What is the change? Work permit renewal applicants are seeing significant delays in Sweden as authorities continue to focus resources on the ongoing migrant crisis.

What does the change mean? Work permit renewals are taking four to six months to process, up significantly compared with standard processing times. Swedish officials continue to prioritize new work permit applications, which are taking four to six weeks to process. New work permit applications for foreign nationals who have worked in Sweden previously are taking three to five months.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits; in particular, work permit renewals.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals applying for work permit renewals.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times for work permit renewals remain significantly delayed. Current processing times can be checked online at this Swedish Migration Agency website.
  • Business impact: Businesses should take note of the delays and plan accordingly.

Background: Sweden was one of the top destinations for migrants fleeing the Middle East and North Africa in 2015 and 2016, and work permit renewal processes remain backed up.

Under normal circumstances, authorities ask that work permit renewal applications be submitted no more than 30 days before a permit’s expiration date. This poses problems, however, because due to the backlog, processing can take up to six months, leaving non-EU nationals with an expired work permit and unable to leave Sweden until they obtain their new permit. Authorities are now accepting applications early, and BAL recommends submitting new applications no later than six months before a permit’s expiration date.

Pay slips and other documentation may be requested for the time between when a renewal application is submitted and when it is approved.

BAL Analysis: Those in need of a work permit renewal should work with BAL to make sure they are leaving enough time to account for the delays in processing. Contact BAL with any case-specific questions.

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.

Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact