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I have a Swedish work permit under the old rules. Is it still valid?

The Local Sweden
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I have a Swedish work permit under the old rules. Is it still valid?
Many salaries in the restaurant industry fall short of the new salary threshold. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Since November 1st, work permit applicants in Sweden need to earn over 27,000 kronor a month to be granted a new or extended permit. But current work permit holders don't necessarily need to meet the new requirement straight away.


What changed on November 1st?

On November 1st, the minimum salary that applicants need to earn in order to be eligible for a Swedish work permit was raised from 13,000 kronor a month to 27,360 kronor, after the government just before the end of September formally pushed through the change.

The new salary requirement is set to 80 percent of Sweden’s median salary as announced by Statistics Sweden’s yearly updates, so it will change every year. It also needs to be in line with industry standards or collective bargaining agreements, so 27,360 kronor is just the minimum.

It's the most recently published median salary at the time of your application (not the time of a decision) that will determine how much you need to earn in order to be eligible for a work permit.

According to Statistics Sweden, they most recently updated the median salary on June 20th, 2023. So if you applied before then, your application should be assessed according to the previous median salary, or in other words you need to earn at least 26,560 kronor a month.

I already have a work permit, but my salary isn’t high enough under the new rules. Is my work permit no longer valid?

No. The new rules only apply to new work permit applications and work permit extensions, so if you already have a work permit, you can keep working until it is due to expire.


You will, however, need to fulfil the requirements for a work permit when you renew your work permit, or when you apply for permanent residency.

It could, however, affect you if you've submitted an application for a work permit – whether that's a first-time permit or an extension – but haven't yet had a response. 

If your application was approved before November 1st, then you only needed to earn 13,000 kronor or more. If it wasn't approved by November 1st, though, you'll need to earn the new minimum of 27,360 kronor for it to be approved.

That means that if your pending work permit application includes a salary under 27,360 kronor (or under 26,560 kronor if you applied before June 20th, 2023), it will be rejected under the new rules, despite you fulfilling all the requirements at the time of application.


Can I appeal a rejection?

Yes. If your work permit application is rejected, you are allowed to appeal, usually within three weeks from the date you were notified of a decision. You can't appeal if you accepted the decision you were given and signed a declaration of acceptance.

If the Migration Court upholds the rejection, the next step is to appeal it to the Migration Court of Appeal, the highest court for migration-related issues in Sweden, but they are not obliged to consider your case.

Your decision letter from the Migration Agency will tell you whether you're allowed to stay in Sweden while you wait for the court's decision, although the agency does state that you should make plans to return home or to another country while you wait for the migration courts to make a decision on your appeal.


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