Various regulations apply depending on if it's a citizen of a Nordic country, an EU/EEA country or a non-EU country.
As a basic principle, you should assume that a work permit is needed if the person is a non-EU/EEA citizen even if the employment is for less than 90 days.
There is an exception to having to apply for a work permit for teachers/researchers in higher education if the work entails research, teaching or other lecture activities and if the employee will spend a total of 3 months over a 12-month period in Sweden. However, citizens of certain non-EU/EEA countries must still have a visa for entry into Sweden.
For other positions (e.g. administrative staff), work permits are required even if the person is employed for less than 3 months.
If a work permit is not needed, citizens of certain non-EU/EEA countries must have a visa for entry into Sweden. Usually the visa process needs to beinvestigated and initiated by the employee and applying for visas are usually done via a web based application. Information concerning visa can be found on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website (Migrationsverket): Fact about visas.
Citizens of a Nordic or an EU/EEA country can start to work immediately in Sweden, as they do not need a work permit or are required to register right of residence at the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket). Remember to bring a valid passport or identity card stating your citizenship for entry into Sweden.
Most citizens of non-EU/EEA countries must obtain a work permit to work in Sweden. Before entering Sweden, a work permit must have been granted. Please note that the processing period for applications of work permits at the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) may vary depending on each specific case.
A visiting researcher, and citizen of a non-EU/EEA country, who will stay in Sweden for longer than 90 days and mainly conduct research must obtain a residence permit and have a hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden.
The directive is not applicable on third-country nationals who study in Sweden to carry out research to obtain a doctoral degree. Consequently, doctoral students cannot be considered as visiting researchers. See below for more information regarding doctoral students.
Persons admitted to third-cycle education in Sweden aiming to obtain a doctoral degree/PhD must apply for a residence permit as a student. When applying, a certificate from Jönköping University must be attached, which the employer is responsible for to provide.
Information for doctoral students is available on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website: Studying at universiteties or university colleges
Content updated 2019-08-28