The Swedish Migration Agency approved 20,823 Swedish work permits in 2023 

While this is a small portion of the employed population in Sweden, it is still controversial. Many myths around work-related immigration work permits contribute to a misconception of how much it contributes to the growth and innovative climate. Let us look at what these talented work permit holders contribute while here. It also gives a good picture of what skills gaps Swedish companies and society need to fill. Out of these over 20 000 Swedish work permits, we can segment them into these different groups:

5240 Swedish work permits

The largest group is seasonal workers who work in agriculture and berry picking. Many workers have made this a lifestyle and come from both near and far. We remember how difficult it was for farmers in many European countries when the borders were closed during the pandemic. To save the harvests exceptions were made around Europe so seasonal workers could come and work. Berry picker is one of the professions that will have difficulty coming into Sweden with work permits. In all likelihood, this will result in EU nationals traveling to Sweden instead or fewer berries on our plates. 

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3703 Swedish work permits

IT architects, software developers, test leads, and other techies make up the second largest group. Starting in 2024, this is a focus group for the Swedish government, and their work permit applications are prioritized. So far so good as per the Nimmersion Immigration Consultant team. Perfect applications are handled quickly, especially those approved by automated robots at the Swedish Migration Agency. Fast turnarounds for work permit applications are essential and thus far Category A which is highly qualified talent has seen a very positive start with this new model. For incomplete applications we don’t yet know how long it will take, we will know more when the damage control comes our way. This is normally a problem when the applicant does the application on their own or there’s a junior ombud involved.

Sweden is highly digitized so both companies and the entire public sector need IT engineers to keep up. Industry organizations say that 18 000 tech-savvy professionals are needed yearly in Sweden and universities fall short of educating such numbers. The solution seems to be to offer these positions to foreign talent as part of their international career. Usually, foreign talent that comes to Sweden is quite young and they often move on to other countries after a few years. Many enjoy the informal work style in Sweden and we need their skills it’s a win-win situation. 

1692 Swedish work permits

Engineers and technicians are other sought-after groups that arrive in small numbers. They not seldom involved in big infrastructure projects. The green industries up North will need a large number of engineers and this group is likely to become bigger as long as they are part of a highly specialized firm and not a construction company. Why? The construction industry is subject to additional investigation and the application processing times are slow which makes projects hard to plan.

1479 Swedish work permits

Civic engineers in a variety of trades. 

761 Swedish work permits

Fast food restaurants, kitchens, and restaurant staff are also needed. This is a group that the government is hoping they will find among the unemployed already in Sweden. 

734 Swedish work permits

Planters in the agricultural and garden sector.

475 Swedish work permits

Cleaners and caretakers of the elderly

474 Swedish work permits

Cooks and sous chefs. Finding talented chefs has proven difficult.  Swedes are well-traveled and international cuisines are popular. The hospitality industry claims that for every cook that starts working in Sweden several jobs are created around that with waiters, dishwashers, etc. The government believes that restaurant staff can be found among unemployed residents, while the industry doesn’t agree. The industry contributes a great deal to Swedish society.

461 Swedish work permits

Forestry workers are important; this was another sector that suffered during the pandemic when the borders were closed. The consequences will be seen in 30 years in this “slow-growth” industry. Many Ukrainian men have traditionally been seasonal workers in Swedish forests, so a shortage is noticeable now.  

390 Swedish work permits

Support end network technicians along with operators. To keep the energy sector and infrastructure up and running is essential. 

5414 Swedish work permits

Other professions


Nimmersion has a holistic approach to immigration. We are there for our clients, applicants, and Sweden. We aim to help companies grow with the talent and skills they need. We’re a part of the equation to make that happen. Our immigration and relocation industry has fewer people than the smallest of the work permit groups, so it is very niche. We are lucky to be a small yet important part of Sweden’s growth sectors. 

Are you considering hiring from abroad? Get in touch with us to see how we can assist you!

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