Sweden's work permit salary limit still among lowest in western Europe

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
Sweden's work permit salary limit still among lowest in western Europe
Swedish work permit holders are not just hit by the new salary threshold, but also its retroactive nature. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The minimum salary you need to be eligible for a work permit in Sweden will remain among the lowest in western Europe, even after it doubles in November, a comparison by The Local has found.


The minimum salary to be eligible for a work permit in Sweden more than doubles in November to 27,360 kronor a month from 13,000 kronor a month previously. 

But, due partly to the weakness of the krona, the new minimum salary, which in euros comes to €28,500 a year, remains considerably lower than similar work permit thresholds set in many other countries in Western Europe, our comparison found. 

Although schemes are rarely directly comparable, the most commonly used work permit thresholds remain higher in Germany (€48,180), Denmark (€50,291), Norway (€41,685), The Netherlands (€60,096), Belgium (€47,175) and Luxembourg (€67,824).

As The Local found in our recent survey, many foreigners living in Sweden are being hard hit by the changes nonetheless, as the government's decision to make them retroactive among other things means that people who have applied for an extension to their permit expecting the old salary threshold to apply risk being rejected. 


READ ALSO: What salary do you need to get a work permit in different European countries?

In Western Europe, the only countries where the threshold is lower are Finland, where work permits can be obtained for jobs not covered by a collective bargaining agreement if they pay €15,972; France, where companies which can prove they could not recruit for the role in France or the EU need only offer €15,834; Portugal, where the threshold is €21,030 and Italy, where the threshold is €8,500.


It's worth pointing out, however, that foreign workers and their prospective employers in many of these countries face other daunting obstacles.

Work permits in Italy are restricted by quotas awarded to certain industry sectors, while in Finland almost all jobs are in practice covered by collective bargaining agreements which come with their own, much higher, salary requirements. 


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