Swedish Citizenship and Dual Citizenship

Citizenship is a legally binding undertaking between a state and an individual (citizen) that commences either automatically at birth or through an application or notification process.

Swedish Citizenship

Only Swedish citizens are allowed to carry Swedish passports. A Swedish citizen has the unconditional right to live and stay in Sweden.

You can become a Swedish citizen through:

  • birth
  • adoption 
  • legitimization (marriage of parents)
  • application (naturalization)
  • notification (children, young adults aged 18-20, and Nordic citizens)

Detailed information about all laws and regulations is available at
> the Swedish Migration Agency website

Dual Citizenship

One of the basic principles of Swedish civil law has been the avoidance of dual citizenship. With the adoption of the Citizenship Act of 2001, however, Sweden abandoned this principle.

On July 1, 2001, a new Citizenship Act came into effect in Sweden. The new law makes it possible to have dual citizenship. The law also gives children further opportunity to become Swedish citizens independent of their parents.

If you are a Swedish citizen and become a citizen of a second country, the new law means that you can keep your Swedish citizenship if the other country permits it. By the same token, if you become a Swedish citizen you can keep your foreign citizenship if the laws of that country permit it.

The Australian/New Zealand law requires that all Australians/New Zealanders, including those who have dual citizenship, must be in possession of a valid Australian/New Zealand passport when leaving and entering Australia/New Zealand.  It is thus advisable for dual citizens to bring both passports when travelling internationally.

Citizenship lost before 1 July 2001

Previous rules sought to avoid dual citizenship. With effect from 1 April 2015 you can regain your Swedish citizenship through notification if you:

  • lost your Swedish citizenship as a result of applying for, or agreeing to become a citizen of another country, or
  • lost your Swedish citizenship as a result of going into public service in another country, or
  • as a child, under the age of 18, automatically became a citizen of another country as a result of your parents becoming citizens of that country.  

If the notification concerns a child under the age of 18, the parents or custodians of the child must sign the notification. If you have sole custody of your child, your signature is enough.

Children who have turned 12 years old must sign to verify that they want to become Swedish citizens. Exceptions can be made if a child cannot give consent due to a permanent mental disorder or a similar circumstance.

If the person the notification concerns has unmarried children under 18 years of age

If the person the notification concerns has children who are living in Sweden, they can become Swedish citizens by means of the same notification if:

  • the person has sole custody, or
  • the other custody holder is a Swedish citizen, or
  • the other custody holder will become a Swedish citizen at the same time

> Swedish Migration Agency

Automatic Loss of Swedish Citizenship

You lose your Swedish citizenship when you turn 22, through statutory limitation, if you are a Swedish citizen who

     (1) was born outside of Sweden
     (2) has never lived in Sweden and
     (3) has not stayed in Sweden under
           circumstances indicating an
           attachment to the country.

To avoid losing your Swedish citizenship if you were born and are still living abroad, you can apply to keep it. You must do so before the age of 22.

You do not need to file an application if you have lived in Sweden during any period of your life or if you visit Sweden regularly.

The application can be downloaded via the link on the right and should be submitted to the nearest Swedish embassy or consulate. If you are visiting Sweden, you can send your application directly to the Migration Agency in Norrköping.
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