Who needs a visa?

Holders of an EEA (EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Swiss passport do not require a visa and have no limitations to travel, or to stay in, Sweden for a maximum period of three months.

All non EU/EEA, non-Swiss and non-Nordic nationals who intend to enter Sweden to work do require work authorisation.

Business Visa

Foreign nationals who require a visa generally obtain a Schengen Business Visa to travel to Sweden on business.

Whilst in Sweden, holders of a Business Visa, are not permitted to work, but can attend meetings and conferences.

Types of Visa

Business visitors normally apply for the Schengen Type ‘C’ Visa.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted in the applicant’s country of residence. It is recommended that applications are made online where applicable.

Processing time

The processing times for Business Visas vary according to the country where the application is filed.

For applications submitted in the UK, Business Visa applications can take anytime between 7 and 60 workings days to process.


The duration of a Business Visa can vary, although it generally permits the holder to enter the Schengen area for a period of up to 90 days within a 180 day / 6 month period.

Work Authorisation

Nationals of new member EU states may require work authorisation.

Several work authorisation categories apply in Sweden.  However, the favoured category is the general “Work Permit”.

Type of Visa

Several visa options are available to those who intend to work in Sweden.

Application Process

The process varies,  but for a general Work Permit for an Intra Company Transfer the following process applies –

  • A Work Permit application is filed with the Swedish Migration Board in Sweden or the Swedish Diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence. Irrespective of where it is filed the  the decision is made by the Swedish Migration Board in Sweden.
  • Once the work authorisation has been approved and granted, the applicant will need to submit an appropriate visa application to the Swedish Diplomatic post in their country of residence.  This will enable the visa to be endorsed in their passport.
  • For assignments of more than 90 days a Residence Permit will also be required.

Processing time

The processing time for work authorisation, is in the region of 3 to 8 weeks, in some cases 12 weeks.


The duration is dependent on the type of Visa granted. Short Term Work Permits are valid for up to 90 days, other Work Permits can be valid for up to 2 years.


Dependents may be granted permission to remain in Sweden in line with the foreign worker. Sweden’s Family Migration Board allows certain family members to qualify automatically for a Work Permit and receive work authorisation.

Penalties for Non Compliance


If the employer breaches the immigration rules, the Swedish Migration Board can impose a number of sanctions including, but not limited to: –

  • Preventing the employer from sponsoring or nominating any employees for a specified period of time.
  • Canceling the business sponsorship agreement
  • Canceling the visas of any employees and their accompanying family members.
  • The considerationof previous non-compliance when assessing any future sponsorship applications made by the employer or by any other business under the same control.
  • Imposing a financial penalty.



If the foreign worker breaches the immigration rules their Visa may be cancelled and they will be compelled to leave Sweden. Longer term Work Visas are issued for specified roles rather than on a general basis. A change of employer will require a new Visa application.

Points of Note

  • The employee must meet the minimum salary and qualification criteria for specific offers of employment.
  • An offer of employment is required from the Swedish entity.
  • Minimum qualifications apply.


The contents of this article are for information purposes only.  The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice.  Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice.  You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances.  No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or commissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.