Foreign workforce in Sweden

Swedish work environment regulations apply to everyone who are working in Sweden, regardless of if you are here for temporary work or have your employer in another country.

Work permit and residence permit

If you come from a country outside the EU or EEA, and are going to work in Sweden for longer than three months, you must have a work permit and a residence permit. In most cases you will also require a visa to be in Sweden.

If you are a citizen of another EU or EEA country, or a citizen of Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit or a work permit.

Work permit and residence permit

Working Hours Act

The Working Hours Act contains regulations about how much an employee is allowed to work per day, week and year. It deals with on-call time and preparedness, the right to breaks and pauses, and what applies to night time rest.

About the Working Hours Act

Discrimination, parental leave and the right of association

In Sweden, no one may be discriminated against. This means that no one may be disadvantaged based upon gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

The Swedish stipulation about parental leave also applies to posted workers. You have, for example, the right to parental leave in connection with the birth of a child and may not be affected by differential treatment.

You also have the right to co-determination in working life when it comes to things such as the right of association, the right to negotiate, and the obligation to maintain industrial peace.

Discrimination, parental leave and the right of association

Collective agreement partners

Employer and employee organisations represent their members – employers and employees respectively – and have task of looking after their interests. They negotiate with each other, for example, to sign collective agreements and solve disputes.

Collective agreement partners


A person who is sent to another country by their employer in order to work there during a limited period is a posted worker. The foreign employer provides services across borders, and there must be a recipient of the services in the other country. Foreign employers must report the posting and a contact person to a register in Sweden. The register is to be found at the Swedish Work Environment Authority.


Professional qualifications

The Swedish Work Environment Authority also issues certificates stating that foreign professional qualifications correspond to the Swedish standard for work with biocidal products class 1, work with medical check-ups, diving work and blasting leaders.

Professional qualification

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Last updated 2016-10-18