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Working in Stockholm

Working in Stockholm might be just the thing to kick-start your international career. After all, Stockholm is Sweden's life-science and green technologies hub. Our guide to Stockholm's business world provides you with lots of expat info on important sectors, work permits and the job search.
Kista is known as Sweden's "Silicon Valley".
  • Stockholm is an important player in the Information Technology market with companies such as Ericsson and IBM based there.
  • Kista Science City is the Silicon Valley of Sweden. You will most likely work here if you are employed in the IT sector.
  • Searching for a job in Stockholm could be a struggle unless your profession is on the labor shortage list.
  • Business culture in Stockholm is rather casual with an emphasis on work-life balance. The city is still, however, incredibly productive.


Stockholm is not only a green city; it is also a major ecological technologies hub. In fact, the city is one of the cleanest metropolises in the world, and was appointed European Green Capital in 2010.

But this is not all! In 2014, Stockholm made it to the list of global “cities of opportunity” along with London, New York, and Singapore. Sweden's capital scored near the top in sub-categories such as intellectual capital and innovation, and demographics and livability. Expatriates working in Stockholm thus enjoy many opportunities and a high quality of life. Moreover, English speakers might find working in Stockholm easier than working in other parts of Sweden, as it plays host to more international businesses. 

The Variety of Business Sectors in Stockholm

There is almost a complete absence of heavy industry in Stockholm, which turns Sweden’s capital into one of the cleanest cities in the world. Most expatriates have found an occupation in the services sector which accounts for about 85% of all jobs of people working in Stockholm.

In recent years, the eco-technologies sector has grown significantly, creating new job opportunities for the expat who plans on working in Stockholm. In addition, more and more employees work at high technology companies such as IBM or Ericsson.

Or would you rather be working in Stockholm’s finance sector? The city is, in fact, Sweden’s financial center and home to the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Stockholmsbörsen). Major Swedish banks such as Swedbank, Handelsbanken, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken are located here as well.

Stockholm’s Kista Science City

Kista has a distinct entrepreneurial flair. This northernmost district of Stockholm is the place where Sweden’s future internet entrepreneurs meet and mingle. Expats who plan on working in Stockholm’s IT and Communications Technology sector will sooner or later find themselves in Kista. IT business giants such as Ericsson and IBM have their Swedish HQ here, too, offering plenty of jobs to expatriates and Swedes alike.

In the 1990s Kista emerged as Sweden’s “Silicon Valley” as it became home to a large number of innovative companies. Today, Kista Science City is the place to be for expats working in Stockholm’s telecommunications sector and in the field of wireless systems.

Life Science

Stockholm Life Solna-Stockholm” combines research and development facilities within the field of life sciences. This area had been under development for quite a while. Even before it was fully developed, companies, healthcare providers, research facilities and academic institutions located in this area have offered jobs in the field of life science to people working in Stockholm.

Visa and Work Permits

Before hopping on a plane to Stockholm to start your international career, you need to apply for a work permit. This is only necessary, of course, if you are a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country. Will your expat assignment take longer than three months? Then keep in mind that you will need to obtain a residence permit for your stay in Stockholm.

You can submit your application directly to the Swedish Migration Board online. Remember that once you have submitted your application, you cannot travel to Sweden before your visa has been processed and approved. Alternatively, you can turn to the nearest Swedish consulate or embassy to apply for your work permit. 



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Nathan Reed

"With InterNations I quickly connected with other Canadian members who became close friends over time."

Barbara Melington

"The best thing about InterNations? Definitely the offline get-together. Meeting other expats in real life helps a lot."

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