies advertised for positions in the public and private sectors. You can also put up a CV so that employers can more easily find you, and you can watch webinars that guide you when you are applying for a job in Sweden.
The public employment offices in the EU/EEA countries have a European network, EURES. On the EURES website, you can find jobs throughout Europe and contact information to EURES advisers. EURES advisers can answer questions about work both in Sweden and in all the other EU/EEA countries.
There are also many private job portals in Sweden. Swedish employers use both the public and private job portals when they are recruiting new staff.
You can contact private recruitment agencies that help companies find staff, look on company websites for vacancies, or send unsolicited applications to companies. You can also look on social media.
Rights in the Swedish labour market
It is important that you are aware of your rights in the labour market when you start to work in Sweden, and ensure decent working conditions.
The Nordic countries are similar in many ways, including when it comes to work, but employment conditions differ. It is therefore a good idea to find what applies when you work in Sweden, both in relation to rights and to what is expected of you.
When you are employed in Sweden, most employment conditions are regulated through a collective bargaining agreement (kollektivavtal). This means that you do not need to negotiate much regarding your employment contract.
Working time is regulated in the collective bargaining agreement and the Swedish Working Hours Act. Ordinary working time in Sweden is a maximum of 40 hours per week for full-time positions.
Both you as employee and your employer are subject to certain rules in connection with termination and resignation.
You can contact the trade union in your sector to find out more about employment conditions in your professional field.
Look for work in Sweden with unemployment benefit from your home country.
If you are receiving unemployment benefit from a Nordic country, you can look for work in Sweden for three months with the benefit paid from your home country.
However, you must be receiving unemployment benefit and satisfy a number of other conditions applicable in the country where you receive unemployment benefit.
In order to receive unemployment benefit while you are looking for work in Sweden, you must have certificate PD U2 from the agency that pays your unemployment benefit. If you are receiving unemployment benefit from the Faroe Islands or Greenland, the relevant form is N-303.
When you come to Sweden, you must contact the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and register your availability for the Swedish labour market. It will still be your home country’s unemployment insurance fund (a-kassa) that pays your unemployment benefit.
You should contact the agency that pays your unemployment benefit in good time before you plan to travel to Sweden, to find out about special requirements, deadlines and possible waiting time in case processing.
If you find a job in Sweden
If you find a job in Sweden, you will generally be covered by unemployment insurance in Sweden. This means you must join a Swedish unemployment insurance fund (a-kassa).
Ask the unemployment insurance fund or public agency in the country where you are covered by unemployment insurance for a PD U1 certificate. You can then transfer your years of service from that country’s unemployment insurance scheme to an unemployment insurance fund in Sweden.
It is important that you join a Swedish unemployment insurance fund on the day you start work in Sweden, as it can cause great problems if the period of insurance is broken.
If you do not find a job in Sweden
If you do not find a job in Sweden in the course of the three months you are looking for a job while receiving unemployment benefit from your home country, you must return to the country where you are covered by unemployment insurance and register with the unemployment insurance fund (a-kassan) or the unemployment insurance agency. If you do not do this, you lose the right to unemployment benefit.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.