Swedish Residence and Work Visas
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Applying for Swedish Residence and Work Visas

There are various procedures that regulate immigration and work in Sweden based on length of time that a person will be a resident within Sweden. Immigration to Sweden is broken down into several categories:

Several recent changes within the Swedish immigration system will also impact the application process:

Nordic Country Immigrants

The Nordic countries (8 as of JAN 2002) consist of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Aaland.

Work and residence requirements for Nordic citizens:

Citizens of Nordic countries must notify Sweden that they are residing and/or working in Sweden. Nordic country citizens do not require residence visas or work visas.

European Union Country Immigrants

European Union countries (15 as of JAN 2002) consist of Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Work and residence requirements for EU citizens:

Citizens of EU countries do not require a work permit but do require a residence permit if the length of residency and/or employment is for more than three months. Employees, including self-employeed persons, must apply to the Swedish Immigration Board for a residence permit.

The Residence Permit for EU citizens is valid for up to five years (for the actual duration of the employment) and can be renewed. EU citizens seeking employment in Sweden are allowed to work while waiting for their Residence Permit to be processed.

Treaty Country Immigrants

Treaty countries (52 as of JAN 2002) consist of United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR passport holders only), Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau (SAR passport holders only), Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

There are a number of countries whose citizens may travel to and visit Sweden for up to 90 days without a permit, residence visa, business visa, or work visa. For stays longer than 90 days, a residence and/or work visa must be applied for prior to entry into Sweden. In general, if you are a citizen of a country not on the Regeringskansliet restricted visa list you do not need to apply for a visa if your stay will be less than 90 days.

Work and residence requirements for Treaty Country citizens:

Permanent residence and work visas must be applied for while outside of Sweden. Permanent residency and work visas are valid for up to three years and are renewable within Sweden.

Temporary residence and work visas can be applied for while outside Sweden or while inside the country. Temporary residence and work visas are valid for up to one year and are renewable within Sweden.

Restricted Visa Country Immigrants

There are very strict visa requirements for citizens of countries that fall into this category, which includes most African and Asian countries. A list of countries that require a visa to enter Sweden can be found at the Regeringskansliet visa requirements list (Countries not specifically listed above typically require visas). The following countries have additional special restrictions: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

Citizens of countries on the Regeringskansliet list must have a visa issued to them before entering Sweden. The application must be made and the visa issued prior to traveling to Sweden. Permission to enter Sweden will be denied If the appropriate visas and/or permits are not presented when arriving in Sweden.

Work and residence requirements for Restricted Visa Country citizens:

Work and residency visas must be applied for and received prior to traveling to Sweden. Failure to have a valid residence and work permit can result in either denial of entry into Sweden or deportation once inside Sweden.

Please contact ALSS for further information on obtaining Swedish visas for people that are citizens of countries on the restricted visa list.

Schengen Treaty impact on immigration and work in Sweden

Schengen countries (15 as of JAN 2002) consist of Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Spain.

The Schengen agreement lies outside the framework of the European Union and does not convey or extend residence and work permit benefits issued by Sweden to any other Schengen signatory country. However, a person barred from one Schengen treaty country becomes barred from all schengen signatory countries. The United Kingdom and Ireland have not opened their boarders to Schengen visa holders.

General notes on residence and work permits issued by Sweden

Visas and permits issued by Sweden are not transferable to other countries. Persons wanting to reside or work in another Nordic or EU member country must apply to that country for residence and work visas. Travel within Nordic, EU, and Schengen countries is dependent on a person's citizenship and the country that issued the person's passport.

Application Fees

Beginning in 2001, the Swedish government requires a fee to process all residence visas and permits and all work visas and permits. The fees are required for the initial application, renewal, and for updates and changes.

If you are applying for a residence permit, we suggest you also apply for a work visa at the same time to avoid paying additional fees at a later date.

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