Sweden will implement a significant increase in the required salary threshold for work permit holders, affecting both first-time applicants, and those seeking permit renewals, including those with pending applications.
In a document seen by TheTimes, starting from November 1st, the minimum monthly salary for work permit holders will be increased from 13,000 kronor to 27,360 kronor, following the recent formal approval of this change by the government.
The salary requirement exclusively applies to non-EU workers such as those from Nigeria and other non-EU nationalities who require a work permit to reside in Sweden.
Those exempted are EU citizens, seasonal workers, and non-EU residents in Sweden under other permits other than work permits.
This new salary requirement is equivalent to 80 per cent of Sweden’s median salary, which is determined by Statistics Sweden’s annual updates, meaning it will be subject to change each year.
Additionally, it must align with industry standards or collective bargaining agreements, making 27,360 kronor the minimum threshold.
The Migration Agency has estimated that approximately 10-20 per cent of work permit applicants will fall short of meeting the new salary requirement and will be directly affected by this change.
Who does this apply to?
This increased threshold will apply to both individuals applying for a work permit for the first time and current work permit holders seeking extensions, including those with pending applications.
It also extends to anyone who submits a new or renewal permit application before November 1st but doesn’t receive a decision by that date.
However, individuals who appeal a work permit rejection before November 1st will not be subject to the new salary requirement; the existing rules will still apply to them.
Restricting work permit approvals
This increased minimum salary stems from a decision made by Sweden’s previous centre-left government, although the specific amount was determined by the current right-wing coalition earlier this year.
Additional reforms are under consideration, which could restrict work permit approval to positions paid at the median salary level, with potential exemptions for certain professions to prevent critical skill shortages.
Individuals renewing permits may be granted a 12-month grace period during which the old rules would continue to apply to them.
These reforms are part of an inquiry expected to present its conclusions by January 31, 2024.