Working during the asylum application period

Last updated: 12/4-2023

In order to work in Sweden you need a work permit. If you are an asylum seeker, you can get an AT-UND instead. The abbreviation stands for “exception from the requirement for a work permit”, and it means that you can work without a work permit.

The Migration Agency may grant you an AT-UND if you:

  • Are able to present an approved identity document, or that you in some other way help in demonstrating your identity. This means that you have to do what you can to prove who you are, for example by handing in documents proving your identity. 
  • Have applied for asylum in Sweden.
  • Have not applied for asylum previously and had your application refused.

If you fulfil these requirements you receive an AT-UND. An employer can see that you have an AT-UND by scanning the QR code on your LMA card.

Paying tax when you work

You have to pay tax on your salary when you have a job. Your employer also has to pay social insurance contributions.

These are legal obligations, and they make your employment official, which has many advantages for you, including:

  • You get an official contract, or a verification of employment.
  • You can get references for future jobs.
  • You get the right to paid holidays.
  • You get the right to paid parental leave.
  • You get insurance.
  • You accumulate retirement points.
  • You get paid if you are off sick.
  • You get paid if you have to stay at home to look after a sick child.

If you work without paying taxes, you get none of these advantages. You are also breaking the law, and risk being sentenced to up to two years in prison.