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IN NUMBERS: How will foreigners be affected by Sweden's new work permit threshold?

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
IN NUMBERS: How will foreigners be affected by Sweden's new work permit threshold?
Sweden's restaurant industry is expected to be particularly hard hit by the new work permit rules. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Sweden's higher work permit threshold came into force on November 1st. Here are the numbers showing the extent to which foreigners will be affected.



The number of non-EU residents currently in Sweden on work permits.

80 percent

The new salary threshold is 80 percent of Sweden’s median salary according to the most recent figures from Statistics Sweden at the time of application. On June 20th, 2023, Sweden’s median salary was 34,200 kronor a month.

27,360 kronor

The new salary threshold. More than double the old threshold, which was 13,000 kronor.

100 percent 

The government plans to raise the salary threshold to 100 percent of the median salary in the future.


November 1st

The date at which the new work permit salary threshold came into effect for new work permit applications, applications for extensions, and previous applications which have not yet been concluded.


The number of current work permit holders who don’t meet the new work permit salary threshold.


The number of work permits issued in Sweden last year. From January to September 2023, the Migration Agency issued 22,847 work permits.

2 years

Work permits in Sweden are issued for a maximum of two years at a time. During the first two years, applicants are tied to a specific job and a specific employer. After two years, they can switch employer, but will need to apply for a new permit if they want to change jobs.

2,200 kronor

The application fee for work permits and work permit extensions. Some occupations pay a lower fee of 2,000 or 1,500 kronor.

Accompanying family members also pay a fee -  1,500 kronor for adults and 750 kronor for children.

Three weeks

The amount of time you have to appeal a rejected work permit application.

One job

It’s not possible to meet the work permit salary requirement by working two (or more) jobs. Your work permit is individual and tied to a specific job, so you will only be offered a work permit if you have a job which fulfills all the requirements by itself.

Between four and 15 months

The time it takes for 75 percent of first-time work permit applicants to receive a response on their application. It varies depending on the industry.

Extension applications have longer waiting times, going up to 18 months for sectors with a 15-month wait for first-time applications, or a slightly lower 15 months for branches with a four month wait for first-time applications.


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Alixe 2023/11/01 13:40
I’m curious about people not meeting the required salary level. Who are they? In which sector are they working? Is there any data showing if the local Swedes can compensate for that lost of workforce if those people are forced to leave Sweden?

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