General rules for third country citizens living in Sweden or Denmark
A work permit only apply in the country where it was issued
As a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland, you do not benefit from the free movement of labour, which allows people to work in other EU/EEA countries without a work permit. Third country citizens with a residence and work permit in one of the countries also do not benefit from the free movement of labour, as the permits only apply in the country in which they were issued. There may nevertheless be ways in which you can become a cross-border worker if you comply with certain conditions.
You must have a work permit that specifically allows you to work in Denmark when living in Sweden or vice versa. You must apply for and receive a permit before you start working. In order to apply for a work permit in Denmark or Sweden, you must first have been offered an employment contract, and when you apply you pay a fee to the country’s immigration authorities. You therefore cannot obtain a work permit allowing you to look for work.
- If you work in Denmark or Sweden without the correct permit, both you and your employer risk incurring fines and/or other punishment.
- You should always contact the immigration authorities in your country of residence to find out what happens to your residence permit if you obtain a work permit in another EU/EEA country and become a frontier worker.
If you live in Sweden and want to work in Denmark
If you live in Sweden and want to work in Denmark, you should visit the website Ny i Danmark (New in Denmark) to find out whether and how you can obtain a work permit in Denmark.
It may be possible if you comply with certain criteria. Some examples:
- If you have been offered a job with an annual salary of at least DKK 448.000 (2022), you can apply for a work permit under the Pay Limit scheme.
- If your profession is on the list of professions currently experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals, the Positive List, you can apply for a work permit.
If you live in Denmark and want to work in Sweden
If you live in Denmark and want to work in Sweden, you should visit the Swedish Migration Agency’s website to find out whether and how you can obtain a work permit.
If you have been offered a job by a Swedish employer, it is possible to obtain a work permit provided the job complies with certain criteria. Example of requirements:
- You must have been offered a job with work conditions that match those of a Swedish collective agreement or what is customary in the industry, so that you are able to provide for yourself.
- Your future employer must take out health insurance, life insurance, labour market no-fault liability insurance and occupational pension insurance for you when you start the job.
It is important to note that work permits and residence permit are two different things, and are issued for one specific country.
If you have further questions about what applies to third country citizens living in Sweden or Denmark who want to work in the other country as a cross-border worker, you can contact the Øresunddirekt information centre in Malmö for more information.