Sweden moves to improve work permit processing

15 May 17



What is the change? The Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) has launched a new system that it hopes will improve work permit processing times for certified companies.

What does the change mean? First-time work permit applications lodged by certified companies on or after May 2 should take no longer than 10 business days to process. Applications to extend work permits should take no longer than 20 business days.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The new processing times apply to applications filed on or after May 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, including extensions.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for work authorization in Sweden.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes should significantly improve processing times.
  • Business impact: Businesses should note that while the new processing times apply to applications lodged on or after May 2, applications filed on or before May 1 will be subject to the old, slower processing times.
  • Next steps: Current processing times can be checked on this Swedish Migration Agency website.

Background: Sweden launched a new process for handling work permit applications, which will allow for faster processing times. Applications must be supported by a positive comment from the appropriate trade union to qualify for the faster times. The new processing times do not apply to applications filed before May 2. The migration agency has said it has devoted more resources toward cases that were pending as of May 2, but companies may find that employees with similar applications have significantly different processing times, depending on when the application was lodged.

BAL Analysis: The improved system is welcome news for companies recruiting foreign workers to Sweden, though processing times may remain inconsistent until the backlog of pre-May 2 applications is cleared. Those with case-specific questions should contact BAL.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Sweden. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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