EU citizens and nationals of Nordic countries can visit, reside and work in Sweden without applying for a visa. Nationals of other countries will generally need to apply for a visa unless their country has an agreement with Sweden.

Some countries have agreements with Sweden allowing visa-free entry for tourists. Expats who aren’t eligible for visa-free entry will need to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit Sweden. This visa is valid for a six-month period and allows the holder to stay in Sweden for up to 90 days.

Applicants will need to show that they have a valid onward ticket as well as sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. The Schengen visa can also be used to visit any other country that is part of the Schengen agreement.

Expats between the ages of 18 and 30 may be eligible for a one-year working holiday visa for Sweden. Only a handful of countries are signatory to this agreement, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Applicants must be able to show access to adequate funds to maintain themselves initially, as well as proof of medical insurance.

A Swedish residence permit allows the holder to stay in the country for longer than 90 days. Non-EU citizens generally need to apply for a residence permit for Sweden before entering the country.

To obtain a permit, individuals will need to submit their application and go for an interview at their local Swedish embassy.

Temporary residence permits do not give an individual the right to work in Sweden; a work permit must be applied for separately. However, once an expat has lived in Sweden for five years, they can apply for permanent residence which allows them to live and work in the country indefinitely.

Applying for a work permit for Sweden shouldn’t be a difficult process, provided expats have received a firm job offer and have all the necessary documentation ready. The only problem an expat might run into is actually finding a job in the first place.

Non-EU and non-EEA citizens will need a work permit to legally work in Sweden. As a result, Swedish employers tend to favour locals, EU and EEA citizens, or foreigners already in the country over those looking for work in Sweden from their home countries. However, there are several trades that are lacking in expertise and this is where new expats can find their niche.

Applying for a work permit

Expats wanting to work in Sweden should apply for a work permit before they arrive in the country.

Work permit applicants will first need an offer of employment from a company in Sweden. Before the work permit application can be submitted, the Swedish employer must obtain approval from the authorities. The written offer should contain details about the expat’s role in the company, the salary they will be earning and how long they will be employed in Sweden.

Following this, expats can submit their application for a Swedish work permit. This can be done online or at a local Swedish embassy.

It is important to note that once a work permit has been granted it is only valid for the profession stipulated in the job offer and for that specific employer.