Assessing travel and visa obligations in Sweden

When traveling to Sweden, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Sweden, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Buy goods for sale outside the country
  • Tour a company facility
  • Attend trade shows or seminar conventions
  • Facilitate or receive internal training


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Sweden?

Nationals of the European Union, the United States and many other countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa in order to enter and conduct business activities in Sweden.

Sweden is a member of the Schengen Area, a free-travel zone comprised of 29 European countries. If your nationality is not among those listed as visa-waivered in the Schengen Area, you will be required to obtain a Schengen Visa prior to travel. Visa-waivered nationals, as well as those who are required to obtain a visa, are authorized to travel to Sweden and throughout the Schengen Area. Please note that travelers may not spend more than 90 days within any 180-day period inside the Schengen Area.

Working in Sweden

What types of activities require work authorization?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Swedish law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Sweden, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Hands-on work
  • Planned maintenance
  • Auditing

In limited circumstances, business travelers may engage in specialized professional and technical activities without obtaining work authorization for a limited duration, though additional eligibility criteria may apply. An individual assessment is required before deciding whether a work authorization exemption is appropriate.


If I am traveling to Sweden for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Sweden. The most common types of work authorization in Sweden are:

  • Work Permit and Residence Permit (work authorization for direct hires and assignees)
  • Extended-Stay Mobility Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Permit (ICT work authorization for EU ICT Card/Residence Permit holders)
  • Swedish ICT Permit (ICT work authorization for temporary transfers of managers, specialists or trainees)
  • EU Blue Card (work authorization for highly skilled direct hires)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

Nationals from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are not required to obtain work authorization in order to work in Sweden. However, registrations or other formalities may be required prior to working or residing in Sweden.

Additional work authorization exemptions are available in Sweden for qualifying groups, including students as well as residents of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. In these cases, a legal assessment to determine the possibilities for work authorization exemptions should be obtained prior to traveling.

What else should I know?

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which governs post-Brexit relations between the EU and the U.K., has altered immigration regulations in the affected countries. Please be sure to contact your immigration representative for full details regarding the TCA’s impact in Sweden.

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.