Permanent residence: Key things to know about residency in Sweden

Are you looking to transition from holding a Swedish work permit into obtaining permanent residency? This is a process that might seem complex at first. At Nimmersion we’ve put together this guide to walk you through the options available for obtaining permanent residence, including what criteria you must meet and what costs might be expected.

The advantages of having a Permanent Residency in Sweden

Many foreign talents that move to Sweden enjoy the lifestyle here. The occurrence of flat organizations is very appealing to many, and some things that stand out are the career possibilities in this creative and innovative environment.

Read more about our Permanent Residence services

Advantages of Permanent Residency for individuals

To have Permanent Residency has many advantages for you as an individual:

  1. There is 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’s movements until the approval is received. 
  2. When you have permanent residency you can change roles and jobs freely.
  3. You can enjoy similar rights as other EU nationals, regarding the EU free movement in the Schengen area.

Requirements & qualification criteria for Permanent Residency (PR)

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 seven years.
  3. Be able to support yourself.
  4. Meet the housing requirement.
  5. Live a decent life and not have any convictions.

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

Most work permit holders have 2+2 year permit periods , i.e. 48 months’ work permit duration when they are eligible to apply for permanent residency. The new application can be filed at the earliest 30 days before the old permit expires.

After the new requirements were introduced in 2022, we’ve seen that people who have been granted slightly less than 48 months permits would not qualify for permanent residency and instead got a new extension. Hence, the permanent residency status just moved ahead to the six year mark. Before the Migration Agency would typically hold the application and request a second application fee and then approve 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. This avenue is no longer available.

So now an application will have to wait for an additional 2 years to qualify for permanent residency.

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

Each renewal gets to be more complex and not seldom new requirements have been introduced and are implemented retroactively, hence the costs will likely increase for the applications as time progresses. Also, every so often the Migration Agency will increase the application fee, however that is a very small fee if you compare to other countries. 

As a benchmark, most companies cover the fees for work permits as part of a talent retention strategy, and this usually includes family members too. If the employer doesn’t cover the cost they can sometimes offer a payment plan for dependent visa expenses. While some employees decide to take a chance and opt to apply  themselves. Regardless, the timelines for these applications can be years and travel isn’t allowed while the application is pending. Also, the law changes often enough so long winded applications can present risks that can’t be anticipated. 

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, a renewal will be sent in already in the first year of employment, that means that the applicant has around 54 months of residency when it’s possible to apply for a permanent residency. 

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

What if there are new rules for permanent residence in Sweden?

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.

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