Working abroad – rules, tax, insurance etc.
The rules for work permits, tax and insurance, for example, differ depending on where you intend to work and how long you stay abroad. Here are some things you need to know, as well as tips for where to find more information.
The Nordic region
If you are a Nordic citizen and want to work in another Nordic country, you don’t need a work permit or residence permit. Here are some websites where you can find out more about working in the Nordic countries.
Grensetjänsten (grensetjensten.com) (in Swedish and Norwegian) - A guide for those who want to work in Norway.
Öresunddirekt (oresunddirekt.se) - A guide for those who want to work in Denmark.
Info Norden (norden.org) - For those who want to work in the Nordic region.
Nordkalottens gränstjänst (granstjanst.se) - A guide for those who want to work in Denmark, Finland or Norway.
Countries in the EU and EEA and Switzerland
If you are a citizen of an EU country, you don’t need a work permit or residence permit to work in another country in the EU or EEA or in Switzerland. All you need is a valid national identity card that shows your citizenship or a passport. Remember that a driving licence is not a valid identity document in this context. A passport is the safest choice.
Some countries require you to register with the local authorities to show that you are working there. Different countries have different rules for this. Check what applies in your case. You can find out more about what applies on the EU website Your Europe.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU
If you live in Sweden but are a citizen of a country outside the EU, you do not have an automatic right to move to and work in another EU country. However, if you have lived in Sweden for five years, you may have some of the rights that an EU citizen has. Then you have a better chance of working in another EU country. Read more on the website of Migrationsverket (the Swedish Migration Agency).
If your family is moving with you
Different countries have different rules for this so you need to check what applies in your case. Read more about what applies on the EU website Your Europe.
Countries outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you want to work in a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will need a work permit. These countries are not covered by free movement. Contact the country’s embassy for information on how to apply for a work permit.
In some cases, you do not need to pay tax in Sweden on income you earn abroad. The rules for how you make declarations and pay tax depend on how long you work abroad, among other things. Make sure to correctly pay taxes. That way you avoid financial surprises. Contact Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency) and find out what applies to you.
Sick pay and parental allowance
Your right to care and compensation in the form of sick pay and parental allowance, for example, depends on which country you live in and your job situation. You also need to notify Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency) that you are moving abroad. This is important so that you get the right compensation and avoid having to pay anything back.
Here you can find out more about how social insurance works when you work abroad.
Always contact your Swedish unemployment insurance fund (a-kassa) before you start working abroad to find out what applies to you. And don’t leave your Swedish unemployment insurance before you have started working abroad and know what applies. You also need to check what happens when you return to Sweden and what certificates and other documents you may need to have with you. This is important so that you don’t suffer from having a gap in your unemployment insurance membership. There would then be a risk that you lose your unemployment insurance if you should need it when the job abroad is over.
Take your unemployment insurance fund with you
Are you unemployed, registered with us and receiving unemployment benefits? If you fulfil all three of these conditions, you can apply to take your benefit with you for a limited period while you look for a job in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. You need a certificate from the Swedish Unemployment Insurance Inspectorate (IAF). Remember to apply before you travel. You can find more information about the conditions and application on IAF’s website.
Regulated professions, citizenship requirement
For regulated professions, i.e. professions that require identification or similar, your education needs to be approved in the country you move to. This applies, for example, to work in healthcare, certain legal professions, auditors, architects, veterinarians etc. If you are looking for a job in an EU country, you can approach the
EU’s information office ENIC-NARIC to find out what applies to your profession and where to go to get your education validated.
Bear in mind that some professions require you to be a citizen of the country, such as the police force, the courts, the defence forces and public administration.