July Update Sweden – Immigration restrictions related to COVID-19
Sweden: Immigration restrictions related to COVID-19
The Swedish Government has decided to follow the recommendations of the European Commission by extending the entry ban for foreigners coming from a country outside EU/EEA/Switzerland to enter Sweden until August 31, 2020.
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On June 11th the European Commission released their new guidelines for EU Member States with regards to the current restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU (see TaxNews). The purpose of the new recommendations is to gradually phase out the current travel restrictions. As a response the Swedish Government has, on July 2nd, made some changes in their restrictions.
A temporary entry ban was introduced on March 19, 2020 and has since then been extended on several occasions. The latest extension, announced on July 2nd, lasts until August 31st. However, entry restrictions for certain categories of travelers will be lessened as of July 4th. Previously, EU citizens and those with a work/residence permit in the EU were only allowed to enter Sweden if the purpose of their travel was to return home. This requirement has now been removed and consequently, EU nationals, their family members and work/residence permit holders will be allowed to enter Sweden regardless of the purpose of their visit.
The group of people allowed to enter Sweden has also been further extended with residents of certain specified countries now being exempted from the previous entry ban. The exempted countries are:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
In addition, the entry ban does not apply to people with an essential need or function in Sweden. These functions include highly skilled workers, if the job cannot be postponed or performed remotely, and certain categories of healthcare employees and researchers.
Why this matter
The extended exemptions from the travel ban signify a huge relief for companies and individuals working and doing business in Sweden. In previous TaxNews we have detailed how the Swedish Migration Agency’s 4-month deadline to start employment in Sweden after the approval of a work permit has caused significant issues as a result of the travel restrictions. The news that all work and residence permit holders will now be allowed entry is therefore welcome. The exemption for residents of additional countries also means a gradual opening for business travelers.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.
Global Mobility Services
Global Mobility Services