Sweden Work Permit Changes 2024: Proposed Near 120% Increase in Salary Threshold for Foreign Employees

July 9, 2024
Sweden Work Permit Changes 2024

Sweden, for example, has recently increased the minimum wage threshold for work permit applications for the first time and for renewals. By analysing the changes to the work permit salaries in Sweden in the calendar year 2024, these Sweden Work Permit Changes 2024 are important for foreign employees to plan for their earnings and negotiate their remunerations while working in Sweden. The new threshold is a critical approach to meeting the new salary requirements that dictate this change.

Important Changes to the Work Permit Salary Threshold

In Sweden, the new aggregate of work permit eligibility as of June 18, 2024, increased, which is 28,480 SEK per month, or 80% of the new median salary of 35000 SEK. This amount is 118% above the former limit of 13,000 kronor set in October 2023. Currently, the government of Sweden aims at increasing the threshold to 100% of the median wage, or 35,600 kronor, on June 1, 2025.
To help alleviate this problem, a one-year grace period is now in place for renewals of work permits, and the current requirement of 80% of the median salary will still be in force until June 1, 2026. This way, the existing permit holders get enough time to come to terms with the new provisions.

Who Will the New Salary Threshold Apply To?

All new work permit applications and renewals after June 18, 2024, will be governed by the new salary threshold. This change will not affect applications already under consideration. The salary threshold will be adjusted annually according to the newest available median salary data from Statistics Sweden. Thus, applicants must be ready for some changes every year.
However, the salary should be adequate and should conform to the industry payslip or any collective bargaining recognition. This means that if it meets the test of the threshold, it must also be reasonable for the job and the industry.

Specifics for Seasonal Workers

Specific conditions apply to those temporary employees in Sweden provided with a permit for work for 90 days or less. They have to be paid according to the old criteria, which means they have to earn 13,000 SEK before tax each month. However, their salaries must also accord with the job market, union scale, or minimum wage, which may be higher than the minimum wage.

Impact on Foreign Workers

Increasing the salary threshold to a much higher value means that foreign workers have to seriously rethink their plans concerning employment in Sweden. New applicants and those who wish to renew their licenses will have to make concessions for higher salaries to meet the standard. When this change happens, it can create a situation where buyers and sellers of labour are forced to engage in competition, hence changing the field of play.
The plan to raise it to 100% of the median salary by June 2025 shows the commitment of the Swedish government to fair remunerations for foreign workers. Nevertheless, having such a grace period will give all the stakeholders some time to prepare for such massive changes.


Sweden has recently increased the work permit application salary threshold from €2450 to €5300, which is almost 120% more, showing the country’s willingness to allow only foreign workers with salaries that would be considered reasonable by today’s standards. The phased implementation and grace period are envisaged to assist the working population and employers. Thus, applicants need to be aware of annual changes and current standards in order to meet the requirements and successfully apply for a work permit.

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