Work Permits in Sweden

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Planning on moving to Sweden? Or do you need to come to Sweden for some reason, and intend to live and work here? If you move to Sweden and are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country, you need to check what is required to live and work here.

Here, we look at work permits, personal identity numbers and coordination numbers.

What is a work permit?

Citizens of the EU/EEA do not need to apply for a Swedish work permit, as they have right of residence in Sweden. If you are not from an EU/EEA country, however, you will need to apply for a work permit before coming to Sweden to work. A work permit entitles you to live and work in Sweden.

What are the requirements for a work permit?

To be approved for a Swedish work permit, you will need to be able to identify yourself with a passport, show where you will work and that you will receive reasonable pay, and that you are covered by insurance.

How do I apply for a work permit?

You will need to apply for a work permit from the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket). The easiest way of doing this is via their website, which has all the information you need to apply for a work permit in Sweden. Read more on the Migration Agency website.

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Personal identity number and coordination number

The personal identity number (personnummer) and coordination number (samordningsnummer) are two different identifiers in Sweden, and they are used in all contacts with public authorities, the healthcare system and so on.

If you are planning to stay in Sweden for more than a year, you will usually need to be listed in the Swedish Population Register. This takes place through the Swedish Tax Agency and will automatically result in a personal identity number – you do not have to apply for one separately.  A Swedish personal identity number will enable you to acquire a Swedish ID card, digital ID and a phone contract, for example.

How coordination number works

If you are planning to live and work in Sweden for less than a year, you do not need to be listed in the Population Register or have a personal identity number. Instead, you use a coordination number. You can apply for a coordination number yourself, or your employer can do it for you. The Swedish Tax Agency decides on a coordination number.

You will need a coordination number to be able to pay tax, deal with public authorities and so on. You may also be issued one pending a residence permit and personal identity number.

Self-employed with no personal identity number

At Cool Company you can be self-employed even without a personal identity number. You will need a coordination number instead, and must be able to present a Swedish work permit. You will need to provide certain documents in order to have your ID verified, which are:

  • Documentation certifying registration for income tax (A-skatt) in Sweden for 2022. This is available from the Swedish Tax Agency.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • If your passport is not from an EU country, you will have to submit a copy of your work and residence permit.

Coming to Sweden from Ukraine?

If you had to flee Ukraine for Sweden after 24 February 2022, you are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. This means that if you are a Ukrainian citizen, a long-term legal resident of Ukraine or have protected status in Ukraine, you are entitled to a work and residence permit in the EU for at least one year, with the possibility to extend for up to two years.

To be covered by the Temporary Protection Directive and be granted a work and residence permit in Sweden, you will need to identify yourself to the Swedish Migration Agency, either online or at one of their offices. As soon as your work and residence permit is approved you can begin working in Sweden, as an employee, a self-employed person or a business owner.

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