Basic facts

If you want to visit Sweden and you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA, you may need a visa. A visa gives you permission to enter and stay in Sweden for a short period. It is valid throughout the Schengen area, but you apply to the country that is the main destination for the journey.

Visas can be granted for such purposes as:

  • Business visits
  • Participation in cultural or sporting events
  • Visits to relatives and friends
  • Tourism.

You can submit your application at the earliest three months before your planned visit. Apply as far in advance as possible, especially during the peak season. Usually, you get a decision within two weeks.

A visa can be granted for between 1 and 90 days. You have to make use of these days within a given time frame of 180 days at the most (period of validity).

How many days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area, and for how long altogether, is stated on the permit sticker attached to your travel document.

If you need to travel to Sweden often, you can ask to be given several entries. Such visas are valid for five years at the most. If the visa is for more than six months, you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days per 180 days´ period.

A visa does not automatically mean you can enter the Schengen area. Entry checks are always made at external border points. So it is a good idea to bring along copies of the documents you submitted when applying for a visa. Border controls may result in your being denied entry.

It is the embassy or consulate that decides whether you are to be granted a visa. In certain cases, the matter is referred to the Swedish Migration Board for a decision.

Read more about visa applications in the menu on the left and on the Swedish Migration Board website.

Swedish Migration Board website

Visits longer than 90 days

If you know when applying that you will need to stay in Sweden for longer than 90 days, you should apply not for a Schengen visa but for a residence permit for a visit. Such permits are decided in accordance with national Swedish rules. This means, for instance, that visa facilitation agreements do not apply.

An application for a residence permit for a visit is always sent to the Migration Board in Sweden, where the decision is taken. If the application is granted, residence permits are usually issued for between three and twelve months.

If you are to be granted a residence permit for a visit or a national visa, the purpose of the trip must be to visit Sweden, not to settle there. You must have the means to support yourself throughout your stay, and you must possess either a return ticket or enough money for your return journey. Medical travel insurance is not compulsory, but it is advisable, since medical costs can be high.

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