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WORK PERMITS

Sweden doubles some fees for extending your work permit

If you are applying to renew your work permit with your employer, you may now have to pay twice as much as last year.

Sweden doubles some fees for extending your work permit
Some work permit renewal fees are set to double next year. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Fees for workers, students, visa applicants and long-term residents are rising by either 250 kronor, 500 kronor or 1,000 kronor ($27-$106) depending on factors such as the type of permit and the age of the applicant.

The changes are based on a decision by the Swedish government and apply as of January 1st.

Those who have already submitted their permit application, or submitted it before the turn of the year, are not affected by the new fees.

The biggest change comes for work permit holders renewing their permit, who will now have to pay 2,000 kronor to apply for a renewal within the same job or industry – double the cost of the current 1,000 kronor.

Students aged over 18 will also see their application fees rise from 1,000 kronor to 1,500 kronor, and adults who are moving to someone in Sweden will have to pay 2,000 kronor next year, up from 1,500 kronor.

A couple of new permit categories have also been added to the list.

A spokesperson for the Migration Agency told The Local it was the first time in ten years the work and residence permit application fees had been reviewed and changed.

Anyone currently exempt from paying application fees, for example Japanese work permit applicants, will continue to be exempt.

EDITOR'S PICKS:

Here's a list of the new fees from January 1st, 2020 (source: Migration Agency)

Long-term resident in another EU country

Adults: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Children: 750 kronor (previously 500 kronor)

Long-term resident in Sweden

Adults: 1,000 kronor (unchanged)
Children: 500 kronor (unchanged)

Moving to join a family member in Sweden

Adults: 2,000 kronor (previously 1,500 kronor)
Children: 1,000 kronor (previously 750 kronor)

Working in Sweden

First-time work permit application: 2,000 kronor (unchanged)
Work permit renewal (same employer/industry): 2,000 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Work permit renewal (different employer/industry): 2,000 kronor (unchanged)

Special fees for certain professions

Self-employed: 2,000 kronor (unchanged)
Performer: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Au pair: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Athlete or coach: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Working holiday visa for young people: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Visiting researcher: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Volunteer: 1,500 kronor (new)
Job-seeking after completed studies: 1,500 kronor (new)

Family members of work permit holders or applicants

Adults: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Children: 750 kronor (previously 500 kronor)

Visitor's permits

Adults: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Children: 750 kronor (previously 500 kronor)

Studying in Sweden

Adults: 1,500 kronor (previously 1,000 kronor)
Children: 750 kronor (previously 500 kronor)

New fees from February 2nd, 2020

Entry visa: 80 euros (previously 60 euros)

Member comments

  1. Really, who writes this English??? Not very pleasantly written article. C’mon LOCAL, I expect better than this, obviously un-proofread article.

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For members

WORK PERMITS

EXPLAINED: What do we know about Sweden’s new work permit bill?

Sweden's parliament has voted through a new bill empowering the government to increase the minimum salary for a work permit. This is what we know so far.

EXPLAINED: What do we know about Sweden's new work permit bill?

What is the new bill and where does it come from? 

The new bill, called “A higher subsistence requirement for labour migrants” (Ett höjt försörjningskrav för arbetskraftsinvandrare), was formally proposed by the former Social Democrat government on September 6th after discussions in the social insurance committee. 

The Social Democrat government on February 6th appointed the judge Anita Linder to carry out an inquiry into “improved labour migration”, which was then sent out for consultation and discussed in the parliament’s social affairs committee, before the government submitted the proposal to parliament. 

What does the bill say? 

The bill empowers the government to raise the maintenance requirement for work permit applicants from outside the EU, the Nordic countries and Switzerland above the current 13,000 kronor a month. 

The bill does not specifically state how much higher the maintenance requirement should be, or propose a date for when the changes should come into force.

In the proposal, it states that the new law can be implemented on “the day the government decides”. The new threshold, meanwhile, is to be set by a government directive which is supposed to be issued at the same time the law comes into force. 

How high is the new maintenance threshold likely to be? 

It’s not yet clear. However, the government may choose to follow the Tidö Agreement through which the far-right Sweden Democrats and the three government parties (the Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals) agreed to back Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister. 

In this agreement the parties agreed to set the minimum salary for work permits to be awarded at the median salary in Sweden, which is about 33,000 kronor a month.

This is a compromise between the 35,000 kronor minimum salary put forward by the Sweden Democrats and the Christian Democrats, and the proposals from the Moderates and Social Democrats, who wanted to set the rate at 85 percent of the median salary (about 27,540 a month) and the Social Democrats, who have floated a minimum salary of about 27,000 kronor. 

In an interview with Radio Sweden on December 3rd, Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard stated that the 33,000 kronor a month limit was not yet set, and that the government would “look into the exact amount”. She also stated that the government “will also be able to make exceptions for some individual professional groups,” although she did not go into detail on which groups this would include.

The Centre Party and the Liberal Party were both against the proposal in the run-up to September’s general election, arguing that Sweden’s existing liberal labour migration laws have been economically beneficial.

The Liberals are likely to respect the Tidö Agreement now they are part of the government. 

 READ ALSO: How do Sweden’s political parties want to reform work permits?

Who is against raising the salary threshold? 

The Centre Party has been the biggest opponent in parliament, arguing that the hotel, restaurant and retail industries in particular will struggle to find staff if they are not able to hire workers internationally. 

Martin Ådahl, the party’s economics and business spokesperson, told The Local his party was opposed on both practical and principled grounds to the proposal.

“It is clear in practical terms that many businesses rely on persons from abroad that have qualifications which lead to more growth and jobs in Sweden,” he said. “This is dependent on people starting with reasonable wages because they are new and don’t speak the language. It’s a loss for both Sweden and the individuals.” 

But he said the party’s liberal ideology also made supporting the proposal impossible. 

“On principle, it is wrong that authorities and boards staffed by public officials should tell businesses which talents they should hire at what wages,” he said. “This kind of wage regulation and minimum wages is something Sweden is opposed to otherwise.”

A lot of criticism has also come from business. Ann Öberg, the chief executive of Almega, a trade body representing businesses in the IT, telecoms, engineering, architecture, media, private healthcare, train operations, and security industries, wrote an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper at the end of October criticising the move. 

She argued that it was unrealistic to expect unemployed people already living in Sweden to fill the gap created when low-skilled labour migrants can no longer come to the country. 

READ ALSO: Swedish businesses attack work permit threshold

This article was originally published in November 2022 and updated following Malmer Stenergard’s comments in December 2022.

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