Work in Sweden or another EU/ EEA country

EC directive on the recognition of professional qualifications - make it easier to work in another EU or EEA country.

The aim of directive 2005/36/EC, from the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 7 September 2005, on the recognition of professional qualifications, is to make it easier for people to work in regulated professions in another EU/EEA country. Regulated profession mean that a certain type of professional qualification is a legal requirement to be able to practise that profession, e.g. a degree, authorisation, certification or the equivalent.

The website of the European Commission has a list of professions that are regulated in each country.

Read more about which professions are regulated in Sweden

Read more about which professions are regulated in other countries, European Commission website

Additional information

Directive 2005/36/EC, full text (see the most recent Consolidated version)

Code of conduct for directive 2005/36/EC with information about how authorities should administer applications for recognition

Applies to sole traders and employees — as well as fixed-term contracts

The directive applies to sole traders and to those who wish to be employed. It also has provisions that make it easier for people to take temporary work in a profession in another member state.

The directive identifies a number of regulated professions that provide automatic rights to work within the EU/EEA, i.e.: architect, veterinary surgeon, pharmacist, midwife, doctor of medicine, nurse and dental practitioner. There are also special rules for some professions in industry, craft and commerce. In other regulated professions an evaluation is carried out to see whether the applicant’s education and experience are equivalent to the requirements of the country — they are evaluated according to the “general system”.

An adaptation period or aptitude test may be required

In some cases, the country in which you wish to work can require that you perform an adaptation period or aptitude test. This may be the case if

  • your period of studies is at least one year less than that required in the relevant country,
  • if the content of your studies is significantly different to that in the relevant country,
  • If, in the country in which you wish to work, the profession includes tasks that are not included in the country in which you received your qualification.

Applicants are entitled to choose between an adaptation period and an aptitude test.

How to apply for a permit

To work within certain regulated professions in another EU/EEA country, you must apply to the authority in that country that evaluates your right to practise that profession. This type of authority is generally described as the competent authority. You can find which one is the competent authority for each country in the European Commission’s database. Contact the authority for information on how to apply.

Read more about competent authorities in other countries on the European Commission’s website

Help finding the right competent authority

All member states have a contact point that provides information about the directive and can refer you to the correct competent authority. The Swedish Council for Higher education is the contact point in Sweden.

The European commission website has information about each member state’s contact points.

List of contact points in EU and EEA countries

More links

The following links also provide more information:

If you have any further questions please contact

Last updated: 4 December 2019