Sweden’s new work permit salary set to affect ’10-20 percent of applicants’

Up to around one fifth of all work permit applicants are expected to fall short of Sweden’s new salary requirement, according to the Migration Agency. But many details are still unclear, including when it will actually come into force.

Sweden's new work permit salary set to affect '10-20 percent of applicants'
It's not yet clear to what extent the changes will apply retroactively. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

How much a foreigner has to earn to be eligible for a work permit will soon be raised from a salary of 13,000 kronor a month to 27,360 kronor, the Migration Agency said in a new press release.

The government originally planned for the new rules to come into force next month, but the date has now been changed to November 1st, although this is just a target date as the government has yet to make a formal decision.


The new salary requirement is set to 80 percent of Sweden’s median salary as announced by Statistics Sweden’s yearly updates. The median salary was raised to 34,200 kronor this summer, which is why the 27,360 kronor requirement is higher than what was announced in spring. That’s the minimum requirement – the salary also needs to be in line with industry standards or collective bargaining agreements.

“Our assessment is that around 10-20 percent of those who apply for work permits will not reach the new salary requirement and will be directly affected,” a Migration Agency lawyer said in the press release.

Going forward, the salary requirement will be based on Statistics Sweden’s last published median salary at the time a work permit application is submitted. This is updated every year, most recently June 20th, and can be found here.

It is however not yet clear whether the implementation of the new rules will apply retroactively to people who apply for a work permit before November 1st 2023, but who haven’t received an answer on their application by then.

A Migration Agency spokesperson told The Local on Monday that they were still looking into how to apply the new rules, specifically how they might affect various groups and those with pending applications.

The new rules will also affect work permit holders who apply to renew their permit, meaning that the most recently published median salary will determine the salary requirement for the renewed permit. So if you received a work permit under the old 13,000 kronor threshold a couple of years ago, you will have to earn more than 27,360 kronor to be eligible for a work permit extension from November 1st.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Sweden’s government calls for investigation into cost of immigration

The Swedish government and its supporting party, the Sweden Democrats, have called for an inquiry into the "economic net effects of migration to Sweden in modern times".

Sweden's government calls for investigation into cost of immigration

“It’s important that this becomes a driving force moving forward,” Sweden Democrat party secretary Mattias Bäckström Johansson said.

In recent weeks, the far-right Sweden Democrats and the government have been negotiating an update to their coalition agreement, also known as the Tidö agreement, which some have been referring to as “Tidö 2.0”. Representatives of the coalition parties have been seen at Harpsund, the prime minister’s country residence.

One of the new proposals in the updated agreement is for Sweden’s National Institute of Economic Research (KI) to calculate the “economic net effects of migration to Sweden in modern times”.

“This is something we’ve been calling for since we entered parliament, in our first budget, and out in the municipalities – multicultural accounting,” Bäckström Johansson said.

The institute will be asked to look at how income and costs of immigration have changed historically, while also forecasting the economic effects of immigration in the future, based on factors like the effect on the labour market, tax income and welfare payments.


Bäckström Johansson also mentioned the cost of accepting refugees, welfare costs and gang crime.

Results will also be broken down by country of origin, he said.

“You obviously need to have that as a parameter, immigrants as a group are not a homogenous collective,” he continued.

“It may be relevant to look at that on the back of the number of asylum seekers Sweden has accepted, maybe also linked to those accepted via the UN.”

He added that the result of the investigation should be used when creating future migration policy.

“The closer a country is culturally, the easier it is to become part of society,” he said.

The Sweden Democrats have carried out a similar report previously, making their own prediction of the net tax cost of immigrants between 2007 and 2021. In that report, which was criticised by national economists, the party claimed that immigrants had cost the country 1,397 billion kronor in taxes.

Bäckström Johansson is convinced that KI’s calculations will confirm that immigration costs the country more money than it contributes to the economy.

“In the best case scenario it could be positive,” he said. “But we are convinced, which has been clear, that the large-scale migration to Sweden has cost the country money.”