Live in Sweden

If you wish to move to Sweden to live with a close relative who is already a Swedish resident, you must have a residence permit of your own. This applies for instance if you are married or cohabiting or intend to marry or cohabit with someone who is permanently residing in Sweden. It also applies to unmarried children under the age of 18.

Applying for a residence permit

Requirements for a residence permit:

  • When applying for a residence permit you must present your application to the Embassy/Consulate of Sweden yourself. Your relative(s) in Sweden cannot apply on your behalf.

    Make sure you fill in all the particulars on the form. You should also ensure that you supply the correct address to your relative(s) in Sweden.

  • Two [2] photographs of passport style and size [35 x 45 mm] for all applicants, including minors. Your photograph must be:
    – colour photo
    – recent and of true likeness
    – showing full face
    – taken without headgear
    – head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant's face
    – taken against a plain, evenly lit and light background

    Photographs that do not conform to these standards will be rejected and may cause delay in processing the application.

If you are married or cohabiting or intend to marry or cohabit with someone who is permanently resident in Sweden

Once you have presented your application, you will be summoned to an interview at the Embassy/Consulate. You will need to bring some form of documentation proving your relationship to the person in Sweden, such as letters, photographs or the marriage certificate. You should also bring your passport and two passport photographs.

If you are under 18 years of age, unmarried and your parents are residents in Sweden

You must be able to show that you lived together in your country of origin/domicile before your parent or parents moved to Sweden.

If you are a parent or some other close relative of a person who is now resident in Sweden

In exceptional cases, other relatives may qualify for residence permits by reason of family ties. You must be able to show that you lived together with your relative immediately prior to his/her move to Sweden and that you are dependent on that person in such a way that it is difficult for you to live apart. This means that you must be financially, socially or emotionally dependent on the relative who lives in Sweden.

A relative of a refugee or of a person who has been granted asylum for some other reason can, in exceptional cases, be granted a Swedish residence permit if the two have had a very close relationship, even if they have not lived together in their former country of domicile.

The following must be taken into account when a child submits an application for a residence permit

  • The person who accompanies the child to the mission abroad must submit documentation within seven days showing that he or she is the child’s representative.

  • If the person accompanying the child to the mission abroad states that another person in the country of application or country of origin is the child’s representative, the person accompanying the child must contact the representative. The representative shall prove his or her legal authority within seven days.

  • If the person accompanying the child to the mission abroad states that the sponsor in Sweden is the representative, the application will be sent directly to Sweden for assessment.

What does it cost to apply?

You may be required to pay an application fee. If your application is denied, the fee will not be refunded. You can read about the fees In a special information sheet.

Who decides my case?

The Embassy/Consulate sends your application to the Swedish Migration Agency in Sweden for decision. The Embassy/Consulate will aslo notify you of the decision of the Migration Agency.

The residence permit must be entered in your passport before your arrival in Sweden. You cannot travel to Sweden and wait for a decision there.

How long will I have to wait for a decision?

It can take a long time for a decision to be reached.

Once you have presented your application, the Embassy/Consulate will summon you for a personal interview. Depending on how long the waiting list for interviews is, it can take time to get an interview.

When the interview has taken place, the Embassy/Consulate forwards your application to the Migration Agency in Sweden for a decision. This may take up to four weeks. The Migration Agency then makes additional enquiries, either by inviting the relative in Sweden to a personal interview or by sending him/her a questionnaire by post. The questions must be answered in writing and sent back to the Migration Agency.

How long is the permit valid?

If you lived together with your relative in your country of origin/domicile, the Migration Agency will normally grant you a permanent residence permit (PUT). This entitles you to live in Sweden for as long as you like.

If you did not live with your relative in your country of origin/domicile but intend to set up home together on your arrival here, the Migration Agency will normally grant you a permit for 12 months (in some cases for six months). You then have to apply for an extension to your permit. If you are still living together, your permit will be extended for a further 12 months (or six months).

If you are of working age, you will automatically be granted a work permit as well.

When you have had a limited residence permit for two years and your relationship is still intact, you will be granted a permanent residence permit.

Further information

For further information please contact the Embassy or Consulate. You may also contact:
The Swedish Migration Agency
601 70 Norrköping
Phone: +46-771-23 52 35