Bloggen för HR | Immigration to Sweden | Relocation to Sweden

How long does it take to get a work permit for Sweden?

Jan 10, 2017 anne_pihl
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You’ve found your dream candidate to fill an essential new role. Congratulations! The only snag is that he/she comes from outside the EU and needs a work permit. But how long does this usually take to arrange and is there any way to speed up the process?

Standard times for first time work permit applications

This takes much longer than you would probably expect, unfortunately. You can currently reckon with a 6 -12 month wait if you take the standard application route for a work permit for your new employee.

Why does it take so long?

These are 3 main stages involved in obtaining a work permit.

Stage 1: Application preparation. This usually takes a couple of weeks to get the paperwork together, including the prerequisite advertising of the job – The position must be advertised in Sweden and within EU/EES and Switzerland for a minimum of ten days before you can submit the application.

See Checklist for getting a work permit for your international employees

Stage 2: Submission and processing of application

Once you have submitted your application to Migrationsverket (The Swedish Migration Agency), you currently face a 4-6 month wait for processing, if all goes smoothly that is. Any problem or oversight with your application will ensure a much longer wait.

Stage 3: Residence permit card

Once your employee’s work permit application has been approved, a residence permit card needs to be issued which can take about 3 weeks, adding to the overall waiting time before your new recruit can move to Sweden and start work.

Key points to remember

1. Compliance

 Make sure you get your application right first time. Ensuring that your application is flawless is key to ensuring the fastest possible processing time. Any mistakes or oversights will mean long delays

2. No guarantees on processing times

Migrationsverket does not offer any guarantees on processing times nor does it always keep processing times correctly updated on its website. The number of refugees and asylum seekers in the system also has a direct impact on waiting times for work permits as total available resources at Migrationsverket are shared.

A faster alternative for getting a work permit for Sweden

A fast track process is available to help you with your employees work permit applications, which can reduce the processing time by over 50%. By engaging the services of a company certified by MIgrationsverket and with established working relations with this organisation, you can rest assured that your recruit’s application will be fully compliant and fast tracked through the work permit application system. You will also get concrete answers to your questions about your company’s situation and your recruit’s particular circumstances before you start the application process.

Need help with your work permit applications?

If you would like expert help with a fast track process for work permits or for work permit extensions for your employees and their families, please do not hesitate to contact us at  Relocate to Sweden for more information.

 Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, translations, language and intercultural training. Email us at or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at or follow us on social media for tips and advice.

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