1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
On 7 March, the Swedish government adopted a regulation which states that UK citizens who were resident in Sweden based on EU law on the day of a no-deal Brexit will be exempt from the obligation to have residence and work permits in Sweden. This exemption will apply for a period of one year from the date of withdrawal as long as the conditions for residence rights under EU law are fulfilled.
The purpose of this regulation is to give affected UK citizens and their family members time to adjust to the new situation, for instance to apply for residence and work permits.
The regulation has special provisions concerning children. A child who is born after Brexit to a UK citizen who is covered by the exemption, will have the same right to reside in Sweden as the parent. The same applies for children under 18 who are currently not living in Sweden but who, during the one-year grace period, want to join a UK parent covered by the exemption.
2.1 When UK employees become third-country nationals will they require a business visa?
No, Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.
The Schengen exemption will apply:
- from Brexit date in the event of no deal;
- from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).
Third-country nationals coming to stay and work in Sweden for more than 90 days require a work permit or a residence permit.
2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?
Travel documents (a valid passport) with a validity of no more than ten years that is valid for at least three months after departure from Sweden.
Proof of duration and purpose of stay, as border control may ask additional questions concerning duration and purpose of stay.
3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?
Yes, unless they can rely on an exemption such as:
- Business meetings in ‘closed circle’ (maximum 20 subsequent calendar days per meeting and 60 days per year in total). Examples of meetings in ‘closed circle’ include negotiations with customers, evaluations with staff and company strategy meetings.
- Family members of an EU national or a non-EU national who has authorisation to work (subject to conditions).
Holders of a permanent Swedish residence permit.
3.2 If permission to work is needed do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?
3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?
See above regarding the proposed one-year respite in the event of a no deal Brexit.
3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?
Most likely the following:
- highly skilled employees (Bachelor’s degree);
- trainees (subject to conditions).
3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?
The procedure can take approximately six months. It is recommended, especially regarding work permits, to apply through a company certified by the Migration Board. This can shorten the process significantly.
3.6 If permission to work or stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for this permission?
Administrative fees of approximately SEK 2000.
4.1 From when third-country nationals can obtain permanent residence?
There are different grounds to obtain permanent residence but in general, four years of legal stay in Sweden (subject to conditions) are required.
5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?
Currently (in the absence of any specific contingency rules):
- applying for an EU residence card for non-EU family members as soon as possible;
- applying for a work permit through a certified company as soon as possible after the date of Brexit.