Key things to know about getting permanent residency in Sweden

Going from having just a Swedish work permit to getting a permanent residency in Sweden can sometimes seem like a complicated process, but the benefits of being a permanent resident will make it worth the effort. To obtain a Swedish permanent residence permit you’ll have a few different options as you can see as follows. Which are the criteria you must meet, and what are the costs to expect? We’ll happily guide you through your different options.


The advantages of having a permanent residency in Sweden

Many foreign talents that move to Sweden not only enjoy the lifestyle here. The occurrence of flat organizations is often very appealing, and some things that stand out are the career possibilities in this creative and innovative environment.

To have permanent residency has many advantages for you as an individual:

  1. There’s no need to repeat the application procedure every other year, which typically takes time, prevents travel for personal reasons e.g. holidays, and completely restricts the family until the approval is received. 
  2. When you have a permanent residency you can change roles and jobs freely.
  3. You can enjoy similar rights as other EU nationals, regarding the EU free movement of people.

To qualify for permanent residency, you need to meet and prove the following criteria:

  1. Be eligible for a work permit renewal. All terms for previous and current jobs must have been met.

  2. Been granted a work permit for 48 months, and worked in Sweden for at least 44 months during the last 7 years.
  1. Be able to support yourself.

  2. Live a decent life and have no convictions.

What are your options when applying for permanent residency in Sweden?

Most work permit holders have 2+2 years, i.e. 48 months’ work permit durations when they are eligible to apply for permanent residency. The new application can be filed at the earliest 20 days before the old permit expires if it’s filed in the fast-track stream.


Since the new law came into force, we’ve seen that people who have been granted slightly less than 48 months permits in total but have worked in Sweden for at least 44 months when the decision is made, instead have been given a work permit extension for an additional two years. Hence, the permanent residency status just moved ahead to the 6-year mark.  Before the migration agency would typically hold the application and request a second application fee and then approve a permanent residency, or in some cases grant a bridge permit for a few months in order for the applicant to reach the 48-month mark.

The options now open are:

  1. Accept to wait for an additional 2 years until you can seek permanent residency. 
  2. Apply for a short-term work permit to fulfill the required 48 months, within the 7-year period. After that, you are eligible to apply for a permanent residency permit.

What are the costs of getting a permanent residence permit in Sweden?

The costs will likely increase for the applications as time progresses, which means that the second application at the 6-year mark will likely be higher than doing it within the same timeframe. As a benchmark, most companies pay for work permit fees as part of a talent retention strategy, and this usually includes family members too. Some employers create a payment plan for dependent visa costs, while some employees opt to do it themselves. Regardless, the timelines when this is applicable tend to take years, and travel isn’t allowed while the application is pending. The law changes often enough so longwinded applications can be risky. 

While this situation is impractical and incurs additional expenses for companies there are at least two silver linings:

Firstly, if a company has a probationary period, and a second application was filed early on then the permit for permanent residency will be 54 months into the stay in Sweden so that the initial cost for double applications is already taken.

Secondly, we at Nimmersion will take care of the intricate details of your application, so you don’t have to.

We constantly produce new blog articles and send out information in our news alerts to keep our clients updated at all times. And as always please don’t hesitate to ask us for guidance and advice.

Do you want more information on how to become a Swedish resident?

If you feel uncertain about anything regarding the immigration process when moving to Sweden, or if you’d just like a bit of help, then please, reach out to us at Nimmersion. We have a lot of experience helping people worldwide on their relocation journey to and from Sweden.

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