Obtaining a licence if you are educated outside EU and EEA
You have two options
If you were educated outside the EU and EEA, you have two options for obtaining a licence in Sweden. No matter which option you choose, the final step is to apply for a licence from us.
Apply for a licence through Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
To get a licence via the National Board of Health and Welfare, you need to go through 5 different steps. Take one step at a time. You start by applying to have your education assessed and in the last step you apply for the licence.
Good to know:
- You do not need to be able to speak Swedish to have your education assessed, step 1. But to pass steps 2–5, you need to be able to speak Swedish. You send a certificate of your language skills at the latest when you apply for licence, step 5.
- While waiting for our decision you can practice a health care profession that does not require a licence, for example dental nurse or pharmaceutical technician.
- If you would like to practice as a specialist, you will need to be licensed as a doctor of medicine first.
How long does it take?
The length of time it takes to complete the various steps that lead to a Swedish licence will vary according to your particular situation. Usually it takes 2–4 years.
Apply for a licence through additional training
Instead of turning to us first, you can take additional training at a college or university before applying for a licence. The college or university decides what requirements apply to attend the education.
Good to know
- The number of places at the additional training is limited.
- Many universities require that you have a decision from us that your education is equivalent to the Swedish education.
- You need to know Swedish to obtain you licence.
- If you have any questions about the additional training, please contact the university.
- When applying for a certificate after completing additional training, you must apply with the application form for educated outside the EU and EEA. You cannot apply via the e-service for educated in Sweden.
How long does it take?
The length of time it takes to complete the various steps that lead to a Swedish licence will vary according to your particular situation. Usually it takes 1–3 years.
You will need to know Swedish
You do not need to be able to speak Swedish to have your education assessed, step 1. But to pass steps 2–5, you need to be able to speak Swedish. You send a certificate of your language skills at the latest when you apply for licence, step 5.
To demonstrate your language skills, you must have an approved grade or certificate in one of the following:
- Swedish 3 or Swedish as a Second Language 3 at a municipal upper secondary adult education programme (Komvux).
- Swedish at Level C1 in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
- A course or exam that satisfies the entry requirements for higher education studies, please see antagning.se.
Equivalent proficiency in Norwegian or Danish
Equivalent proficiency in Norwegian or Danish will also satisfy the requirements for Swedish. You will need to provide certification that your language skills meet the entry requirements at a Norwegian or Danish college or university.
A health care provider can assess language skills
You can also prove your language skills by letting a health care provider assess if you have the language skills that are needed in order to work in your profession. The health care provider should fill in the form and describe how the assessment has been made.
This applies if you want to work as a doctor in Sweden
Licence and special authorisation
If you would like to practice as a doctor of medicine in Sweden, you will need a Swedish licence or special authorisation. The title doctor of medicine is protected by law. In other words, you may refer to yourself as a doctor of medicine only if you have a licence. You need a special authorisation to be able to undergo clinical training.
- A licence is proof that a practitioner has the skills and qualifications that a profession requires. A total of 22 different healthcare professions demand licences in Sweden. To put it another way, those particular professions are regulated by law. A licence is permanent but may be revoked due to malpractice, gross incompetence or conviction for a serious criminal offence.
- Special authorisation is a temporary permission to practice a profession under a particular employer. The employer must apply to us for special authorisation. However, the employer can issue special authorisation on its own under certain circumstances.
If you are a specialist from abroad
If you would like to practice as a specialist, you will need to be licensed as a doctor of medicine first. After that, you will be required to take specialist training (ST) in order to receive a certificate to that effect. In other words, you cannot become a specialist until you have demonstrated general medical knowledge.
If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, residence permit or address
You may obtain a licence even if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, residence permit or address. In order to practice or go to school in Sweden, however, you will have to obtain a residence or work permit from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket). It is important that you notify us when you have received a Swedish social security number so that we can update the information in the register for Healthcare professionals.
Is your education not equivalent to the Swedish?
If you do not have a post-secondary degree or if your education is not equivalent to the system in Sweden, you can go to school to obtain a Swedish degree and then apply for a licence to practice your profession.
Go to universityadmissions.se and studera.nu to learn about application procedures and admission requirements. The college or university that admits you may determine that you can use your previous education to expedite completion of its programme.
Read more about obtaining a licence in Socialstyrelsens föreskrifter och allmänna råd om legitimation för yrke inom hälso- och sjukvården för utbildning från tredjeland (pdf 3,1 MB).