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Service abroad

The Swedish abbreviation for “service abroad” is “URA”, and this will be used below. Service abroad may be carried out in one of two ways, either in the form of:

  • residence abroad based on a URA contract that governs conditions of employment
    or in the form of
  • service-related travel.

Residence abroad with a URA contract

Residence abroad involves an employer placing employed personnel at a place of work outside Sweden. “URA” is the term used to describe the general collective agreement for government employees who reside abroad.

It is the employer, i.e. the department and the URA manager at LiU, who take a decision whether service abroad is to be regarded as residence abroad with a URA contract or service-related travel. Certain preconditions must, however, be satisfied in order for residence abroad to be possible.

Residence abroad normally concerns full-time employment. The majority of working hours must be spent in the country of residence. Travel to Sweden to participate in meetings or to carry out limited work on an individual occasion is then service-related travel and a travel expenses claim must be drawn up. If the visits to Sweden are of a significant duration or occur regularly, a URA contract is instead to be drawn up for each period abroad, or the periods of service abroad are to be considered to be service-related travel.

For periods of residence aboard, a fixed-term URA contract between the employer and employee is to be drawn up. The HR manager (or equivalent) at the department and LiU’s URA manager are to participate in drawing up the contract.

The URA contract must be finalised and signed before departure from Sweden. A URA contract cannot be drawn up retroactively.

Neither the central agreement on terms of employment nor the local LiU agreement on terms of employment are valid during the period abroad. The terms of employment that are valid are to be instead specified in the URA contract. During the period of service abroad, the place of work of the employee is a specified location abroad.

The terms of the URA contract have been written to cover the normal case, in which an employee, whose registered residence is in Sweden, is stationed abroad by a government agency and in this way continues to be covered by the Swedish social insurance system and the Swedish pension system, while remaining fully liable to tax in Sweden.

During residence abroad, an employer may decide to grant remuneration for increased living costs that arise due to the residence abroad. The contract may also encompass the employee’s accompanying family members.

Remember to start planning a period of residence abroad well in advance. In order for the employee and, where relevant, accompanying family members to be covered by insurance during the period abroad, it is necessary that the URA contract be complete before departure. Further detailed information is available in the document “Att tänka på inför utlandsstationering” (“Considerations before service abroad”).

URA insurance

The university has taken out URA insurance for employees and, where relevant, accompanying family members as specified in the URA contract. An insurance certificate is to be obtained from the LiU URA manager when signing the URA contract.


If you have any questions, contact your HR manager, who will in turn contact the LiU URA manager.

Page manager: pia.rundgren@liu.se
Last updated: 2018-04-10