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Work Permits/Visas
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Excerpted from the Sweden Career Guide

Sweden is a member of the Schengen Convention whose purpose is to eliminate controls at common borders and promote free movement of people within the Schengen area. The countries covered under the Schengen Agreement include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Schengen Convention facilitates the free movement of persons in the territory of the EU. Therefore, border checks, for example, have been abolished at internal borders of the EU area. All the old EU member states, apart from Great Britain and Ireland, have access to the Schengen Convention. Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are not member states of the EU, but they have made an associate agreement, on the basis of which it is possible to travel to these countries under the same conditions as when traveling to other EU countries.

Student Visas

If a student from a third-party nation is planning to study at a university, college, upper secondary school or folk high school in Sweden for more than three months, a residence permit is needed, rather than a visa. The permit must be approved before the student’s arrival in Sweden. For a stay of less than three months, only a visa is required for certain countries. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs maintains the list of countries whose citizens must obtain visas to enter Sweden. Citizens of an EU, EEA or a Nordic Council country may study in Sweden without visas or residence permits, though they should contact the Embassy of Sweden for further details.

Residence permits for studies are temporary and cannot lead to a permanent residence permit. Even if a student’s stay has lasted for several years, he/she will normally not be allowed to reside in Sweden once his/her studies are completed. Those who receive student residence permits will be given residence permit cards. The card is proof of the student’s residence permit, and he/she must, therefore, show the card along with a valid passport when entering Sweden.

Business/Work Visas

If one is a citizen of a country that is not a member of the European Union (EU) and wishes to work in Sweden, the residence and/or work permit must be approved before entering the country. This application can be submitted to any of the Swedish honorary consulates.

An estimated time of two to three months is usually required to process an application. If one is granted a residence permit, the decision will be sent to the embassy. Once the residence card is ready, the embassy will send the card to the applicant. The permit needs to be approved before arrival in Sweden, since the residence card should be presented together with a valid passport when entering the country.

Work Permits 

Work permits are issued along with residence permits when applied for simultaneously. In most circumstances, foreign nationals must apply for both of these permits from outside Sweden. The applicant’s prospective employer must petition the County Labor Board for approval first before applying for a work permit. Once approval has been received, the applicant’s prospective employer will send the applicant a copy of the form that must be included with the work permit application. The applicant’s employment contract must have terms that are equal to current Swedish labor practices. Labor Board for approval first before applying for a work permit. Once approval has been received, the applicant’s prospective employer will send the applicant a copy of the form that must be included with the work permit application. The applicant’s employment contract must have terms that are equal to current Swedish labor practices.

This is just a sample of what you'll find in the complete Sweden guide.



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